Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Homemade Extracts!

Do you make your own extracts?  

Here are some recipes you might enjoy...

Homemade Lavender Extract:

  • Pour 2 cups of 100 proof vodka into the jar of flowers.
  • Cut 100 flower heads and put into a sterile jar.
  • Twist the lid on, shake, and place out of direct sunlight.
- To prevent the jar from leaking at the opening when you shake, a piece of plastic wrap can be put inside the lid before you close it.
- Shake once a day for eight days.
- Strain through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
- Strain a few more times with the coffee filter.
The liquid will be a dark brown. 

Makes approximately 1 cup of lavender extract.
{If your lavender is dried try using 50 lavender flower heads instead of 100.}

1/4 cup water 
- 2 1/4 tsp stevia extract
- 7 tsp vanilla extract (of course, you can use other extracts for other flavorings)

1.  Pour water into a small saucepan.
2.  Warm over medium heat.  Add stevia extract.
3.  Heat and stir until stevia is dissolved.
4.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla extract.
5.  Pour into a small glass bottle with dropper.

- 4 oz. alcohol {It needs to be 80 – 84 proof.  Vodka is the “usual” choice, bourbon is also common, and you could choose rum (it’s sweeter)}
- 4 – 5 vanilla beans
- 4-oz. dark brown glass bottle with cap
1. Cut your vanilla beans into pieces, cut vanilla beans open {make a slit down the center of them}.
2. Now, add your beans to your bottles.  Once all your beans have been added, pour in your alcohol until the bottle is almost full; screw on the caps.  You are done!
3. Allow to sit for at least one month, and preferably six, to be “done.”  Set the bottles into a dark place and shake them at least once a week, or whenever you think about it.  {This is why the bottles shouldn’t be completely full, because if they were you wouldn’t be able to shake them well.}

1. Harvest a bunch of mint leaves from your mint plant. 
2. Remove mint leaves from stalks (if applicable) and pack leaves into a measuring cup to determine how much mint you have. 
From Original Recipe Location: "I ended up with about 1/2 cup of mint. Since I wanted to make my mint extract in a pint jar, 1/2 cup of leaves was a good amount for me, but you could easily use more or less leaves if desired."
3. Rinse mint leaves with water, then squeeze leaves in your hands to bruise the leaves before placing them into a clean glass jar. (Bruising the leaves helps them release their oil when they’re placed in the vodka.)
4. Add about two to four times as much vodka as you have mint, making sure that use enough to submerge all of your leaves. 
From Original Recipe Location: "I originally planned on adding one cup of vodka for my 1/2 cup of mint, but that didn’t end up being enough vodka to cover my leaves so I bumped it up to 1 1/2 cups."
5. Cover your jar with a lid and allow to steep for about a month in a cool, dark place.  
6. After the month, you can start tasting the extract to see if it’s developed the flavor and intensity you want. If so, strain out the leaves and use the extract just as you would store-bought extract.
If your mint extract is not yet strong enough, allow it to continue to steep until it reaches your desired flavor.

{Note: By clicking on the extract recipe title you can be directed to the original recipe with more description and images for the recipes.}

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