Having easy substitutes for kitchen staples is one of the best ways I know to save money on your grocery budget. I already use Powdered Egg Replacer, DIY Powdered Sugar, Easiest Coconut Milk, Easiest Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Coffee Substitute and more. But a vanilla extract substitute is something that I have only used straight vanilla beans for in the past (without really knowing what I was doing :)!) Now, with this Toasted Vanilla Powder from Naomi of Almost Bananas, I have a new kitchen substitute, plus a great new Homemade Gift idea too.
For many people, holidays include lots of baking. And baking includes lots of vanilla.
There are a bunch of DIY vanilla extract recipes out there, which is great. I bought a bunch of vanilla beans to make it, but I'm embarrassed to say how long ago. I've been meaning to make vanilla extract for quite a while, never got around to it, and then when I needed it I didn't have time to wait for 4 weeks for it to steep.
This way, I can have a vanilla extract substitute ready in a few minutes. No fillers or funky ingredients–just exotic perfumey vanilla.
From three beans the little jar pictured was overflowing. The jar is one of those sample jam jars, you could also fold an origami purse to hold the powder. All spice in Slovakia, actually, are sold in something like envelopes. You could also make a little funnel to put it in cleaned essential oil bottles.
It's perfect for holiday baking, use 1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla powder for each tsp of vanilla extract in a recipe.
And of course, you can always taste test to see if you have enough vanilla.
It's also a great holiday gift.
Wrap around a bit of ribbon, and you have a thoughtful and original handmade gift (that took about 5 min, I might add). Two other easy but creative holiday gifts are Nuts in Honey and Origami Toys (4 toys from 1 piece of paper!).
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Toasted Vanilla Powder – Vanilla Extract Substitute
Whole Vanilla Beans – make sure they are still pliable and moist. If they are dry the toasting process will burn the beans rather than toast them.
1. Slice vanilla beans lengthwise.
2. Place on a cookie sheet and roast for about 4 minutes at 350F. Watch it carefully, it should smell fragrant when you pull it out.
3. Place into a spice/coffee grinder (my high speed blender mixed 3 beans, although I had to scrape the sides down well.) Process to a powder. Place into desired container.
4. As mentioned above, use 1/4 – 1/2 tsp vanilla powder for each tsp of vanilla extract in a recipe.
I hope this gives you inspiration for a way to easy have homemade vanilla in your home, or a simple Homemade Gift that you can bless others with.
How about you?
Have you ever made your own vanilla?
What is one of your favorite Homemade Gifts?
Naomi is originally from Canada but is now a wife and mom in Slovakia. She tries to live each day as a follower of Christ in the chaos of caring for children. Using real food and creating an environmentally-friendly surrounding for her family is a priority. She dreams of a little farm while living in an apartment, enjoys handmade creations, and still doesn’t like brussels sprouts. Naomi shares her food creations and photos of Slovakia at Almost Bananas. She looks forward to connecting with you on Pinterest, Google+, and Facebook.