In November one of the bloggers I follow made a post on Facebook about making your own vanilla extract. It wasn’t until I started looking into how to make it that I realised that vanilla extract is just vodka (or rum apparently) and vanilla beans. Intrigued by how simple this seemed we set out to make our own.

Tom and I were married in May 2011 and went to Jamaica for our honeymoon. While we were there we got on a Caesar fix and when we got back we needed to carry on our addiction to these drinks. This required us buying a bottle of vodka which we would never drink normally. Well shortly after buying this bottle we found out we were expecting our first child. So my Caesars became virgin if I had them and Tom lost interest. For 2 years this bottle sat untouched until we decided to make our very own vanilla extract. It was quite handy to have on hand. We bought our vanilla beans from Costco and set out to make our own extract following these instructions .

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We’ve been very impressed with the results of our own vanilla extract and knowing exactly what’s in it is a bonus. While we were waiting for our own vanilla extract to be ready we ran out of what we had and needed to buy more. While at Costco we saw ‘pure’ vanilla extract on sale. I thought ‘awesome! Pure vanilla extract means no additives, no sugar and nothing artificial!’ Yeah right! I flipped the bottle around to see that there was in fact sugar included in this ‘pure’ extract.

I don’t know why I was so surprised to see this. I know that the food companies are often misleading in their labelling. I know sugar is in practically everything you buy that’s prepared. It still surprised me and upset me to see what was supposed to be pure as not so pure after all.

This definitely opened my eyes and reminded me to look twice at the ingredients when buying prepared foods and not taking the companies words for truth. So the next time your shopping and think something is pure take a look and see what’s really included.

-Katie

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