How To Make Homemade Extracts – Vanilla, Lemon Or Almond

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How To Make Homemade Extracts
How To Make Homemade Extracts – Vanilla, Lemon Or Almond. Image – (with permission)

When you think of herbal extracts, you might (if you are like me) imagine some kind of arcane “alchemist’s lair” with curious distillation equipment, dusty old textbooks and of course a magical, permeating aroma of unusual flowers and herbs with strange Latin names. Yes? Even though herbalism has become very scientific in modern times, it is still (to me) redolent of ancient mysteries and magic.

But it might please you to know that herbalism is not all arcane and complex, and that some herbal projects are delightfully simple. Like this one: Homemade extracts of vanilla, lemon or almond. We found a great page over at Common Sense Homesteading describing an easy way to make three yummy extracts that can be used in recipes and for other aromatic purposes. This could be a perfect project for an apprentice “herbal alchemist”. 😉 This is a great tutorial full of tips and ideas! They’ve even made printable labels that you can just download and use – how cool is that?

One of the fun things about these extracts is that various forms of alcohol, such as brandy or rum, can be used – giving the possibility for subtle and unique concoctions. Note of course that due to the use of alcohol, this project should for safety reasons be undertaken (and the finished products used) by adults / under strict adult supervision.

It’s important to make sure your equipment is clean – but one of the good things about alcoholic herbal extracts (as opposed to, say, floral waters) is that the use of 40% alcohol creates a product with a good shelf life, with a very low risk of bacterial problems – as alcohol is a preservative.

The only downside of this work is (perhaps) the length of time needed for the extract to be made; it could be several weeks sitting there, depending on which extract you make.

It’s also possible to make these extracts using orange, mint, coconut and more. Can you think of some others?

Ok here’s the link to the full homemade extracts tutorial: Have fun! 🙂

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