homemade vanilla extract

I recently experienced sticker shock at the grocery store while shopping for vanilla extract, which prompted me to instead purchase vanilla beans and vodka. Time to make homemade vanilla extract!

First, I checked Barnivore to find a vegan-friendly vodka and settled on a pint of Skyy. Then I found two empty jars with lids. You can use one large jar, but I’m going to divide my batch and give my kitchen cohort Sue a jar of homemade vanilla extract so that she can bake something yummy for me.

extract_fixins

Slice four or five vanilla beans down the middle and split each one, place them in the jar(s), and cover with vodka. Seal tightly and let sit for at least 5 weeks. The longer they stew, the stronger your extract will be.

watermelon papaya smoothie

Take advantage of August’s delicious, sweet (and cheap!) watermelon by whipping up a batch of watermelon papaya smoothies.

2 cups watermelon, seeds and rind removed
2 cups papaya, sliced
8-10 ice cubes
1/4 cup of your favorite non-dairy milk
Splash of lime juice

Combine all ingredients in blender; process until smooth. If you like your smoothies a little sweeter, add some agave nectar.