3

votes

Vanilla extract

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I managed to find some vanilla extract without sugar at Amazon, but it's 35% alcohol. When I tasted it, it was like drinking alcohol straight. I depend on vanilla to make my smoothies and other things more tasty on Paleo. Do people think I should swear off of it because of the alcohol? Thanks so much.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 31, 2014
at 01:16 PM

There's nothing wrong with using whisky for extraction, you just vanilla extract with whisky flavors too. Not everybody's cup of tea.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on April 10, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Thanks for this wonderfully comprehensive answer! And thanks to everyone else too. I love Paleo Hacks!

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on April 10, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Yes, great answer! I've been making my own vanilla for the past year and a half now (meaning: I put the beans in the vodka and they've been "cooking" ever since). Since I travel to Mexico frequently, I use Mexican vanilla on an everyday basis, holding out my homemade vanilla for whenever the Mexican vanilla runs out. Anyway, you explained some things that I didn't even know about, but, fortunately, was doing right anyway. Now, to go find that bourbon....

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on April 10, 2012
at 04:06 PM

Amazing answer JuBa!!!

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 10, 2012
at 04:06 PM

The only point I can add to the very thorough answer above is to point out that the alcohol will evaporate in any heated dish. Probably not an option available for your smoothies, though.

  • F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

    asked by

    (938)
  • Views
    8.9K
  • Last Activity
    1261D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

6 Answers

14
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on April 10, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Outside of vanilla paste I've never seen vanilla extract that contains sugar. The alcohol used is what draws the flavour out of the bean. I make my own and will use rum, bourbon, and vodka, sometimes tequila, and will both cook and incorporate into cocktails. You can always buy the fresh beans and do a little scraping into your smoothie or just infuse scraped beans and their pods in dairy or coconut milk if the alcohol makes you nervous in any way, store in the fridge in a jar once cooled.

Nerd Stuff: The development of alcohol-free vanilla extracts is really for those who cannot or do not wish to tolerate alcohol into their diets (i.e. halal labeling purposes). Alcoholic vanilla extracts do not mean they are inferior to alcohol-free ones; on the contrary, they are far more superior in terms of the extraction process as well as being the best carrier substance for its aroma.

Both versions undergo the same initial process of extraction using alcohol; water based solution in the extraction process is sometimes used for certain ingredients, however, using water solution on vanilla to extract it is almost as good as wasting it (kind of like.. having purchased a new clothing item and get it ruined the first time you wear it out. It???s heartbreaking). Where the processes of the two kinds differ, is in the finishing step. To make the extract alcohol free, a solution of propelyne glycol (or sometimes glycerol) is added. Then, there you have it.

The drawback in alcohol-free vanilla extract is the loss of its aroma. Try smelling the two together if you ever get the chance to, and you???ll notice the big difference.

So unless you really must (or wish), there is no real value in using an alcohol-free extract.

And if you really think about the servings of it:

  • Standard alcohol content in vanilla extracts: 35%
  • 1 teaspoon = 5 ml = (*0.35) = 1.75ml of alcohol-
  • 1 tablespoon = 15ml = (*0.35) = 5.25ml of alcohol-

Basically you won't be running rampant around town shedding clothes if you use it so IMO - use away! :)

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 10, 2012
at 04:06 PM

The only point I can add to the very thorough answer above is to point out that the alcohol will evaporate in any heated dish. Probably not an option available for your smoothies, though.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on April 10, 2012
at 04:06 PM

Amazing answer JuBa!!!

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on April 10, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Yes, great answer! I've been making my own vanilla for the past year and a half now (meaning: I put the beans in the vodka and they've been "cooking" ever since). Since I travel to Mexico frequently, I use Mexican vanilla on an everyday basis, holding out my homemade vanilla for whenever the Mexican vanilla runs out. Anyway, you explained some things that I didn't even know about, but, fortunately, was doing right anyway. Now, to go find that bourbon....

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on April 10, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Thanks for this wonderfully comprehensive answer! And thanks to everyone else too. I love Paleo Hacks!

4
0ead271762198cb1344fdc104b42bbbd

on April 10, 2012
at 03:57 PM

You're not going to be using enough of the extract that the alcohol content matters from a biochemistry standpoint. Use it, just be aware that it will inhibit freezing (ie, ice creams).

1
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on April 10, 2012
at 04:25 PM

ITA with all of the above. My aunt and uncle got us a reusable vanilla extract container. Basically it's a split vanilla bean in a bottle and when you "run out" you pour in more bourbon or rum or whatever dark alcohol you have on hand. Since you are using a tbsp at the most (any more is overwhelming) likely it won't kill you. Even if you aren't cooking it.

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 10, 2012
at 03:57 PM

Just FYI, vanilla extract will always have alcohol - it's made using ethyl to extract the vanilla flavonoids. If you found a brand that doesn't also have sugar next to the alcohol, that's probably a good thing. :-)

1
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on April 10, 2012
at 03:55 PM

I wouldn't be concerned about the alcohol; I don't think it will make your foods less healthy. I've never tasted straight vanilla but I would think it would have a boozy taste- if it tastes good in your smoothies, go ahead and use it.

0
64caa640dc5c309fa08e238e8c4aa8d6

on May 31, 2014
at 01:08 PM

We have been producing pure organic vanilla extract for years. I must stress that you should never use a dark alcohol in vanilla extract production. Only 100 proof/100% organic vodka or clear grain alcohol. When you see "bourbon" on a label, it's not referring to whiskey, but rather a the vanilla variety from Madagascar. The dark brown color in vanilla extract comes from the beans themselves. Just an FYI.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 31, 2014
at 01:16 PM

There's nothing wrong with using whisky for extraction, you just vanilla extract with whisky flavors too. Not everybody's cup of tea.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!