Following our trials and tribulations as we attempt to remove all grains, many starchy vegetables and most sugars from our diet while maintaining our love of good food! We strive to make all of our recipes GAPS and/or SCD compliant. Note: We didn't know about "Grain-Free Gourmet" when we chose our name. We are not affiliated with those good folks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vanilla Extract

I use a lot of vanilla. It makes smoothies taste special. Mixed with peanut butter and honey, it makes an instant candy-filling-like treat. I like it in chai, and in coconut cappuccino. It's indispensible in most baked goods. When using coconut milk, oil, flour or flakes, I find it necessary to really up the amount of vanilla in order to get the flavor. Organic vanilla is expensive, so I am making my own extract.


1 oz. (about 6 or so) vanilla beans
750 mL vodka (1 standard bottle)


Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Pour a couple of ounces out of your vodka bottle to make room for the vanilla beans. Place split vanilla beans in bottle. Store in a cool, dark place, shaking every so often, for two or more months. When it is ready, it will be a deep caramel color and will smell delicious.


  1. This is great!! I am so glad I came to your site today! Can you tell me if you got organic vanilla beans? And what kind of vodka would I use? Is vodka GAPS legal?
    I can't wait to hear how this turns out! You will have to let me know how often to shake it also. I am going to pick up the stuff this weekend. I am sooo excited!! I think vanilla is the yummiest thing! I always put more than a recipe calls for.
    Cyndi from Gaps group

  2. Hi Cyndi, I'm not Teri but I can tell you that I got organic vanilla beans (I think through Mountain Rose Herbs?). Also, vodka is GAPS legal, we are just not supposed to have very much or have it very often. Since the amount of vanilla extract that we use at one time is tiny compared to a shot of vodka I think it's okay. Glad you enjoy the blog!

  3. I have a lot of vanilla bean pods left over from scraping the seeds to make vanilla coconut cream kefir. Do you think I can make vanilla extract from them?

  4. I know this is an older post, but we are gearing up to start GAPS in October and I am finding SO MUCH information on your site...thank you!

    We've been GF for several months now and I was told that rum contained less gluten than vodka so I've been making my vanilla extract out of rum. I don't see rum mentioned in the GAPS book. Do you happen to know if rum is ok for GAPS just like vodka? If I can't use my rum-based vanilla extract, then I need to quickly get some vodka-based vanilla extract started!

  5. No, rum is not GAPS legal. Distilled spirits are gluten-free because gluten is removed in the distillation process, but if you're worried you can get vodka that was made from something other than gluten-containing grains, such as potatoes. Again, even though potatoes aren't GAPS-legal, the illegal stuff is removed during distillation. Watch out for kinds that have had flavors added. BTW, is was able to begin using my vanilla extract before the two month period was up.



All photographs and written materials are the sole property of the posters, as applicable by law, unless otherwise noted.