Homemade Vanilla Extract

The easiest and most simple homemade gift for anyone! Feel free to double this recipe to have more on hand!

 

Ingredients:
5-6 vanilla bean pods (I bought mine on Amazon!)

8 oz 80-90 proof vodka (You could also do Brandy, Whiskey or Rum)

 

Directions:

Place vanilla bean pods into a glass jar, pour over vodka until beans are fully covered. Tightly screw on the lid and place in a cool dry place for 8-12 weeks. Be sure to shake the jars every few days. The extract should be dark in color and have a rich vanilla smell!

 

 

Apple Butter

Yield: 1-2 cups

 

Ingredients:

4 apples, cored and cubed (any kind works! use your favorite)

1 cup water

1/2 tsp each: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup (honey also works, sweeten to your taste)

 

Directions:

  1. In a sauce pot, combine all ingredients and stir until incorporated.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once apples are softened and somewhat broken down, place the sauce into a blender.
  4. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

 

 

Cranberry Sauce

A little late for Thanksgiving dinner, but cranberry sauce can be the perfect addition to your Christmas buffet. Using whole, fresh cranberries instead of canned adds extra fiber and decreases those added sugars (so you can enjoy even more!).

Cranberries are a natural anti-inflammatory, and saturated with Vitamin C, A & K. These underrated lil guys can be incorporated into stuffing, added to apple sauce for a nice twist, or just scooped over your favorite protein!

*For a less bitter sauce, add 1/3 cup honey*

Yield: ~ 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries (no cans here)

1/4 cup honey

1 cup water (or you could do apple cider for something extra yummy!)

zest + juice of 2 oranges (about 1/4-1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sprinkle of salt

Optional: Sprinkle of nutmeg

 

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and stir to combine.
  2. Cook on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sauce is done when cranberries have popped and water is dissolved!