DIY Vanilla

There was a time, a long time ago, when I would have been happy with artificial vanilla. But today? Not a chance. Sure, real vanilla extract is more expensive, but it’s just better! It tastes better, and it makes everything you put it into taste better, as well.

So, imagine my dismay when I recently rolled into Costco to buy Vanilla and found it had more than doubled in price! What I normally pay $12-14 for was now nearly $40!

DIY Vanilla Extract

Turns out there’s a world-wide shortage of vanilla. Vanilla pods come from the pistil of a rare orchid, and they are very time- and labour-intensive to grow. High demand has lead to a shortage everywhere, causing prices to escalate.

So, I can’t afford to buy vanilla, but the prospect of going back to artificial vanilla was not appealing. So, I started doing some research: could I make my own DIY vanilla extract cheaper than it would cost me to buy it in the store?

Turns out, you can.

So, a 437 ml bottle of vanilla at Costco (which is probably the best price around) is currently $38.95.

Here’s how much it costs to make DIY Vanilla Extract: 

  • 2 Tahitian vanilla beans: $10 (Gourmet Warehouse, you can also buy it online)
  • 375 ml bottle of vodka: $15
  • 500 ml mason jar (I had)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (I had on hand as well)

So I spent $25 for 500 ml of vanilla extract–not cheap, but still much cheaper than $40!

It’s also really simple to make, but it does take time. If you start it right now, though, you’ll have to gift for Christmas presents! This stuff is getting to be more precious than bitcoin!

How are you coping with the current vanilla prices? Got any tips to share? Drop them into the comments below.

Aquafabulous! Cookbook Giveaway

Ummm, wait now. How did it get to be December??? Suddenly it’s three weeks to Christmas and I haven’t done a thing.

If you’re like me (and, let me just say, don’t be) and you are panicking right now, maybe I can help.

I mean, I can help you. I can’t help myself, I’m clearly a lost cause.

I am giving away a couple copies of my cookbook, Aquafabulous!: 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba. 


This would make a great gift for the vegan on your Christmas list, or your sister/friend/cousin with the egg allergy. You could even keep it for yourself. I promise I won’t tell.  There are over 100 recipes, all vegan (and therefore egg-free), and delicious (I taste-tested every one personally). There’s lots of variety in there, as well, everything from breakfasts to snacks to desserts (especially desserts) and everything in between…

Like, oh, for example:

  • Vegan Chocolate Mousse
  • Pavlova
  • Crepes (both sweet and savoury)
  • Chocolate Waffled Brownie S’mores
  • “Everything Bagel” crackers
  • Vegan Pate

Aquafaba vegan pavlova

So good, right?

Okay, so here’s the deal.

  1. Comment below and tell me what recipe you’d like to see me “veganize.” It’s that simple! The contest will run for a week, ending at midnight on December 12. I’ll then draw one name at random from all the comments, and mail you a copy of my book! Boom!
  2. I’m giving away a second copy on my Instagram feed, click to enter that one as well.

Good luck!! And I wish you all an easy and carefree holiday with zero stress.


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