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Cherries are on sale so of course I had to buy some. They are the sweet dark red cherries which are just so delicious and sweet all alone. I haven't had a chocolate “ice cream” (read frozen banana) shake in several weeks because I've been busy eating loaves of bread. I'm writing a new e-cookbook and this one is going to feature coconut flour breads. But today I decided I wanted a cherry shake and so I created this:
- 3 small bananas, frozen
- 16 cherries, pitted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I like to make my own)
- 1 tablespoon honey, optional
- pecans, optional
If you own a Vitamix Vitamix (affiliate link) throw everything into your blender and within a minute or two your ice cream shake will be ready to enjoy.
If your blender is less powerful you may find it helpful to add the cherries, honey and vanilla first and blend until pureed. Then slice the bananas and blend until smooth.
Serves one or more.
I also started this – one jar is bourbon whiskey with cherries and vanilla beans and the other has only cherries. I am in love with the Ball Wide-Mouth Plastic Storage Caps and these jars are just perfect – they are Ball Jar Wide Mouth Pint and Half Jars – I have never seen jars like these but totally dig them. They are super tall – I guess one primary reason is so you can can asparagus but they were exactly what I was looking for.
And this is cherry extract made with vodka.
All three jars have been tucked safely away in a dark cupboard and will stay there for several months until I bring them into the light of day to see how they turned out.
It all started when my mom mentioned almond extract several weeks ago. I've never used it before. I barely even knew it existed. I set out to figure out how to make it since usually it is so much cheaper to make extracts yourself, rather than to buy them.
I discovered that almond extract is made from bitter almonds, or it can be made using cherry pits or apricot pits. Some people use peeled almonds but apparently this practice comes nowhere near the flavor achieved with bitter almonds or stone fruit pits.
There is a small problem in that there is apparently is a minute amount of cyanide in the pits if you break them open. I've been researching this on and off for days, and I still can't decide how I want to proceed. Some sources state if you heat the pits you will destroy the enzyme that causes the problem, while others say the amount is insignificant unless you ingest large quantities. Some sources say crush the pits, while others say that's not necessary and avoids the cyanide issue altogether.
So in the meantime, I decided to start some cherry extract. I think it will be good in ice cream, or baked goods… like maybe certain loaves of bread.
I've read having cherry extract is a way to have cherry flavor when it's out of season.
I also want to make lemon extract, possibly coffee extract and a chocolate extract. I also bought a bunch of apricots and am contemplating an apricot extract which would marry wonderfully in a custard based apricot ice cream…
I am having a blast making these extracts, the options are just endless.
Here are some sites with information:
- Why Almonds Don't Taste Like Almond Extract
- Why Natural Isn't Always Better – Almond Extract and Cyanide
- This Recipe is the Pits
- Homemade Extracts (Vanilla, Almond and Lemon)
Do you make any of your own extracts?