Category Archives: Fruit

Cherry Extract

Homemade Cherry Extract Using Vodka or Bourbon

Cherry ExtractI've been making my own homemade vanilla extract for years. I've also experimented with Apricot Extract and now I would like to share Cherry Extract!

I started three jars of Cherry Extract:

  1. Bourbon whiskey with cherries and vanilla [affiliate link] beans
  2. Bourbon with cherries
  3. Vodka with cherries

I am totally loving 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.

All three jars were tucked away in a dark cupboard and stayed there for several months until I brought them out into the light of day to see how they turned out.

The resulting extract was really good. I have a friend who likes to make mixed drinks and she loves the cherries!

Cherry Extract in Vodka

This foray into making extract started when my son mentioned almond extract. I had never used it before and barely 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 [affiliate link], 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 am having a blast making my own extracts, the options are just endless.

Here's how I made my cherry extract:

  • 1 cup vodka or bourbon
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and cut in half
  1. Place the cherries into the alcohol and seal.
  2. Place in a dark cupboard for three months or longer.
  3. Enjoy!

Here are some sites with information:

Do you make any of your own extracts?

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Drying Blueberries using a Dehydrator

Last week my husband did some work for a customer and they had several cases of blueberries and offered him two cases. That meant he came home with 24 pints of blueberries.

Luckily I'd been using the Dehydrator to make beef jerky and dried banana slices and crispy almonds [affiliate link] for our upcoming trip; otherwise, I would probably have not even considered the option of drying the berries.

I found in my dehydrator that I can dry eight pints at once, if I'm really careful to line up all the blueberries carefully.

Dehydrating Blueberries

Here they are after they are all dried out. Some of the littler ones were so small they were falling through the cracks.

Drying Blueberries in a Dehydrator

As you can see they shrink down to half the size.

First I dumped each pint of berries into a colander and rinsed with water. Then I put a kitchen dish towel on a cookie sheet and dumped the blueberries onto the dish towel. I handled every single blueberry because a few were mushy and I didn't want to put mushy blueberries in to be dried.

When the blueberries had been in the dehydrator for twelve hours, I rotated the shelves and switched them all up so they would be in a different position.

When they were done, there were a few of the biggest ones that weren't done. So I ended up keeping those out from the ones I was planning to store because I figure they will go bad and ruin the others.

This is the first time I've dried fruit of any kind. My son has made beef jerky in the past, and that is the only thing we've used the dehydrator for until now.

I was thinking I should dry some carrots and squash and other vegetables to go along with the beef jerky, maybe I could brew a pot of water and pour over the dried items and make some kind of soup. I would probably have to cook the vegetables prior to drying them. At least partially cook them.

In the past I have just frozen any excess fruit like this, but since I'm not eating much fruit on GAPS, I didn't think that would be the best idea since it doesn't last forever in the freezer.

I also got a chance to use the FoodSaver that my boss gave me! I only had a short length of the plastic left but I was able to make a few packets of vacuum sealed trail mix (made with my crunchy almonds, dried blueberries, dried banana slices and dried apple slices).

Oh, and I found an Excalibur Dehydrator on Craigslist for only fifty bucks! But I guess someone got to it before me because the seller never responded to my email or phone call. Darn. I am so tempted to invest in one. I have heard they are a lot nicer than the round ones because you can lay everything out straight, plus the fan is in the back pulling from all of the shelves, and there are nine shelves! Thirteen square feet of drying area.

Do you have a food dehydrator? Do you use it regularly?

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.