Friday, June 15, 2012

Success with the Mint Extract(how to pics also)

I am so excited!  Yesterday I tried out my new(to me) Rival electric ice cream maker.  I purchased it at a thrift store for $4.  Off to a good start there.  By the way this thing is so neat.  Uses no rock salt or ice, you just freeze the base. Anyway, I digress....Where was I ?  Oh Yes, Ice cream maker.  I decided to kill two bird with one stone and try out my Mint Extract to see how it did.  I made mint chocolate chip ice cream. It worked!  It tasted like Mint choc chip ice cream.  The boys want more mint so next time I will add maybe a teaspoon instead of half teaspoon.  My Ice cream maker only makes 1 quart, but you can get one that make 1.5 quarts.  I figured the cost of my "all natural" ice cream. It comes to $1.84 for all natural mint choc chip ice cream.  Had I made just vanilla it would have been a whopping .96 for 2 quarts.  Considering the cost of 1.5 quarts of Aldi brand mint choc chip ice cream is 2.69.  I am way ahead.  Cost per ounce of homemade=.029 or 3 cents an ounce, while the Aldi brand comes out at .059 or 6 cent an ounce.  Way cool!  No pun intended.
So with that being said, since extract was successful, I wanted to share what I did:

What you will need:
Vodka (80 proof. Not for drinking now!)
Mint leaves
glass jars( I used wide mouth pint jar

First off you want to take your mint leaves off the branches and wash them well under cool water.  Let them dry completely before you start.
While you are waiting on your leaves to dry, go ahead and take your jars and have them in boiling water for 20 minutes.  I also boiled my lids and rings so everything was sterile.  It is important to keep the work area clean.
Once your leaves are dry, chop them coarsely.  This give a lot of area for the vodka to work on extracting the oils.   Once your jars are done, fill them about half full of the chopped mint.
Then you want to take the vodka and pour it over the leaves.  Leave about 1 inch head space.
Then top with your lid and store in a dark area for a week.  I dated mine so I could make sure I left it long enough.
I ended up with 20 oz of mint extract.  That is worth about 10 bottles of extract at the store.  Walmart sells the mint extract for 2.98 for 2 oz.  This cost me the cost of prep and the vodka.  So about $8.  Which compares to Walmart=.80 for 2 oz.  Nice.  I have plenty more mint where that came from.  I am thinking I will add more mint to my extract and let it steep another week just to strengthen it a little, but all in all I would say this is a good investment, and so easy to do.
Okay, I have to go get my boys out to the garden to work.  Myself as well.  I get help Yay!

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