Sweet + Spicy Chili Sauce (vegan + gluten-free) will bring your dish the heat but leave your taste buds feeling sweet. It's naturally vegan and gluten-free but also free of preservatives and additives. Whipped together in just 10 minutes, this sauce will kick your favorite store-bought sauce off the shopping list. This recipe makes 16 oz.
THE PERFECT HOMEMADE SWEET + SPICY CHILI SAUCE
It's my go-to sauce for everything! Of course, it will work great with your typical Asian-style dishes, but I also find it pairs well with veggies, like my steamed bok choy.
The options are limitless! If you're a gardener with an abundance of peppers, you will enjoy making a large batch and freezing it, which will last up to three months.
MILD, MEDIUM, HOT!
This recipe is customizable. If you like heat, add more peppers, any red-hot chili pepper will do; try your favorite. I chose Fresno and added three. You can leave the hot peppers out altogether and mix in red pepper flakes; this will leave your sauce sweeter with only a little heat. For years I was not able to handle ANY heat. My tongue would be on fire - and I thought, how can anyone enjoy this?! Then I moved to the southwest... all of a sudden, I CRAVED heat. My favorite sweet chili sauces were all too sweet. Finding a hot sauce without preservatives or additives was difficult. Cue the creation of sweet + spicy chili sauce!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HOT PEPPERS
Hot peppers, especially the red ones, help rebuild stomach tissue and stimulate the peristaltic motion of the intestines. This is essential for proper digestion, a win-win!
NO ADDITIVES OR PRESERVATIVES
As mentioned above, almost all sauces sitting on the shelf contain preservatives and additives, something I avoid/limit in my kitchen. I chose all organic ingredients; if that's not an option for you, make sure to wash your veggies before cooking. I make a mixture of 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon baking soda, let them soak for 10 minutes, and rinse afterward. When I started my healing journey, I wasn't aware of how common preservatives were in my favorite foods. Once I started looking at labels, there was a list of everyday grocery items I wasn't interested in consuming any longer.
Making my sauces homemade was the best alternative, and honestly, it feels empowering to be able to make what I want and what I think my body and family deserve. Spending time connecting with the foods I eat has been a game-changer for my health. My goal is to spark that connection in others and bring clean ingredients into your kitchen.
KEEP IT SWEET
There are many options when adding your sweetener. I used coconut sugar; unrefined is the best option. You can also use Monk fruit powder (or Lo Han fruit extract), stevia, maple, or agave syrup. I haven't tried this, but I bet you can throw a date or two in when you're blending the ingredients, and you'll achieve a good, sweet result.
As always, enjoy! If you make this recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving a comment or tagging #BotanicalBarbara on the socials!
[lt_recipe name="Sweet + Spicy Chili Sauce " servings="8" prep_time="5M" cook_time="5M" total_time="10M" summary="Sweet and spicy chili sauce will bring your dish the heat but leave your taste buds feeling sweet. It's naturally vegan and gluten-free but also free of preservatives and additives. " print="yes" image="https://botanicalbarbara.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/DSCF2168-200x300.jpg" ingredients="½ cup rice wine vinegar ;½ cup coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute);½ cup coconut sugar (sub any sweetener of choice);½ cup extra virgin olive oil ;1 red pepper ;3 garlic cloves;1-3 Fresno chili peppers (based on desired heat);1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (plus 2 tablespoon water to dissolve);½ teaspoon of salt;½ cup filtered water ;Optional: 2 tablespoon red pepper flakes " ]Clean peppers, remove stems and seeds, and slice into pieces. ;Place peppers, garlic, rice vinegar, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, salt, and water into the blender. Blend to your desired consistency. I blend into finer pieces. ;Pour mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.;Add 2 tablespoon of water to the arrowroot powder and mix until dissolved. Next, stir into chili sauce and simmer for 1-2 minutes until your sauce has thickened to the desired consistency (it will become thicker as it cools).;Option to add red pepper flakes to mix. ;Lastly, pour it into a clean container or small bottle. Seal airtight and let cool. Lasts for one week in the fridge. You may freeze for the future, lasting about three months.<br><br>NOTES<br><br>Red Chili Peppers: I used Fresno but any hot pepper will do. Go with your preference, add more or less for mild, medium, and hot! <br><br>Option to add red pepper flakes. You can substitute dried red pepper flakes for fresh chili peppers, you won't have the heat, but it will be sweet!<br><br>Finally, I prefer coconut as my sweetener, but you can use agave syrup, maple syrup, or erythritol/monk fruit. For any syrup option, about two tablespoons blended with the other ingredients will work perfectly. [/lt_recipe]