There are thousands of different types of hot sauce out there, with varying heat-levels determined by the Scoville scale. Hot sauce can be dramatically spicier just by switching the species of pepper used--from a Banana pepper (under 1,000 Scoville units) to the spiciest pepper in the world-- the Dragon's Breath pepper (2.48 million Scovilles)!
Spicy food is great, but maybe a near-death experience isn't always necessary. By growing your own hot sauce ingredients and making a customized batch, you choose the level of heat to determine your fate.
Have you ever looked at the ingredients in your favorite hot sauce? Store-bought brands can contain hidden sugars, excessive salt and preservatives. However, the growing trend is to eat locally-grown and locally-produced food to know exactly where it came from as well as the nutritional benefits it provides your body. Making your own hot sauce can help ensure that the ingredients are organic, clean, and void of hidden ingredients.
Hot peppers have a key active ingredient called capsaicin that makes them spicy, but also has many other health benefits. Capsaicin is a great source of antioxidants like vitamin C, it helps boost your metabolism, and studies have shown that they provide disease prevention from Type 2 Diabetes as a result of the insulin normalization powers. Who wouldn’t want these health benefits just from one plant?
One of the other amazing benefits of making homemade hot sauce is the chance to grow your own hot peppers! Peppers plants can grow in containers or garden beds, which makes it easy to plant them anywhere you desire. With proper care and watering, the the plants will produce a lot of peppers, so you can make homemade hot sauce, dry extra peppers to have longer-lasting spice, or even drinks for your health. Bring on the heat!
Hot sauce is a simple cooking creation that can be made to the creator's taste. In addition to your home grown hot peppers you can also grow the other key ingredients: carrots and onions. Since your peppers can grow in small spaces these ingredients can be planted conveniently near each other, so you have your own little hot sauce corner. The last two ingredients you’ll need once your home-growing is complete is vinegar and salt. Just five ingredients it’s that simple! And, you don’t have to worry about all those added sugars that can be found in the store-bought brands.
Harvesting to your taste buds is quite easy when it comes to growing your own hot pepper plant. As the peppers ripen, the color turns from green to red. Green being the mild-tasting pepper, and red being famous for its red hot flaming taste that some people crave. Growing your own pepper plants allows you to harvest at desired heat, so you are completely in control of your homemade hot sauce heat.
The pepper's color isn’t the only factor that helps customize the heat of your hot sauce. One of the best tips when making homemade hot sauce is to watch the amount of seeds you put into your recipe. The addition of more seeds brings on the heat, so it may be a good idea to enjoy your hot sauce with a nice glass of ice cold water (or milk!) in reach. But, if you choose to go for a milder taste then adding only half of the seeds can create a more subtle sauce that your taste buds can handle. The heat is your choice when you’re cooking up your own hot sauce concoction.