It’s chilli time and things are getting hot!

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Hey guys, we must confess to not being huge chilli fans but they are everywhere at the moment so we thought it’d be handy to get some info to you on these spicy little numbers, how to make an awesome chilli sauce that’s damn tasty (even for chilli wuss’ like us!)

We as a species – humans that is – have apparently been consuming chillies for thousands of years and research indicates that earliest varieties are from Mexico. Since then they’ve naturalized across the planet – some even forming the basis for cultural and culinary identity.

Chillies fall into the nightshade family Solanaceae and the genus Capsicum. There are 3 main groups bell peppers, sweet peppers and hot peppers – chillies fall into the latter group.

They make great companions to plant with cabbages, tomatoes and lettuces and you can even make a totally natural insecticide with them too.

The active ingredients that give chillies their intensity is capsaicin (and a few other related chemicals which collectively are called capsaicinoids). When we eat these, they bind with heat sensing pain receptors in our mouth and throat which in turn send signals to the brain which in turn responds by increasing the heart rate, perspiration rate and releases endorphins – you don’t need to go out and eat the hottest chillies to get this effect, even milder chillies have capsaicinoids…

So, we don’t profess to be medical professionals but have read a fair bit on the health benefits of chillies. These include anything from being good for use with inflammation to natural pain relief, cardiovascular health to immune system boosters. One thing that does come up time and again is that chillies are high in vitamin C and if this is the case, they can’t be bad for you at this time of the year.

A great little sweet chilli sauce recipe (all kudos to Jules @ AndSomeCreative for this one)…

Ingredients:

  • 100gr chillies
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Thumb of fresh ginger
  • 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 red pepper
  • 250gr cherry tomatoes

Method:

  1. Soak chillies overnight in salt water to remove any nasty’s.
  2. Roast whole red pepper until skin blisters, remove from oven and cool.
  3. Prepare chillies by roughly chopping them and removing seeds (if you like your chilli hot, leave a few seeds behind – not too many though!) – #handytip – use latex gloves for this.
  4. Heat oil in medium saucepan and add crushed garlic and finely chopped onion sauté for a minute or two (do not burn).
  5. Add chillies to garlic and onion mix and let simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Add fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and ginger.
  7. Boil for 10 minutes.
  8. Roughly chop tomatoes and red pepper, add and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Allow this to cool completely.
  10. Transfer to blender and blend to desired consistency.
  11. Sterilize some jars by pouring boiling water over them (and their lids).
  12. Transfer the cooled mixture to the jars, tighten lid turn upside down to help seal, enjoy!!!

Let us know how you go. All the best from us at OwnGrown HQ, chat soon!