Here at the No Acre Homestead, we never have too many hot peppers, so it surprises me to hear that a lot of people just don’t feel the hot pepper love. But hot peppers are so easy to grow, and such attractive plants, that even if only used as ornamental annuals, they deserve a place in your yard.
And as long as you have landscaping that is edible, you might as well figure out how to eat it, right? Hot peppers have so many health benefits that it seems darn irresponsible not to use them somehow.
The hottest part of peppers is in the ribs and seeds. Take those out, and you can add a mild and flavorable heat to salads, pasta, and stir fry. True heat-seekers will leave all the pepper parts whether eaten raw or cooked.
It’s easy to store peppers, too. If you have the space, just lay them out on a wire cooling rack for a few weeks until they crisp. Pop them in the dehydrator if you have one. Or thread them like beads and hang from the ceiling. The key is to keep them dark and dry while the moisture evaporates. Discard any that develop dark spots or mold.
One of our favorite ways to use or peppers in in homemade hot sauce….surprisingly easy. Here’s how to do it:
Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce
In a medium sauce pan, gently heat about 20 chopped hot peppers until just soft.
Add about 2 cups white vinegar. (Stand back and let the fumes begin!)
Purée until smooth with one of those nifty hand blenders.
Add salt to taste.
Store in clean glass containers up to three months.
That’s it! Easy, right? Once you know the basic recipe, you can customize by adding sweeteners or herbs, or even other vegetables. And if you want to make sauce for hot wings, heat equal parts of the pepper sauce with butter, stir until well mixed, and then toss with your cooked wings.
Now don’t you wish you had more hot peppers to play with?
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