Even if you’re not a huge fan of hot peppers, this recipe will make you reevaluate their worth.
I’ve always had pepper bushes growing on my land and sometimes I would use half of the tiny, hot pepper in a soup or stew. I never knew what to do with so many, tiny bird peppers called Hawaiian Hots that grow abundantly in my garden. At this rate of consumption, I was wasting them. In addition, I had a cupboard full of hot sauces that I bought at the store. It finally hit me to make my own hot pepper condiment. Not only would I save money, I could avoid the toxic additives in commercial sauces, and it made sense to put all these red beauties I was growing organically to use.
Many Hawaiian homes keep pepper or chili water on their table. It’s also found for sale in many grocery stores.
This recipe is so easy. Nothing complicated about it and you can make it in just minutes. What you will need is a sterile jar (just boil in water for 5-10 minutes). You can reuse old vinegar or hot sauce bottles or any glass bottle that liquid can easily pour out of.
Use only quality salt like Himalayan or sea salt. A lot of hot pepper water recipes call for 5-7 peppers. I like to use 1/2 pint at least! You can add other ingredients like fresh herbs, garlic cloves, turmeric, ginger or a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar too.
Fill your bottle with water until it’s just about full. Pour this in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. In the meantime, start removing the stems from your peppers and put them into the bottle. Wash your hands with soap after you are done handling the peppers or wear gloves.
Spoon in your salt. (to taste but at least 1 tablespoon of salt.) You can also smash a garlic clover or ginger root and add it into the bottle. If you want to add extra flavor add a spring or two of your favorite herbs. When the water is hot, using a funnel, pour it carefully into the bottle. Fill to the top and the peppers with rise with the water level. To avoid getting burned do not attempt to shake the bottle until it is completely cool. It’s okay if the salt is not quite dissolved.
Once cool and for the next several days, give the bottle a shake. You will see the clear liquid start to get a little color as the peppers break down. It will take a few days to a week for the flavor of the hot peppers to be dispersed into the liquid. I always keep a few bottles in various stages of age in my cupboard. Also, the older the pepper water is the hotter it becomes. I often add a little more water and salt to an almost empty bottle to revitalize it.
When the liquid has melded with the hot peppers you can start using it. It’s great on eggs, rice, beans etc. Anything you put store-bought hot sauce on.
Not only will it spice up your food, there are many health benefits to eating hot peppers. Some are headache relief, arthritis pain relief, anti-inflammatory, gastric relief, cancer fighting, antioxidants, plus fat burners and weight loss helpers. Read more at this link: Benefits of Hot Peppers.
Birds like chickens, parrots and turkeys like to eat the peppers right off the bush. They can’t feel the heat and it’s a good way to help them get rid of any intestinal parasites your feathered friends might have.
Since I started making this hot pepper water, I have been drinking a cap full each day. I definitely can feel the health benefits of it and will continue to drink it daily.
So, no excuses, start bottling up those Hawaiian hots or any small hot peppers and making your own hot pepper water. Put it out on the table when guest arrive, you’ll probably be surprised as a lot of people will not only add it to their food but drink it straight.