Thursday, September 10, 2015

Homemade Sriracha Hot Sauce Recipe (sugar-free)

After a long blogging break, I'm back with an amazing hot sauce recipe for you to make and enjoy for many months. I grew a lot of hot peppers in my garden this year, in fact my garden has been extremely bountiful this year! Up until recently, I've sort of taken my garden for granted. I had no idea how healing gardening could be….until it was all I could do. You see, on June 2nd, just after returning from a functional medicine conference and after two years of non-stop work, I suffered an adrenal crash. Taking care of five young children, updating and publishing a book, developing an online program, co-authoring a new book, and being in charge of the development of a new website and book launch proved to be too much.

Two things that have helped tremendously with the healing process (other than totally slowing down, going to bed early, taking certain supplements, diet, and Epsom salt baths) are gardening and staying off the computer. Being in the fresh air, having the sun beat down on my skin, feeling my bare feet in the soil, and eating nutrient-dense raw vegetables and fruits everyday straight from the garden (your adrenals need a lot of vitamin C to function properly) has been extremely therapeutic for me. In fact, it would be wonderful therapy for anyone suffering from adrenal fatigue or adrenal burnout. The little bit of energy I put in, I got back tenfold in edible bounty. Gardening has helped to reset my cortisol rhythm and nourish me, whereas too much computer time (especially at night) along with too many stressors has led to a dysfunctional cortisol-melatonin cycle. To help heal and regain balance, I’ve also spent a lot of time with my children outside all summer …at the lake, river, ocean, and mountain. Nature is powerful medicine. I encourage those of you who are dealing with a chronic illness to get outside for a walk in the woods, spend time at a beach every week, and take some time to be in your garden everyday (you can start a garden this fall if you don’t have one already).

I just love going into my garden and harvesting the abundance of vegetables growing there, and then preserving them so we can enjoy their flavors, colors, and nutrients all winter long. If you have too many hot peppers, then consider making this hot sauce recipe. It's a perfect way to preserve them! If you don't grow your own hot peppers, then check out your local Farmer's Market; they are usually brimming with all kinds of peppers this time of year!

According to this resource, sriracha sauce is named after the coastal city, Si Racha, in eastern Thailand. Sriracha is used as a dipping sauce in Thai cuisine, and is also used frequently in Vietnamese cuisine as a condiment for pho, noodle dishes, and spring rolls. Of course, we use it on everything! Traditional sriracha sauce uses sugar in its ingredients. Instead, I use sweet red peppers to cut the spiciness of the hot peppers. The sweet peppers also add body and flavor to the sauce.

Homemade Sriracha Sauce

Be sure to use hot peppers that are red; if you use hot green peppers your sauce will be brown instead of bright red. Use this sauce to garnish soups, stir-frys, scrambled eggs, baked potatoes, cooked beans….and the list goes on! I recently used it to make Sriracha-Orange Glazed Salmon….which was amazing! Tom and I use it on just about everything. This recipe is a modification of the Cayenne Hot Pepper Sauce in my Nourishing Meals cookbook (in the Preserving the Harvest chapter). I've also been making lacto-fermented hot sauce for a few years….totally raw and full of beneficial bacteria, though it takes a bit of time for fermentation to take place. The following recipe can be made and enjoyed immediately!

1 pound fresh hot red chili peppers (padron, cayenne, serrano, jalapeno, cherry bomb, Thai)
1 pound sweet red peppers, seeded
4 to 6 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups raw apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 to 3 teaspoons sea salt

Cut the stem off of each of the hot peppers and place into a high-powered blender. There is no need to wear gloves because you are not opening the pepper up to remove the seeds. So easy!

Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend on high until very smooth.

Pour the sauce into a 3- to 6-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until thickened. Add more water for a thinner sauce and simmer for a few more minutes.

Pour into clean glass jars and store in your refrigerator for up to 6 months. You can also pour the sauce into small sterilized canning jars (4- or 8-ounce) and can in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Then store jars in your pantry for up to a year.

Yield: about 4 cups

p.s.- I plan to share more about healing from adrenal fatigue in future posts, plus the nourishing recipes that are helping me to recover….so stay tuned.

More Healthy Sauce Recipes:
Fresh Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Fresh Thai Green Curry Sauce

Subscribe to this blog via Email
Follow me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Instagram

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Dear Ali - Your hot sauce recipe looks delicious - something that the men in my life would seriously enjoy. Thank you for sharing your recipe and giving us advice for healing adrenals. I am so sorry to read of your experience with this. Praying for continued healing and sending my love to you and your sweet family.

  2. I am quite happy you're back! I figured that simply having five children would be enough to not have time for blogging and recipe sharing! I mean, after making breakfast, lunches, dinner, and snacks for our family of four, and then getting everyone to bed at a reasonable time, it's like most of the day flew by. Phew! I am glad you had some nice time in the garden outside with your kids--that sounds like a delightful way to recover. We just moved to Hawaii and being outside here all the time is simply a joy. I am looking forward to planting my garden here. It's a good reminder for all of us that we can't do everything and our health has to be our first priority. I am seeing lots of health food bloggers backing down a little to re-prioritize their own health. You have quite the library of recipes to keep your most loyal fans busy :-)

  3. Ali, so glad you are feeling better. I am well acquainted with adrenal fatigue, more like crashing! I agree wholeheartedly with your advice, for I have done the same things to feel better. I am so excited about your Sriracha Sauce recipe. We love that flavor around here. Gardner's Market tomorrow, hoping for peppers. Many thanks and glad you are feeling better.

  4. Ali, I'm looking forward to learning more about adrenal exhaustion with you. I think this is a condition of our modern world that many women suffer from and don't know why they're depleted, and edgy, yet don't sleep well at night. Share as the time allows without adding stress to your own life. I always love trying your recipes. Peppers were so abundant in B'ham this year! Perfect timing.

  5. Aw! You know what's funny.... I actually found your blog in the first place because I was on the email list for Dr. Christianson's Adrenal Reset diet. Actually.... I was diagnosed with arthritis in the spring (from having been pregnant and bending over all the time to help children I guess!), quit coffee ( because though I really really loved it, it did not love my adrenals), found Dr. Christianson's diet after an impulse purchase of a ,"Woman's World," magazine, (the words, "adrenal supporting soup," hooked me), and signed up for his email just to get the free cookbook. Actually, I was kind of annoyed i felt like I was getting spam that I was promised not to get, then he recommended your cookbook and I fell in love with it.

    The only problem is I've been spending way too much time in the kitchen, so I've been researching meal planning because I'd like to spend more time not in the kitchen ( we need time to do school too!) with my children and if I have a plan, I'm more comfortable letting them help when I am in the kitchen.

    I am hypoglycemic, so I noticed in your book you didn't recommend protein every meal, but I have found i do much better if I eat protein every meal ( it doesn't have to be meat), especially for breakfast. I've also learned to carry a protein snack with me in case I get dizzy or don't have a chance to eat, but I haven't really had an episode since i started the ARD diet. I also lost ten pounds, which wasn't my goal(my goal was just to feel better), but the scale only goes down if I go to bed on time! I think shakes are too expensive though, so I'm curious to see if you'll come up with some balanced breakfasts. I particularly worry about my kids eating something balanced. My 6.5 year old is extremely sensitive and I've noticed she'll go to sleep on time if i give her more protein in the morning and more carbs at night. Otherwise she can't go to sleep till 11:30 or so.

    I think his advice about being thankful and not obsessing about food was a good reminder too. Even eating healthy and worrying about our kids eating healthy could become a source of stress. ( As my husband pointed out when he saw me spending so much time in the kitchen.) Proverbs 17:21 even says, "A merry heart does good like good medicine."

    Anyway, I hope you feel better, and when you do, I'd love to know if guys are going to republish the Nourishing Meals cookbook... I went to buy it just as went out of print...At one point, Amazon wanted $300 for it! Heh : D


  6. I can't wait for more blog posts. I'm going through adrenal fatigue too (pregnant with 8th baby) and have been using your cookbook for all our meals but still feel like I'm missing something. I can't wait to read more about your journey.

  7. Hi Ali - I don't know if I've ever commented before, but I love your blog and your books. Actually, I've talked to Tom as well for some nutrition counseling a few years back and have learned so much from both of you!

    I'm sorry to hear about the adrenal issues. It's hard when our bodies don't feel their best - I know from a lot of personal experience. I'm actually in the process of taking yoga teacher training right now and if you're into yoga at all, we just learned that doing back bends towards the end of your practice followed directly by twists on the floor is great for your adrenal glands. The back bends (bridge pose or full back bend) slow the flow of blood and oxygen to the adrenals, then the twists allow for a rush of blood back in. It's great for adrenal gland support / cortisol management. We literally just talked about this on Sunday so I thought I would share :)

    Take care!!!

  8. Would love to slow down and play with the kids--what a dream come true--but as a single mom (babydaddy vanished) it's all on me. Which is why I have adrenal fatigue and soon to be crash. There is nothing I can cut out and absolutely no help. You are blessed to be able to enjoy your kids. Hope you are feeling even better soon!
    And thanks for the yoga suggestion, Pavla...ever since i was small I have always loved backbends! I think I've always been adrenally challenged as my family was perfectionistic. I've come such a long way at 50yos now but when theres only 24 hrs in the day, something just had to give, eh?

  9. Also, lacto-fermented hot sauce sounds amazing! I've been making all our mayo now and once or twice have done the lacto-ferment of that. It's great to have stuff last forever too, not just for the cultures. With mayo I make only a little tho usually but hot sauce I'd love to make a few quarts. That would keep us going maybe a year (I'm a mega-cook queen lol) and I can't always get peppers etc.
    In my dream life I can (wild-)ferment ALL sorts of things and afford grassfed meats and raw dairy and lots and lots of veggies....

  10. Actually, the nourishing meals cookbook is now up to 1,350 dollars on Amazon!

  11. Would love to make this recipe, but garlic is on my "avoid" list. Any thoughts on a good substitute for this recipe?

  12. I'm sad to hear that you had an adrenal issue. That's tough. I'm glad you were able to take a break and reconnect. Srirachi is so popular nowadays. Will have to mark this recipe for the next family get together. My husbands side likes spicy. Will remember your health in my prayers. Take care.

  13. Looks like a delicious hot sauce. The taste would be more intensifying if the bell peppers are fresh and grown organically.

  14. Made it and love it! I made a double batch in September and I am down to three jars. I will be making a lot more next time. Thanks Ali for a great recipe!


Join the Conversation!

I'd love to hear your feedback with my recipes. If you make any changes or substitutions then please share what you did so others can learn.

If you have a question about a recipe, please leave it here. I will do my best to answer it when I have time.

Comment moderation is in place. Your comment will be only be visible here once I publish it.

Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)