DIY Wednesday: Hot Sauce

ThisDIY Wednesday: Hot Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived post is compliments of my dad.  On Monday, we spent the whole day together apple picking at Royal Oaks Farm.  I love apple picking, it’s the perfect fall time activity.  Plus you get to eat delicious apples while you pick them.  It’s the best!

While we were getting lunch, I told him I needed to come up with a DIY post for today.  He gave me some good ideas, but hot sauce was the one that won for today.

DIY Wednesday: Hot Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived

I’m surprised I didn’t think of this one sooner.  A lot of people buy hot sauce and there are a ton of varieties at the store.  When I took a look at the ingredients on most hot sauces, I saw that it was really a simple product.  There are  of course different variations and levels of heat, but the basic ingredient list is short and sweet.  Which makes it a perfect product to make at home.

While I love making things at home to save money and know exactly what is going into my food, I also like playing around with flavors and ingredients.  Putting my little twist on common staples is fun and is a great way to learn how different ingredients go together or don’t.

This hot sauce came together quickly and I love how fresh it tastes.  Just a little will go a long way in your recipes and it will last you a long time.  Just a few tips for you while making this:

  • If you have any cuts or scrapes on your hands, WEAR GLOVES!  Trust me you do not want to be getting hot pepper juice in your wounds.
  • Do NOT rub your eyes/nose/mouth while making this unless you enjoy feeling like your face is on fire.
  • If you choose not to wear gloves, wash your hands REALLY well after you’re done.  Again, avoid the eye/nose/mouth region with your hands.

Long story short, protect your skin from the hot peppers or else you will feel the burn.  And not in a good way.

Hot SauceDIY Wednesday: Hot Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 10-15 habanero peppers
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 tsp roasted garlic or 3 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups water
  • juice of one lime
  • 2-3 tbsp white vinegar
  • salt to taste
  1. Take off the stems from the peppers and roughly chop.  If you like super spicy hot sauce, you can leave in the seeds.
  2. Heat a little oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, if you’re using fresh garlic add that in and saute for a few minutes.  Then add the carrot shreds and saute for 2 to 3 more minutes.
  3. Add the two cups of water and bring everything to a boil.  Cover and lower to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and take the pot off of the heat.  Add the peppers to the mixture and then stir in the vinegar and lime juice.  Add a little salt and stir again.
  5. Pour the whole mixture into a blender and puree until smooth.  Taste and add more salt if needed.
  6. Let the sauce cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge.  DIY Wednesday: Hot Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived

That’s it.  I can’t stress enough about protecting your hands and then not touching your face while making this.  Or any other sensitive areas…. OUCH!  But afterward you will get an awesome hot sauce that you made with your own, possibly slightly burned, hands!

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

I think cranberry sauce might be one of the most debated dishes at holiday meals.  Do you make it from scratch or get in the can?  Leave it tart or add copious amounts of sugar?  Eat it on it’s own or use it as a turkey topping?  Each family has their own preference and it’s usually steeped in tradition.  We’ve always done it this way so we’re going to keep doing it this way.

Delicious canned cranberries. Look at those rings!

Delicious canned cranberries. Look at those rings!

Well my cranberry palate has changed over the years.  When I was younger, I was all about the canned cranberries.  Nothing was better than opening the can and shaking it back and forth until the glob of cranberries, shaped exactly like the can rings and all, slid out onto the plate.  I loved slicing rings off of that glob and gobbling them up.  I’m sure the crazy amounts of high fructose syrup had nothing to do with that…  Then as I got older I really started to like the cranberry relish that my mom made every year.  It was a mix of cranberries, apples, oranges, and spices.  I liked the tartness of the cranberries with the sweet of the apple and I liked the simplicity of the dish.

Then my mother in law brought a new cranberry sauce to Thanksgiving this year and it was amazing.  It was a Guy Fieri recipe and it was a sweet and spicy sauce that was just awesome.  I had to control myself so I didn’t eat the whole container!  Luckily, I was able to snag some leftovers and got to enjoy the cranberries for a little longer.  But once they were gone, I knew that I needed to make some more.  So I looked up the recipe and realized that I had none of the ingredients other than the cranberries.  Since I didn’t want to make a trip to the store just to get the ingredients for one dish, I decided to see if I could make my own version.


With a minimal amount of ingredients, I was able to recreate the sweet and spicy sauce that I had fallen in love with.  This is a really easy dish to make and you can use this sauce for numerous other dishes.  I’ve mixed it into oatmeal, used it as a topping for fish, tried it on some cookies, and even just eaten it with a spoon.  It’s that versatile.  Ok, enough talking about cranberry sauce time to go make some!

Spicy Cranberry Sauce


*adapted from Guy Fieri’s Red Devil Cranberries

  • 1 cup whole cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (less if you don’t want it as spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp salt


1.  In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water and 2 tbsp honey to a boil and then immediately lower to a simmer.  Add in the cranberries and stir occasionally.  Keep stirring until the cranberries start to burst.

2.  Add in all the seasonings and stir to combine.  Keep the heat on low and cook until the sauce has reduced and started to thicken.

3.  Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste.  Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool.  As it cools it will thicken even more.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.


That’s it!  It’s a fairly simple process and the sauce keeps for awhile in the fridge.  Because cranberries are so abundant and cheap right now, you can make big batches and then freeze so you can have a delicious sauce for weeks to come.  I hope that you enjoy your weekend and I’ll see you on Monday!