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Keep your pepper’s cool

Cooking peppers reduces their heat, as capsaicin is a volatile oil. To maintain the heat in our habaneros, we will “ceviche” them with vinegar and lime juice. By this, I mean that the acids in the vinegar and lime juice will help reduce any microorganisms in your pepper puree without having to cook the peppers. This technique will also help your sauce last longer in the refrigerator.

Habaneros can be up to 140 times hotter than jalapeños, so use care when handling these babies. Fortunately, this recipe does not call for any chopping of the peppers, so I don’t typically worry about gloves.

This hot sauce was inspired by the fruits of the Caribbean while keeping a traditional carrot base for added flavor, color, and Vitamin A. The fruit and maple syrup provide depth with a sweet heat.


10 habanero peppers, stems removed

1 large jalapeño, stem removed

2 cloves garlic, peeled, ends removed

1 cup mango and/or papaya, fresh or frozen

1 large carrot, peeled and chunked

1 cup water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp maple syrup (optional)


  1. Place the jalapeño, garlic, fruit, and carrot in a food processor. Puree until finely diced. Add the water and puree until smooth. Transfer to a 2-quart pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and maple syrup. Cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Rinse the food processor and puree the habanero peppers until diced. Add the vinegar and lime juice and puree until smooth. Add the boiling mixture and puree until well combined and a smooth consistency.
  3. Immediately package in sterile jars or bottles. The sauce should keep in the refrigerator for 3 months.






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