UPDATE: did you know, this is my most searched for recipe on the blog! Everyday lots of people search for a sugar free sweet chilli sauce recipe and come across this one. I hope you enjoy it! Did you also know that this recipe is in my book: What Annabel Cools: Real Food that will make you flourish, together with 160 other pages of beautiful gluten, grain & dairy free recipes, tips, tricks and useful information about cooking in a paleo inspired way. All for only $30. Check it out.
I grew up with parents who love to garden. Mum always has pretty fresh flowers in the garden and in vases all throughout the house. As I kid I often used to pick a little posy to take as a gift, complete with the 80s paper doily to ‘frame the posy’. Actually I was quite a good little florist, particularly after acquiring my florist badge in Girl Guides.
Fast forward 25 years and I’m afraid, whilst I love a pretty garden and love flowers, I’m terrible at growing them, and to be honest, living in Queensland there aren’t too many ‘pretty floral’ gardens – at least not in the same way as when I grew up in Sydney. I’ve been known to kill cactus, so my thumb is not exactly green.
Given all this, I am particularly proud of my increasing ‘edible’ garden. I’ve had many failed attempts over the last 13 years of marriage to grow, even a few basic herbs. My green thumb mother in law will attest to having persisted in trying to help overcome my obvious shortcomings. Finally in the last year or so, I am proud to say there is a little green on my thumb, and lots of green in my garden, and most of that is edible! I’ve currently got lemons, limes, ruby grapefruit, kaffir lime, lemongrass, mint, passionfruit, tomatoes, rocket, basil, thai basil, thyme, parsley, chillies & am even attempting garlic & ginger!
Here is my garden – fruit trees:
and veggie patch:
My chilli haul:
Well, as you may know from a recent Instagram post, the chilli bush has gone nuts and I’ve had LOTS of chillies sitting in a bag in my fridge waiting for cooking inspiration. I decided today (after several different suggestions of what to do with them) that I’d make some sweet chilli sauce with all those chillies. Given my recent sugar detox, I scoured the internet for some ‘healthier’ options and decided on using a combination of dates and honey as the sweetener. The end result is certainly not super sweet, so if sugar is not a concern for you (then it should be!!) you could add a bit more honey or maple syrup.
Be sure to keep your hands a long way from your eyes – best to wear plastic gloves I think whilst chopping the chillies and making this recipe. Also have the exhaust on high if cooking on the stove top or put the Thermomix near the window if using that.
- 6 garlic cloves
- 5cm piece of ginger, peeled
- 120g long red chillies (10-15 chillies)
- 10 medjool (fresh) dates
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1-2 cups water
- Thermomix version:
- Place all ingredients (1 cup of water) into the thermomix.
- Blitz for 20 seconds building up to speed 10 or until smooth.
- Cook on Varoma speed 2 for 20mins with the cup out and the basket resting on the lid to prevent splatter. The aromas are very strong, so it's best to place the Thermomix by an open window or under the exhaust.
- If you wish to thin the sauce out, scrape down the sides and add up to another 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth.
- Place into clean jars and store in the fridge.
- Stove top version:
- Place all ingredients (1 cup of water) into a food processor/blender.
- Blitz for 20 seconds on building up to speed 10 or until smooth.
- Pour into saucepan, bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 mins. The sauce should thicken. The aromas are very strong, so it's best to have the exhause on high.
- If you wish to thin the sauce out, scrape down the sides and add up to another 1 cup of water. Stir until smooth.
- Pour into jars and store in the fridge.
I used a tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce, 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos, 1 teaspoon fish sauce and about 2-3 tablespoons of water as a thai style dipping sauce or dressing.