I read Michael Pollan’s Food Rules a few years ago, and some of the rules stuck with me and have become a way of life. So it’s pretty typical for me to consider a few basic things when walking the aisles of the grocery store. Would grandma recognize this food? Can I pronounce all these ingredients? Those are my top two qualifications before buying anything. Pretty simple questions we should all be asking ourselves.
So I was shocked when I was reading my new cookbook, Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good”, and she mentioned that Sriracha had preservatives in it. I never even thought about looking at the label of my favorite condiment. It’s been a countertop staple for me for at least the last five years, if not longer. It seemed so fresh and pure. I got duped. Everyone’s favorite “rooster sauce isn’t as perfect as we all thought.”
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not completely awful for you. It’s just not as perfect as it should be. The natural ingredients in Sriracha offer really fantastic health benefits, like the capsaicin from red chili peppers, which helps boost metabolism and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Eating chili peppers is also believed to boost your endorphins, which makes you feel happier. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out Foodbeast’s blog post for some more fun and impressive Sriracha facts.
The truly bad parts of store bought Sriracha are the high sodium content and the processed sugars it contains, as well as these three preservatives: potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite, and xantham gum. Does xantham gum sound as gross to everyone reading this as it does to me?
So this weekend I tried making Lee’s Sriracha recipe out of my new book and I am so, so happy with the result. There are plenty of Sriracha recipes available online to try, but I won’t be experimenting any further, this one fits the bill. Gwyneth promises this lasts for up to six months in the fridge, but that’s the ironic thing about preservatives in products such as this, why bother? They don’t last that long in our homes anyway.
I haven’t invested in a Vitamix or high powered food processor yet, so as a result mine isn’t as smooth as the sriracha I’m used to, but the flavor is spot-on, so a chunkier sauce will just have to do for now.