Hibiscus is also called Roselle, and its colour is as red as the rose. It’s cool in essence and sour in taste, and can constrain the lungs to relieve a cough. This flower can also reduce blood pressure and assist with detoxification.
Hibiscus can be brewed in its dry form. The tea colour is like red wine and tastes sour. It’s rich in citric acid and tartaric acid, so people often add honey to enhance the taste.
Drinking hibiscus tea regularly can nourish the skin and lighten freckles. It also helps digestion and blood circulation. Note that if the water temperature is too high while brewing, the vitamins in the flowers can be destroyed. Brew at around 60°C for 5 minutes. People with excessive stomach acid, cold spleens or stomachs, as well as pregnant women should avoid this flower.
Hibiscus can also add flare to entrees and appetizers. Garnish fresh fruits and vegetables with hibiscus flowers for a pleasant aroma, as well as a unique taste for those brave souls willing to try it.
Hibiscus Flower and Fruit Salad (serves two):
Hibiscus Champagne Vinegar:
⅓ cup dried hibiscus flowers
150ml champagne vinegar
Mix and let sit 4 to 7 days.
Hibiscus Champagne Vinaigrette:
⅓ cup hibiscus champagne vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
⅓ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pour everything into a bowl. Stir well.
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
½ red leaf lettuce
2 figs, cut into 8 pieces
½ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
¼ cup fresh mint, chiffonade
8 yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
40g feta cheese, cut into small pieces
Put the lettuce, basil, and mint in a large bowl, sprinkle with figs, cherry tomatoes, hazelnuts, and feta cheese. Finally, pour on the hibiscus champagne vinaigrette and toss well.