Flowers are very popular when adding garnish to foods compared to adding flavor. This is because most people expect them to just look good compared to providing anything else to the dish. However, this definitely is not the case with dried hibiscus flowers.
While other flowers are found in many restaurants and eateries due to their appearance, dried hibiscus flowers are the heavyweights when it comes to the herbal benefits (and flavors!) of flowers.
The flowers release a form of a tart when steeped in cold or hot water. This tart has a flavor similar to cranberry with a red-violet color. The color looks like a cabernet.
Those of you who have ever tried the famous Red Zinger Tea have tasted tangy hibiscus. The hibiscus in this tea is blended with other ingredients that have rose hips, wild cherry bark, and peppermint.
The petals used in this tea come from the hibiscus flower that is sold as a spice in most markets. In different markets, they have different names such as sorrel in the West Indies, karkady in the Middle East, and flor de Jamaica in the Hispanic markets. But how do you cook with the dried hibiscus flowers?
Cooking With Dried Hibiscus Flowers
The leaves, roots, fruits, seeds, and calyces of the hibiscus plant can be used to prepare different beverages and foods. As discussed above, the most common ways of consuming dried hibiscus flowers are in tea.
Sifted hibiscus flowers are steeped in water to get a tart with a certain type of flavor and a red-violet color. In some parts of the world, the product has to be sweetened since it is very sour.
Dried hibiscus flowers are also used to produce pectin that is used when preserving fruits. It is also used for infusions when boiled to hydrate it.
Where Can You Use Dried Hibiscus Flowers?
1. When Making a Punch
Mixing sugar with iced hibiscus tea only makes a highly refreshing and floral drink without many ingredients. This is where the flowers are used most of the time.
You can also use dried hibiscus flowers when making a tropical punch with a dimension of tart. If you look at most of the recipes used when making Agua Fresca which is an amazing Mexican beverage, they all have dried hibiscus flowers, sugar, and citrus juice.
You can swap water in the recipe for Pimm’s cup with this yummy Mexican beverage.
2. When Making Pavlova
When making a pavlova, most people start with a crispy meringue which is snow white. This is not so delicious for most.
They, therefore, find ways of making it better. Most of them use dried hibiscus flowers to infuse the meringue with an amazing flavor and to give it a flourishing color.
Sometimes, you can blitz the dried hibiscus flowers into powder. This powder can be used when adding amazing colors to different foods or even the plate.
3. When Making Marinade
Sometimes, we make beef or even lamb at home and lack the right ingredients to tenderize it and add more flavors.
Most people struggle with finding out about the right things to add to their meat, not knowing that edible flower recipes that might include dried hibiscus flowers can be the difference between making tasty meat and meat that is tasteless.
Just like the tannins found in most red wines, the tannins found in dried hibiscus tea can be one of the best options when making a tenderized, marinated lamb or beef. It also plays a very important role when adding flavor to the meat. This is something that cannot be achieved with any other type of flower.
Dried hibiscus flowers are not only helpful when making and adding flavors to foods and beverages. The leaves, roots, seeds, and flowers of course have amazing health benefits.
When fresh, the hibiscus plant, in general, makes an amazing tart that is used in salads and used in different traditional and herbal medicines. Dried hibiscus flowers are also used as a source of vitamin C that is vital in making sure that we have a strong immune system. They are also used in lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
This shows how dried hibiscus flowers can not just be a great additive to your cooking, it has benefits to your health. It’s an eye-opener for those of you with home gardens. Consider these flowers when choosing the right plants for your garden!