Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DRIED HIBISCUS FLOWERS


The use "Dried Hibiscus Flowers" (also known as "Hibiscus", "Sorrel", "Rosella", "Karkadé", "Rosemallow" or "Flor De Jamaica") in the kitchen is very interesting. Those lovely flowers grow on a plant which is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae). Hibiscus trees are native to warm, temperate, tropical and subtropical regions. Their flowers are very large and trumpet-like, and their colors range from white to pink, red, orange, purple or yellow.

Due to it's medicinal properties, some people call Hibiscus the "other cranberry". As a matter of fact, it's good to soothe colds, open blocked nose, clearing up mucous, as an astringent, promoting proper kidney function, helps digestion, a tonic, a diuretic and helps reduce fever. It is also very rich in vitamin C.

Nonetheless, I recommend you to be cautious when using those flowers as they have a hypotensor effect on us. It is for that reason that you'd better not consume this flower if you are suffering from hypotension (low arterial pressure).

With "Dried Hibiscus Flowers" one can make tea, syrup/cordial, all kinds of drinks and cocktails. They can also be crushed into flakes and used as condiment (to flavor rice, stews, sauces, ice creams, etc...) or added to cakes, scones or any pastry as well as dessert of your choice and even used as a food coloring agent.

Check my "Mouhalabieh or Lebanese Milk Flans" recipe that is served with a colorful "Hibiscus & Rosewater Syrup".

61 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great info Rosa. I enjoy having hibiscus tea as well. Love mouhalabieh.

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  2. I've heard they are used in Japan when one is sick to increase appetite? I'm not sure if it's true or not though. What I do know is they are pretty. When I was visiting my mom in Hawaii, I picked up some hibiscus flower jelly. It was so delicately flavored and beautiful!

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  3. Love dried hibiscus - I really enjoy the tea, but have also had fun making a syup lately that I add to seltzer water.

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  4. Great post Rosa. I've been wanting to experiment with dried hibiscus ever since I saw Courtney's recipe for Sorrel Roselle Punch sweetened with Agave Nectar. It's suppose to be good for hypertension:)

    I'll be adding your Mouhalabieh to my someday list too!!! Thanks for sharing...

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  5. OH we love jamaica..especially in the summer months make a great agua..

    sweetlife

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  6. I never knew people thought of it as "the other cranberry.'' But that is so accurate, what with the tart-sweet flavor it imparts.

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  7. I didn't know that hibiscus has all of these wonderful medicinal benefits! And they are so pretty to top it off!

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  8. Rosa,
    Thanks for the great info, I losted my hibiscus this fall. I have to get a new one. may be i can try a homemadeone!

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  9. I love hibiscus but never think that could be so good, thanks by the info Rosa, gloria

    I think are really pretty too.!

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  10. due to the strong red dyestuff they also can be used as colouring agent.

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  11. Hi Rosa
    Thanks for the information, very useful x

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  12. Nice ideas Rosa! I much prefer using these for colourings rather than artificial liquids.

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  13. Tu as bien fait de nous les rappeler et j'adore tes photos douces et décadentes :-)

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  14. Hibiscus is actually out country's (Malaysia) National flower. But have never used it in cooking though.

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  15. Such an informative post. Thank you!

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  16. I've Hibiscus near all days but never thought to use them at the kitchen, very interesting Rosa!!!

    Have a great week,

    Gera

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  17. aren't these beautiful? we got these last year.. a whole bunch and made hot and cold tea and also some drinks with alcohol. Love the deep hue it turns to.

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  18. I have seen them being used in lots of dishes, but have never tried them. They sound lovely in the milk flans.

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  19. Hibiscus are stunning flowers. It is interesting to know they are used for culinary purposes as well.

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  20. I can add to your list one more thing: if you are sick with bad cough and you bad throught boil some drid Hibiscus with honey and drink it really help... my mom used to give me that three times a day, I have a sinus and my throat always hurt and then i will start a dry cough, she used to dry these flowers and also dries the silky corn hair, then boil them for as a coughing medicine.

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  21. I didn't realise that they had medicinal properties! I love using them but they're quite expensive here which is not great! :(

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  22. Thanks for the info! I just picked some up the other day but haven't used it yet.

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  23. We get the fresh variety at Christmas time and make a drink with it. Sorrel drink at Christmas is a must-have in the Caribbean.

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  24. Thanks for interesting and helpful information. I like hibiscus tea and I don't think it's available in any other form here in Croatia.

    Have a nice day!

    Monika

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  25. Thanks for the useful information. I must remember to ask for them when I visit some spices stores.

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  26. I had this as tea in Egypt! :)

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  27. Thank you Rosa. I bought some of these when I was on a recent trip to barbados but i was not at all sure what to do with them. Now I know. :)

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  28. I Love dried hisbiscus. Makes a great Iced -tEA !

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  29. Lovely post Rosa I enjoyed reading it. :)

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  30. J'aime beaucoup ce thé Rosa. A tester dans les gâteaux.
    Bises

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  31. I had a wonderful drink made with hibiscus flowers, it was really tasty and refreshing.

    Thanks for reminding me of these. I have to find some.

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  32. Merci pour cette article très interessant et instructif. bises

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  33. I so love tea with dried hibiscus flowers! thanks for sharing this with us!

    I also love the combo of hibiscus with rosehip!

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  34. I'm surrounded by hibiscus, Rosa, but never thought to dry it! Thanks for the tip!

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  35. SWATHI & NATASHYA KITCHENPUPPIES & GERA @ SWEET FOODBLOG & BARBARA: Please check that your Hibiscus flowers are comestible!!! Thanks!

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  36. The Pharaoh is served Hibiscus tea as the sun sets on the Nile..

    Beautiful photos thanks Rosa!

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  37. I haven't tried the tea with hibiscus and I haven't cooked with it yet, I must fix that!

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  38. great info rosa.
    looks great..dear
    hey iam hosting give away if u get a chance pls stopby at my blog ..

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  39. Comme toutes les plantes médicinales, il faut faire attention en les utilisant. En effet, parmi tous les bienfaits de l'hibiscus, il est connu pour avoir des effets hypotenseurs. Vous remarquerez qu'après l'avoir bu en quantité,notamment si vous le buvez assez concentré, il vous donne envie de dormir.
    A proscrire donc si vous avez une faible tension artérielle.
    Merci de traduire.
    suzanne

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  40. and here i thought flowers were only good for seeing and smelling! what a treasure the hibiscus is--it appeals to all of our senses!

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  41. don't know much about them, so thank you for the informative post :)

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  42. This is really beautiful, Rosa! I had no idea hibiscus had so many medicinal properties!

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  43. I need to try using hibiscus in my cooking. It would be such a great addition to so many things....now I just need to find it. Whole Foods??

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  44. Funny! I hardly see dried hibiscus here in Malaysia though it's everywhere and it's our national flower! We're probably taking it for granted!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I do agree it does make real good tea! So floral and sweet-smelling!

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  45. SUZANNE: Merci pour l'information complémentaire et pour votre visite!

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  46. How wonderful! I've had Hibiscus tea, but I'd love to try some other preparations.

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  47. Nice info abt these dried flowers,useful post rosa...

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  48. Tes images sont débiles!!!!!!!merci pour ces délicieux partages ma belle Rosa et bo week~end!!!!!

    ~nancy xx

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  49. Wowie, it looks so smooth and silky. I perfer dark chocolate over milk, so I'm sure I'd love this.

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  50. this is explosive interesting ingredient!

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  51. Beautiful! And I just noticed that a wonderful specialty shop near me started selling these flowers for cooking. I so want to try something. Thanks for the information.

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  52. I drink jars of iced Hibiscus tea in summer! Love the stuff. Thanks for the info, I didn't think about baking or cooking with the dried flowers. I should start by making your hibiscus syrup!

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  53. Nowadays, dried hibiscus is very popular in making tea or sweet drinks. And it's also inexpensive!

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  54. I love hibiscus flowers. Especially for a refreshing Agua Fresca! Thanks, Rosa for reminding me to make some now!

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  55. I Produce Hibiscus flower in Centralamerica and I would like to exporter to USA and Europe, if somebody knows a importer or distribuitor please let me know, ticostar1 @ Gmail com

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  56. I just bought some trail mix that has cashews and dried hibiscus--it's yummy

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  57. Nyce Post, But please where can i buy it am based in Nilai Mlayasia

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  58. ANONYMOUS: Thanks! I really can't help you as I live in Switzerland, but you could try searching the web for info. :-)

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