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Food Trends: Hibiscus

Flower Power

I love the hibiscus flower! It’s edible, delicious and beautiful. Originally from Africa, these bright trumpet-shaped flowers thrive in any sunny, warm climate — there may even be hibiscus blooming in your back yard. Both the flower and the leaves have a tart, raspberry-like flavor and I’m seeing more and more products using hibiscus in interesting and delicious ways.

My Best Hibiscus Picks

One fantastic product on the market — Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup — features hand-picked roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flowers from Australia candied in a semi-sweet syrup. Place a bud in a champagne flute, drizzle some of the syrup and pour in sparkling wine or water. The flower looks beautiful in the glass and the tart flavor adds complexity. Try it in lemonade, too! Spoon the syrup over ice cream for a vibrant accent.

Republic of Tea has a line of Hibiscus Superflower Teas blended with berries and fruits that combine the flavor of hibiscus with lime and blueberry. Try hot or iced.

Gaia Herbs has a Single Herb Hibiscus Flower supplement that claims to help support cardiovascular health.

And Enfusia’s Hibiscus Bath Bomb turns your bath water a soothing pink color and fills the room with delicate raspberry aromas.

I can’t get enough of this amazing flower. The flavor is welcoming and nuanced, and brings a welcome splash of color, beauty and flavor into your home.*

*Pregnant or nursing women should consult with their physicians before consuming hibiscus. Look for dried, edible hibiscus flowers (often called “flor de jamaica” in specialty shops and Mexican food markets). If you want to try fresh hibiscus, do your research to make sure you have an edible variety and check that it was grown without the use of toxic pesticides or herbicides.

I’d love to hear about the colorful ways you’re using hibiscus. Leave a comment or recommendation below.

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Jackie says …

Hibiscus is my favorite iced tea. Thirst quenching, good for you and cools you down on a hot summer day. I also make an infusion of the blossoms and add it when I make shower gels and soap. Gorgeous hue and light, gentle, clean scent. All organic!

Daisy Gray says …

Hello Cathy, I was delighted to see this video blog. I manufacturer a line of natural hibiscus tea blends called SOGNIA; in fact they will soon be available regionally at Tampa Whole Foods locations, hoping to see fast growth based on the wonderful benefits of the plant. Feel free to browse www.sognia.com to read more about SOGNIA. Thank you sharing your insightful blog. Daisy

Sabine Murray says …

Hello - I just call your store in Oakville(July 25, 2014), ON and they say they don't have this product Hibiscus in Syrup)?? Is this fact or was the person on the phone mis-informed?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SABINE - My apologies the local store didn't carry this. Since we are decentralized, our products will differ between stores. It does appear that you can purchase this online at http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Hibiscus-Flowers-Syrup-Whole/dp/B003ZTN5F0.

Peter says …

Try browning some onion in a skillet and then adding grape juice and cooking your fresh hibiscus leaves in this until they are tender and the liquid has become almost gravy-like. The only seasonings required are salt and pepper. Add a little butter when serving.

Cathy says …

I wish Whole Foods would supply the Dried Candied Hibiscus Flowers. A lot less sugar is involved and you can eat them right out of the bag like a snack, or mix them with your Trail Mix or chop them up and top your cereal in the morning.

maritza says …

where can i buy Roselle edible flowers in nyc or even online.

Max says …

Hello - I just call your store in Oakville(Dec 31,2015), ON and they say they don't have this product Hibiscus in Syrup)?