Last Sunday I came across a new find at my local farmers market: these pint-sized baskets filled with crimson crowns of hibiscus hips. I had never seen anything like them before, so I asked the farmer how best to use them.
He recommended brewing an herbal tisane (tea). Naturally rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, hibiscus hips have a tart flavor and impart a beautiful pinkish-red hue when steeped in hot water. If consumed regularly, this caffeine-free tea can lend support to the immune system as well as improve cardio-vascular health by lowering high blood pressure.
Hibiscus Tisane is delicious blended with a little honey and served hot or chilled over ice.
Drinking a daily glass of this easy-to-make herbal tea may be just the thing to keep your body fortified for the cold and flu season ahead.
Hibiscus Tisane (makes one gallon)
*recipe courtesy of Front Porch Farm in Healdsburg, California
- 1 pint fresh hibiscus hips
- 1 gallon spring water
- 1/4 cup honey (or to taste) *I used raspberry honey
- Lightly rinse hibiscus hips and place in 1 gallon of spring water in a stock pot. Heat on the stove until boiling. Boil 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in honey. Let cool for several hours or overnight.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the hibiscus hips and discard. Pour the tisane into a gallon container and chill. *May be poured in a cup and re-heated, or served over ice.