This month's Recipe Redux theme is Floral Flavors. Participating bloggers were instructed to create healthy recipes utilizing edible flowers and share them with the internet world. There are a lot of flowers that add beauty and flavor the the culinary world: roses, lilac, saffron, squash blossoms, and lavender to name a few. I elected to use hibiscus: I love their beautiful, rich, red color and tart flavor. The sticky, hot weather in the Midwest has had me craving fruity popsicles lately, so this was a great opportunity to create a sweet and tart floraly treat.
Step aside, green tea, there's a new king of healthy beverages: hibiscus! Hibiscus tea, popular in Jamaica, Africa, Egypt, and Sudan, has a beautiful deep red color and a strong tart flavor (think Tazo Passion tea) and is used for refreshment and for medicinal purposes. Hibiscus flowers are packed with more antioxidants than green tea leaves, giving them amazing free-radical fighting power. Few clinical trials have tested the benefits of hibiscus flowers, but some reported health benefits include improvement of blood pressure and cholesterol, fewer cold symptoms, less muscle tension, improved vision, and relief from mild constipation.
I love it when beautiful things taste so good.
Hibiscus-mint popsicles with raspberries
Makes 4-8 popsicles
Note: When making these popsicles, keep in mind the tartness of hibiscus. I happen to love the tart flavor, but you can add additional honey during the brewing step to make them sweeter if you like.
1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1 tablespoon honey
15-20 fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- Measure the amount of water needed to fill your popsicle molds and add 1/3 cup. Pour this amount of water into a small saucepan. Add the hibiscus flowers and honey and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Tear up the mint leaves slightly and place in a mug. Pour the contents of the saucepan over the mint leaves and allow this mixture to steep together for 12-15 minutes, muddling occasionally with a wooden spoon. Hibiscus flowers are quite tart, so at this point, taste the tea and add additional honey according to taste.
- Strain the leaves from the steeped tea and pour the tea into a blender. Add the raspberries and blend until combined, about 10 seconds. Raspberries tend to froth up when they're blended, so I like to strain the mixture again at this point to remove any foam and seeds.
- Pour the blended tea into popsicle molds and freeze for 2-3 hours or until solid. Run the molds under hot water for a few seconds to loosen your frozen treats.
Labels: dessert, fruit, Recipe Redux, refined sugar-free, snack, summer, tea