I am constantly awed by what is provided that we may not appreciate. I love my garden and its flowers and two flowers that I particularly love are the Hibiscus that blooms in the sun and the Nasturtium that blooms in the shade. I have enjoyed learning that they are both edible as are many other garden flowers such as Marigolds, Pansies, Honeysuckle, Daylillies, and even the lowly Dandelion, which many people see as a yard pest.
Today I want to talk about a tea that can be made from the beautiful Hibiscus flower - a tea that is fun for children to make and nutritious for them to consume. Hibiscus flowers can grow as large as 6 inches in diameter and they come in a wide array of colors including red, white, yellow and various shades of pink. Not only beautiful, the Hibiscus is also nutritious and healthy for us. Hibiscus tea is easy and fun to make and can be beneficial for children in that it's high in antioxidants and particularly in vitamin C. It is a good immune support herb but needs to be enjoyed in moderation as it can act as a mild laxative if consumed in quantity.
Most commonly, the tea is made from the red Hibiscus flower and it produces a bright red tea but since I only have yellow Hibiscus, I checked to make sure that it can be made from the yellow Hibiscus as well - and it can be. All Hibiscus tea produces a rather sour taste however, so it can be good to add a little sweet honey or maple syrup to your brew. To make a tea, here is a simple recipe that children will enjoy.
Pick 2 cups of fresh Hibiscus flowers (or 1/2cup Dried Hibiscus flowers if you prefer to dry them). Remove the calyx or green part at the base of the flower to which the stem is attached. You can also remove the pistil which is the thin thread like tube in the middle of the flower which has pollen attached to it (or you can choose to keep it). Bring the Hibiscus flowers and 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once the water starts boiling, switch off the flame and cover the pot. At this point, you can add other herbs or add ins such as basil, lemon grass or mint if you want. Let the tea steep for 15-20 minutes. Mix in a little honey and lime juice to taste. Strain the tea water off and serve warm or chill it in the refrigerator for a few hours and enjoy.