Monday 18 July 2022

3 Creative Hibiscus Recipes | Vegan, Gluten-Free

Hibiscus is a tropical plant with colourful red flowers that are often used for culinary and medicinal purposes. In Nigeria, the flowers are a key ingredient in zobo - a highly popular fruity and tangy punch. It is also used to make teas. It is said that hibiscus is beneficial in lowering blood pressure, reducing high high cholesterol and acting as an effective antioxidant.

I love using hibiscus in my cooking and am excited to explore tons of new and innovative recipes going forward. Beyond hibiscus tea and hibiscus punch, let's take a look at three creative ways to cook with hibiscus. 

1. Hibiscus Ogi

Ogi is a fermented corn porridge that is enjoyed across Nigeria. Why not add some colour and vibrancy to your next bowl of ogi by infusing it with hibiscus? Add some bite-size pieces of pineapple for a burst of freshness. The full recipe can be found here.

2. Hibiscus Poached Fruit

Poaching fresh fruit in a hibiscus syrup is a genius idea. Aesthetically very pleasing when the fruit takes on the deep red tone, but also lends a beautiful floral, tart note. The fruits I would recommend are apples, pears, pineapples, plums and peaches. In the recipe below, I made a vegan no-bake cheesecake topped with hibiscus poached apples. Click here for the full recipe and for the full poaching method that can be used for any type of fruit. 

3. Hibiscus Meat

Yes, you read that right. A couple of years ago, videos for hibiscus meat tacos were trending all over social media. Did you know that you can use rehydrated hibiscus flowers as a meat alternative? It makes sense. The rehydrated flowers have structural integrity and resemble shredded meat in terms of look and texture. The chewy morsels take on any flavour you pair it with so you'll need to cook the hibiscus in your sauce of choice for maximum flavour. Think bbq sauce and spicy tomato sauce. Look out for a recipe in a future post.

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