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Flower Power: Agua de Jamaica

The first time I tried hibiscus tea was at Pilar’s in Ann Arbor. Now, I order it every time I see it available at tacquerias. I am drawn to its sweet and tart flavor, and its ruby red color. With the warmer weather, I am having more frequent taco and hibiscus tea cravings. So, when Madeline gifted me a half pound of dried hibiscus leaves for my birthday, I was excited to experiment.

Hibiscus is also commonly referred to as jamaica (pronounced ha-MY-cah), and sorrel. In addition to being compact with flavor, I learned from Madeline that hibiscus also carries many health benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants. Research also suggests that hibiscus deters certain kinds of cancer, lowers high blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart disease.

I made a batch of cold-brew hibiscus tea, following this recipe. Elise from Simply Recipes steeps it hot. I am also excited to experiment with the many ways I can cook with the flower, maybe I’ll turn it into a quesadilla.

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