Hibiscus Infused Agave Nectar

One of my favorite simple Mexican recipes is an infusion of agave nectar with dried hibiscus flowers.  Hibiscus flowers, or Flor de Jamaica in Spanish, are commonly used in Mexico to make a refreshing iced tea rich in Vitamin C.  They do the same thing in Jamaica, but under the name of Sorrel Flowers.  The dried flowers are slightly tart and lemony- and even Arab immigrants to the Americas have used them as a substitute for Sumac. There is much more you can do with them beyond tea.

Hibiscus-Infused Agave Nectar

Hibiscus-Infused Agave Nectar

To make the infusion, heat about 1 cup of agave nectar or so over a low flame.  Add a handful of dried flowers and stir.  When you can see that it has heated up a bit, turn off the flame.  Let the pan sit while the flowers infuse the nectar. You can then drain the flowers and reserve the honey, or pour them both into the same container. The other day at Whole Foods I saw hibiscus flowers in syrup being sold for something close to $10.  This is much tastier and economical.

What can I do with these flowers you may ask?  This morning I chopped up some local strawberries (some of you might have to wait for Summer for this one) and topped some Greek yogurt with the fruit and hibiscus nectar.  I like to eat the chewy, sweet and sour flowers as well, so I left them in there.  You can also make a nice Margarita and drop in an infused flower for texture and color. Vanilla ice cream is another great vehicle for this sweet treat.  I would love to hear your suggestions if you also have some!

Yogurt, Strawberries and Hibiscus Agave Nectar

Yogurt, Strawberries and Hibiscus Agave Nectar

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