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 COOL IT WITH HIBISCUS FLOWERS:
Tart like cranberries with the health benefits of
July 2015 Issue / Vol. 3, No. 13                                                                                             red wine and chocolate. How cool is that?








      
Chef/Restaurateur/
Sommelier/Farmer
Amy Binkley


      
Chef de Cuisine
Richard Garcia


     
Chef Roberto
Madrid's Kitchen

      
July 2015
Chef's Larder


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Cool it with Hibsicus: Tart like cranberries with the health benefits of red wine and chocolate. How cool is that? Redder than ruby and more royal than garnet, hibiscus adds a stunning hue to whatever it’s added. It’s best seasonal fit is happening right now, in the depths of summer. In Egypt, where hibiscus flowers have traditionally grown along the silt-sodden edges of the Nile River, denizens drink hibiscus flower tea as a refrigerant. That means it has the ability to keep the body temperature from rising with the heat of the day or that of a fever. In Iran, hibiscus goes by the common name of Sour Tea for the tang that comes from plant acids, some 15- to 30-percent of its components. One of these is ascorbic acid. Where there’s ascorbic acid, there’s connective tissue repair, anti-viral protection, and wound healing. And, indeed, research found hibiscus to have antimicrobial activity (Sulaiman, et al., 2014). The rich red color of hibiscus comes from polyphenols, the same stuff that makes red wine good for more than the soul. The polyphenols in the hibiscus flower largely come from the anthocyanins that color the flower. These powerfully good antioxidants protect the liver and help prevent “cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and osteoporosis” (Scalbert et al., 2005). And they play a role “in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes mellitus” (Ibid).