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Hibiscus Electuary (herbal paste)

Week 2 for Year of Honey featuring Hibiscus Sabdariffa (red zinger) 🌺

Red Zinger is an all-time favorite of mine that goes back to my childhood. Learning that I could grow it in our locale sent me off the deep end of my love affair with this wonderful plant! I am always looking into new ways to add hibiscus to our recipes & am surprised that doing an electuary never occurred to me before now. I've been making electuaries for around 12 years & didn't even know it. Ours started out with needing to find a way to get compounded Ibuprofen & Benadryl capsules into our kids when they were too young to swallow the capsules. We'd split open the capsule & mix with pear sauce or on a spoon with honey to try disguising the god-awful bitterness. I kid you not, if you've never tasted straight up Ibuprofen or Benadryl in powder form... it is absolutely horrid. We'd been mixing it into our oldest child's pear sauce for awhile & they ate it up like it was nothing. One day, as I mixed up the concoction, I got a small bit on my finger & not thinking anything of it, licked it off. It was seriously awful. I couldn't believe my kid was eating it without issue! We were constantly looking for ways to get around allergens from preservatives, dyes, additives... you name it. When your kid can only eat 3 foods without getting flared up, you get pretty creative. I only wish I'd known about electuaries back then. I could've done so much more. I am thrilled to know about them now & am loving exploring and crafting new tasty honey treats & medicinals.

To make you’ll need: ~ 1 part dried hibiscus calyxes (I did 1/4 cup powder) ~ 8 oz (1/2 pint) sterilized jar with lid ~ 8 parts local raw honey (mine was around 2 cups) Grind dried hibiscus calyxes in a herb grinder (coffee grinder dedicated to herbs) or food processor. Sift ground calyxes with a fine mesh strainer into bowl. Pour in honey slowly - start with 1/4 cup of honey & stir in with a fork or chop stick. Add more in small amounts until the mixture is a runny paste consistency. The amount of honey added will depend on texture/consistency preferences. You can add just enough honey to make into a thick paste or more honey to make a more runny consistency. Since we planned on adding ours to drizzle on things like ice cream, we made ours more runny. There is no need to strain or steep/infuse. This does not need refrigerated since no moisture was added.

Ways to use: Drizzle on fresh fruit, ice cream, biscuits. Spread on toast, add a spoonful to hot tea/cocoa or eat a spoonful right from the jar!

Some benefits of hibiscus: powerful antioxidant properties, may lower high blood pressure (it may contraindicate with some heart meds, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider), may promote liver health, it may help with weight loss & protect against obesity; high in polyphenols, which are compounds that have been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer properties, and has been found to have antibacterial properties.

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