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6 Things to do with Zobo Flowers

by on February 17, 2016

Zobo flowers, hibiscus sabdariffa have sooooooo many uses beyond making infusions (hot or cold). Here are a few things I do with mine, dried and once I’ve made my infusions.


1. Add to salads, cookie dough, crumbles, frozen desserts and other bakes

This works best with the softened leaves obtained after the infusion. I basically tear mine apart and add, like vegetables to grain salads, ice cream mix, mixes headed to the oven

Zobo & Acha salad. So much you can do with the zobo flowers when you're done making your infusion. 1. Tear off petals and add to salads 2. Steep in sugar syrup, then remove, roll in sugar to 'crystallise' 3. Puree and pass through a sieve. Go sweet or s

2. Candy. Crystallise

Flowers left over from making infusions can be cooked down in simple syrup (1 part sugar cooked in 1 part water till syruppy). The resulting flowers are meaty and sweet and can be served as part of dessert or topping cakes and more.

Go further, after the steep in sugar syrup, remove, roll in granulated sugar and spread on a rack till dry and ‘crystallised’ (This 2nd step, I need to try with zobo flowers!)

{How to crystallise flowers}

Candied, glazed zobo flowers. #coloursofthenewnigeriankitchen #kitchenbutterfly #newNigeriankitchen #newNigeriancuisine #dessert #zobosauce #zobo #redsorrel #bissap #candied #candiedflowers2016-01-31 03.41.06 1

3. Blend & make a sauce or sauces

Here, you can go sweet or savoury. Want to know how? Look no further, I got you covered.

Some ideas

  • stay sweet – blending with sugar, dates or other sweeteners (add purees to bakes, cooking projects, drinks)
  • go savoury by blending with chilies, ginger and a touch of sweetener for a floral, berry like ‘cranberry sauce’…

Both sweet and savoury sauces can be used a myriad of ways from spreads to cocktails

_DSC1336Dinner. With #wuraogunji and @joeladu_ . I took your advice @matiugordon and made a #foodbowl. From L to R: vegetable-laden Acha with zobo flowers, dried dates & apricots, mixed peppers, tomatoes and onions; roasted peanuts, leafy greens, avocado, seare

4. Make Finishing Salt

Mill/ process cleaned (by washing), dried zobo flowers with dried ginger and sea salt, like other finishing salts. Use to garnish plates, top food, etc

5. Make Flavoured Sugar

Mill/ process cleaned (by washing) dried zobo with spices of your choice – take a cue from these gorgeous sugars…Add some spices if you like – 

6. Blend with drinks and smoothies

*Be careful if you have low blood pressure or gout, apparently zobo worsens both conditions*