Made with one of my current favorite ingredients - hibiscus flowers! See the Notes at the end for more details about cooking with these dried blossoms.
Makes about 8 ice pops
1 cup sugar
1 medium sprig of fresh mint, or about 10 leaves
1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
3 Tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
Pinch of salt
1. Combine the sugar and mint with 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk occasionally as the sugar melts into the water, about 3-5 minutes. Add the hibiscus flowers, turn the heat to low and steep for 15 minutes.
2. Strain the hibiscus-mint syrup into a large pitcher (discard the mint leaves, but read the notes at the bottom of this recipe for options to use the hibisus flowers). Add the lime juice, stir in 4 cups of cold water and add a pinch of salt.
3. Pour into ice pop molds and freeze until solid, about 4-6 hours.
This recipe calls for hibiscus flowers, which are a common ingredient in Latin-American and Caribbean cooking.
In Spanish, they're called jamaica and (interestingly!) in Jamaica they're called sorrel! If all of this seems a bit confusing, not to worry - they're really simple to cook with! In the US, look for the word "hibiscus" and you'll be in good shape.
When you steep the dried blossoms, they give off their gorgeous red color and a subtle tartness that's a little reminiscent of cranberries.
One of the coolest things about steeping hibiscus flowers in a sugar syrup (as in this recipe) is that they turn into a chewy-sweet edible treat afterwards! You can eat them whole, or mince them up to stir into your oatmeal in the morning or blend into your breakfast smoothie. You can also include the minced blossoms in these spice pops. Just stir them into the finished juice before pouring them into the molds.
Common in Latin American, Caribbean and Middle Eastern and Persian cuisines. Steep with spices for tea, use to make a dessert sauce, or steep in chicken broth and saute with onions and garlic for a savory quesadilla filling or a sauce for lamb or shrimp.