Wed | Jan 20, 2021

More Sorrel please!

Published:Thursday | December 5, 2019 | 12:00 AMDanik Frazer/Gleaner Writer

Tis the season to overdo it on all your holiday favourites, but you don’t have to stray too far from your summer body goals. Jamaican sorrel, as your grandparents would be remiss to not mention, has tons of health benefits. The flower, known as the Rosella, is a type of hibiscus which was introduced to Jamaica from Asia in the 18th century. This flower has been a holiday staple for longer than most of us can know and will continue still. We steep the flowers in boiling water and add ginger, sugar, and of course rum to make our bright red Christmas drink.

However, there’s much more you can do with sorrel than you think, and Food is here to help you expand your sorrel horizons.

Seasonal Ice Pops

Living in the tropics means we have to find a lot of different ways to cool down even when the Christmas breeze is blowing. Sorrel Pops are exactly what you may be thinking, homemade icicles made with presweetened sorrel. Get yourself some popsicle moulds and you can make a couple of different sorrel pop options. We suggest putting bits of fruit as well as mixing different types of infusions for variety. This is the perfect way to get some antioxidants into your little ones without them even knowing you’re keeping them healthy. Even better, you can go ahead and spike your own mould for some adult pops!

Homemade Jello

Don’t worry. This is another option great for the children! Everyone loves jello, and everyone’s favourite jello is “The red one!” Make jello better with sorrel, all you need is to add gelatin powder to your sorrel mixture. Make the jello à little more fun with layers by allowing each layer to set before adding the next. Just as before, you can use this same simple recipe to make jello shots, à more grown-up version of mellow perfect for all your holiday drink-up needs.

Sipping Sangria

We won’t beat around the bush. This drink is straight up boozy and once your sorrel is ready, to be made with a nice white, red or even a rosé. However, you like your sangria. Add your booze to your sorrel along with sliced fruits like apples, oranges, pineapples, locally sourced strawberries. Whatever it is you want! If you want your sangria a little spicier, add some brandy as well!

Make a Salad

Start your food marathon with something light, refreshing and delicious this Christmas. Of course, you can just have the salad any and every day while it’s in season if you wanted. Use finely grated cabbage or torn or chopped lettuce to make them bite-sized, cherry tomatoes and any other vegetable you enjoy, along with your prepared sorrel leaves which make for a colourful and healthy salad.

Dip into this salsa

No gathering is complete without good food. Upgrade your finger food with some homemade sorrel salsa for all your chip dip needs. Your basic salsa is made using fresh(ish) tomatoes, peppers at different intensities, seasoning like garlic, onions, salt, you know the things that make food taste good. Well, with this salsa, you’ll include the sorrel while you’re creating the paste to infuse the flavour. You can even use the preboiled leaves if you’re making à pico de gallo salsa for flavour, colour and texture.