One of my coworkers recently returned from Tanzania, bringing me back some hibiscus tea. Now Hibiscus encompasses hundreds of species of flowers found in rainy temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions of the world. Across South America, Asia, Africa, the hibiscus flower is traditionally consumed in drink form, often cold and sweetened.
High in vitamin C, hibiscus has been used for its medicinal benefits. It has been linked to lowered blood pressure and fevers, and helps to relieve coughs, manage respiratory ailments, and also act as a natural sunblock! Besides its natural healing properties, hibiscus carries with it a tart fruity flavor and, for the red variety, a vibrant hue.
So when I was telling a friend yesterday that despite an absence of grains and their derivatives, my diet does not change drastically during Passover, it dawned on me that drinking smoothies rather than eating breakfast cereal or oatmeal plays a particularly important role in that respect. Melding my newly acquired tea, with additionally not-so-local fruits, I crafted this tangy treat to sip as the sun comes up. While it is now officially spring, it still stays dark enough in the morning to enjoy the purples and reds as the sun peaks its head over the horizon.
Orange Hibiscus Sunrise
(acceptable for Passover, safe for the vegan or gluten-free soul in your life)
1/2 beet, chopped
1/2 frozen strawberries
1/4 mango, chopped (or 1/3 cup frozen)
4-6 oz hibiscus tea, chilled
3-5 drops liquid stevia
handful spinach (optional)
1. Puree in blender or with hand blender. Enjoy!