It feels like just yesterday I was writing about September being sea grape season in Belize. Well turn turn, because yesterday (actual yesterday) I saw the season’s first Sorrel at the vegetable stand and of course I had to get some. What is sorrel and what do you use it for? Well I’ve done a bit of research and here’s what I’ve found out:
Sorrel is related to Hibiscus
A member of the Malvaceae family of flowering plants, sorrel is also related to Okra and Cacao. Throughout the Caribbean sorrel is referred to as Roselle.
Sorrel is good for your health
Containing high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and anti-oxidants, consuming sorrel promotes good health and general wellness. Long used as a folk remedy, sorrel is a mild diuretic so it does improve kidney function. Sorrel is also used to lower blood pressure, boost immunity, and even prevent tooth decay.
It’s not just for making tea
When we say sorrel we are often just referring to the plant’s calyces or sepal, that dark red fleshy flower-looking thing. Most often used to make beverages but also to make natural food dye, jellies and syrups. Belikin makes a seasonal brew released around Christmas time each year, a Sorrel Stout.
But we’re going to be making tea!
Super simple and profoundly refreshing, making iced-tea from Sorrel couldn’t be easier. Rinse your calyces and put them in a pot of water to boil. You can add some fresh, peeled ginger if you like to up the anty but sorrel alone will make a lovely tea- slightly sweet, more tart. It tastes similar to cranberry.
Briefly boil then turn the heat off and let steep until cool. The longer you let it sit the darker the magenta hue your tea will turn. You can add a bit of sweetener if you like- sugar, honey, agave, coconut rum, whatever!
How beautiful is that?! If you want to learn more about Sorrel and growing it in Belize check out the Belize Agriculture site. Cheers everyone!