Hibiscus are one of my all-time favourite plants - native to Nigeria and extremely beautiful.
I grow hibiscus in my home. Did you know that hibiscus flowers bloom for just one day?!! An apt example of impermanence (fragility of life)... and a reminder to fully seize and appreciate the beauty of each present day!
Although hibiscus flowers have such a short life, they go on to give us even more sensory pleasure in their dried form. Their petals are edible and are widely used to make refreshing drinks like zobo and infusions like this one that can also be turned into a sweet syrup.
Rose apple, often called local or African apple, is more delicate in taste and texture than it's cousin the common apple.
It has nice crisp skin and holds a lot of water. Very refreshing when eaten chilled on a hot summers day! For this recipe, the apples are peeled to remove their skin. They are then soaked overnight in cold water that has been infused with hibiscus and rose petals. The rose apples float so take care to ensure they are fully submerged in the liquid! The apples take on a beautiful red colour and delicate, fragrant taste, but remain crisp!
I use fresh hibiscus and rose petals to make the water infusion for this desert. If you don't have fresh petals to hand, you can always used dried petals. Dried hibiscus and rose petals are widely available online or can be purchased from a health food store.
I love highly fragrant, sweet things so add rose petals to my hibiscus infusion. 2-5 drops of rose essence works just as well too. If you decide to use rose essence, I recommend adding this after the hibiscus petal mixture has been boiled, strained and cooled so as to not waste it. Of course you don't have to add rose, you can tailor the taste of the infusion to suit your taste buds.
I've served this rose apple whole, with syrup. The syrup is made by adding sugar to the infused water and boiling it (after the rose apples have soaked in it for 24hrs). If you prefer, you could skip the syrup, slice the apple and put it into a salad.
If you decide to give this recipe a go, please share your thoughts, pictures and recipe tweaks. Good luck!
Notes before we get cooking!
FODMAP red, amber green rating reflects the total amount of Fructose (FTS), Lactose (L), Mannitol (M), Sorbitol (S), Galactooligosaccharide (GOS) and Oligos Fructans (FTA) in the TOTAL volume/weight of the ingredients used in the recipe.
This recipe makes enough water and then syrup to infuse and coat approximately 2-3 rose apples.
I'm a big fan of simple recipes that don't need fancy equipment. For this recipe it does help to have a heavy bottomed skillet and a strainer.
Rinse the flower petals well in water.
Heat a large heavy bottomed pan, add 3 cups of water (3 if you are using dried hibiscus only, 4 if you are adding rose petals ).
Add the flower petals to the water and simmer gently, for up to 10 mins.
Strain the mixture, discard the flower petals. Leave to cool.
Submerge the rose apples in the hibiscus and rose mixture. If you wish to use rose essence, add it now. Refrigerate for 24hrs.
Remove the rose apples from the mixture. Set aside
Place the hibiscus rose mixture in a pan. Add the sugar and gently simmer until the liquid turns into syrup.
You can cover the apples in the warm syrup or serve cold.
I'm very passionate about the management of autoimmune conditions in a healthy way.
I speak with medical professionals, read journals, try and test new recipes to share with you and diligently undertake research online. That being said, as you know, each autoimmune disease, as well as any set of symptoms you may be experiencing are unique.
All information provided is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure the appropriateness of any information in relation to your own situation.
And finally, please comment and share so we as a community better cope with our conditions by through growth and learning.