This Honey Hibiscus Salsa recipe is one that I created quite a while ago, but I had orginally used sugar before I knew any better. Now, of course I used raw honey from my own bees. I know it sounds odd to use honey or sugar in a salsa recipe, but it works here. It SO works!!
Hibiscus salsa is not really a typical recipe you can find just anywhere. We are so lucky in Arizona to be able to grow this tropical plant and have access to all its yummy tartness. Hibiscus Sabdariffa grows through the hottest of summers here and is one plant I recommend to anyone. Grow it even if all you have is a pot. Use its leaves during the summer in recipes like this and then enjoy the fruit left over from the flowers in September and October. With the addition of LOCAL RAW HONEY, you’ve got a unique dish with plenty of local flavor.
Flavor and Health
I currently have an exchange student from Thailand with me and unfortunately for him, American food lacks the robust range of flavors he is used to. In Thai cooking there is the goal of having a beautiful balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. That is a great mindset to have when cooking any kind of cuisine I think.
This salsa recipe does a great job of using all of those flavor profiles. I love using Hibiscus calyces because they have an intense sour quality that enhances other flavors. With the exchange of honey for the sugar, it makes this a particularly healthy treat too. Everything in this salsa is good for you, but since I’m talking about Hibiscus here, check out what it alone can do for you according to academia.edu:
- helps reduce blood pressure
- lowers bad cholesterol levels in the blood
- has anti diabetic properties
- treats leukemia, liver damage, and hypertension
- helps reduce deposits of calcium oxalate crystal on kidneys
- anti cancer
- defends against liver disease
- anti inflammatory
- and much more
Here is How to Make it
Honey Hibiscus Salsa
- 2 cups hibiscus calyces
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1/4 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 large red pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup local raw honey
- 1/3 cup natural applesauce
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1. Remove all the calyces from the hibiscus seed pods. They are easy to pull off.
- 2. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but not pureed.
- 3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to give the flavors a chance to meld. It can be made and refrigerated for up to a week.
- 4. Serve with tortilla chips or jicama slices.