Most people have seen fresh hibiscus flowers used as garnishes. However, hibiscus flowers have a lot more uses than that especially if you get them in powdered form. Hibiscus powder has a longer shelf life than fresh flowers and it is easily purchased online through Home Farm Herbery.
Hibiscus Tarts Hibiscus powder has a sweet and tart flavor profile that reminds me of rhubarb and raspberries. That's what made me decide to use the hibiscus powder as a rhubarb compote flavor enhancer. The compote may be used to create a tart, a crisp or a turnover. I'd also suggest topping the hibiscus tarts with a hibiscus powder infused crème fraiche or mascarpone.
Hibiscus Jam Another great way to make use of Hibiscus powder is to combine it with a raspberry or rhubarb jam. I have found that the hibiscus powder's natural red coloring really deepens the color of the jam. I'd suggest making up a large batch of hibiscus infused jam and using some of the extra jars as hostess gifts.
Hibiscus Infused Rhubarb Pickles Want to get a little funky? Why not make rhubarb pickles with Hibiscus powder? It will add another layer to the dish's distinct flavor profile that will have your guests asking for more. Just follow your basic rhubarb pickle recipe and add in a spoonful or two of hibiscus powder. The hibiscus infused, rhubarb pickles can be eaten straight out of the jar or sprinkled on a salad made with fresh greens and goat cheese.
Hibiscus Infused Drinks Did you know that Hibiscus powder works well when paired with various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks? Try pairing it with such spirits as raspberry schnapps, white rum, Hpnotiq, raspberry vodka, gin and cognac. It will also blend well withCaribbean sorrels, champagne and dessert wines. When it comes to non-alcoholic beverages, try adding it to soda water, lemonade and ice tea. It makes a great alternative instead of feeding sugar laden Kool Aid to your kids. You might also want to use a hibiscus powder and sugar blend to rim your cocktail glasses as well to add an extra touch to margaritas and martinis.
Hibiscus Vinegar Hibiscus powder can also be used to create a hibiscus infused vinegar or a hibiscus infused oil that can be used as a salad dressing. Simply add the hibiscus powder to the vinegar or oil of your choice. Then treat it like you would any other infused vinegar or oil. In my experience, you should let the mixture sit for two weeks before using it on your salad. That should give the oil or vinegar enough time to fully absorb the hibiscus flavor.