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Recipe: Strawberry Hibiscus Tea
by Shannon Joyner, Editor

Summer is almost here, and cooling drinks are beginning to sound good, sitting in the shade of a tree after a morning working in the garden. With COVID regulations relaxing in some areas, it might soon be possible to have a friend over to enjoy a tall glass of something nice, and if that's not a reason to celebrate, I don't know what is! My favorite new drink combines bright hibiscus flowers and sweet summer strawberries for a refreshing tangy treat. Healthy (hibiscus is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants) and gorgeous (crimson hibiscus tea and red-pink strawberries make a vivid presentation), I think you'll love this drink from the first sip.

Strawberry hibiscus teaIngredients

4 cups water
4 T dried hibiscus flowers
1 T cardamom pods, or 1/2 tsp ground spice
Zest from 1 lime (long strips, not grated)
4 T maple syrup, honey, or sweetener to taste
2 cups frozen organic strawberries (can use fresh, but frozen helps chill the tea faster)
Juice from 1/2 a lime
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced (optional)
1 lime, sliced in rounds (optional)
lemon balm sprigs for garnish (optional)

Boil the water, and add the hibiscus, cardamom, and lime zest, cover and steep for 30 minutes. Strain into a non-metallic bowl or pitcher. Place the tea in a blender with the frozen strawberries, lime juice, and sweetener, and puree until completely smooth. Strain it if you want a pulp-free tea, return to pitcher, and refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice, garnished with fresh strawberry and lime slices, and lemon balm sprigs, and enjoy!

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