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Foodie Fridays: Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers

Foodie Friday

The days have been getting warmer and it’s a nice reminder that summer is almost here! You’re probably looking forward to patio time, barbecues and cool treats. While we can’t get you the first two, we do have a recipe from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook that may satisfy your cravings for something icy and refreshing. You’ll even benefit from all the awesome health properties of Hibiscus that we talked about earlier in the week.

Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers

Ingredients

photo courtesy of the Thug Kitchen Cookbook

photo courtesy of the Thug Kitchen Cookbook

  • 6 cups of cubed watermelon (ideally seedless)
  • 1 1/2 cups of brewed hibiscus tea, cooled
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of agave nectar or your preferred liquid sweetener

Instructions

Freeze your watermelon for at least an hour. When it’s nice and frozen, grab your blender and fill it with the watermelon, along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Give it a taste, and add more sweetener if that’s what you prefer. Enjoy your cool, refreshing Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers!

The Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

What is hibiscus?

cc licensed flickr photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel

cc licensed flickr photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel

The hibiscus plant is a large shrub or small tree, that grows very big, colourful flowers. The flowers are dried and used to make tea, which is consumed around the world for its medicinal qualities.

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

cc licensed flickr photo by T. Kiya

cc licensed flickr photo by T. Kiya

  1. Manage Blood Pressure – Studies have shown that drinking hibiscus tea can lower the blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive adults. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition that many adults suffer from. Hibiscus tea is has anti-hypertensive and cardio-protective properties that can be beneficial to those at high risks of developing several cardiovascular diseases. The anti-inflammatory properties of this plant are also beneficial in terms of preventing cardiovascular disease.
  2. Lower Cholesterol – The antioxidants present in hibiscus tea also promote lower levels of LDL, the bad kind of cholesterol, in the body. Lower levels of LDL protect against heart disease and blood vessel damage.
  3. Boost Your Immune System – Hibiscus tea is rich in ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C. This essential nutrient helps to boost and stimulate the immune system. By boosting your immune system your body will benefit from a greater defense against colds and flu. Hibiscus also has a cooling effect on the body, and may be useful in treating discomfort caused by fever.
  4. Menstrual Pain Relief – The anti-inflammatory properties of this tea may help relieve cramps caused by menstruation. It also helps in restoring hormonal balance, this can reduce the negative symptoms of menstruation, such as mood swings, depression and overeating.
  5. Antidepressant Properties – Certain vitamins and minerals, such as flavonoids which are found in hibiscus tea, have antidepressant properties. It’s also effective in calming down the nervous system, and possibly reducing anxiety and depression by creating a relaxing environment for the body and mind.
  6. Aids in Digestion – Hibiscus increases both urination and bowel movements. Being regular is extremely important for a healthy digestive system.
  7.  Weight Loss – Hibiscus may lower the absorption of starch and glucose, which when consumed in excess cause weight gain.
Source

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea | Organic Facts. (2013, May 19). Retrieved May 7, 2015.