One of my favorite drinks, especially around Christmas time, is Sorrel. Some people like to make the ‘Jamaican Sorrel’, but seeing as my husband’s family is from Trinidad, I have only tasted their homemade ‘Trinidadian Sorrel’ recipe. And I love it! It consists of hibiscus flowers, cloves, cinnamon, orange peel, and xylitol/honey.
If you don’t load it with processed sugar (we don’t!), it is Such a healthy drink, as each ingredient has very powerful healing effects. It is truly an antioxidant packed filled drink. Antioxidants are wonderful because they protect the body against oxidation caused by free radicals. Free radicals are a byproduct of energy consumption in our mitochondria, (the factories that produce energy in each of our cells). They are unstable molecules that damage or “oxidize” cells throughout the body in a process called oxidative stress (Read More Here). Think about how a cut apple or avocado will turn brown – thats oxidation. It occurs in our body daily just from living, but is also contributed by breathing in toxic polluted air or allergens, eating processed foods or sugars, drinking alcohol, etc, and especially when we are sick with disease like infection or cancer. So foods high in antioxidants (found in this drink) will help you combat the damaging effects and slow down the aging process.
Hibiscus – Helps maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A natural source of antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects. And delicious as a warm/iced tea too!
Cloves – Contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. The vitamins found in cloves include vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K. And holds a very High amount of antioxidants!! – Clove Oil (which I wouldn’t suggest ingesting, but it is Very helpful for rubbing a drop on tooth aches and cold sores) is one of the highest natural concentrated sources of antioxidants amongst oils.
Cinnamon – Again, Loaded with antioxidants, even more so than garlic and oregano (it can even be used as a natural preservative because of this). And again, because of that, it is anti-inflammatory thanks to the polyphenols. Studies have found it effective for lowering LDL levels (‘bad’ cholesterol) without dropping HDL levels (‘good’ cholesterol). It is also used for boosting up metabolism, as it makes your body better at using up carbohydrates instead of storing it as fat. It can be helpful for diabetics because it increases sensitivity to the hormone insulin (diabetes occurs when your body grows a resistance to insulin, a necessary hormone for dropping blood sugar to normal levels after a meal).
Orange Peal – High source of fiber that will help relieve digestive discomfort. It is also used for reducing acid reflux and vomiting. Vitamin C is found in the orange peel even more so than in the juices. And it also helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Some say it also has great anti-histamine properties, great for reducing inflammation.
Xylitol – A natural sugar that does not raise blood sugar levels! Get that! It can be extracted from berries, mushrooms, oats, etc, and is also found in our bodies (our bodies naturally make it from the foods we eat). It is a fermented sweetener that is often found in toothpaste because of its dental health properties, reducing bacteria and regenerating tooth decay. It also helps the gut as a prebiotic, where as regular sugar feeds the harmful bacteria. Just don’t consume too much at once, as it is a natural laxative in higher amounts;)
Honey (RAW!) – Everyone knows about its amazing immune boosting properties. It also helps some people with their allergies (and winter time is a great time to start building up an immunity with it so you are ready come spring!). It has been found to heal gut ulcers, again help cholesterol levels, and treat infections (anti-bacterial properties). Plus it tastes AMAZING! But Technically is not ‘vegan’, so you can choose to use xylitol only instead.
Sorrel - Trinidadian StylePrint Recipe
- 12 Cups - Filtered Water
- 1 Bag (8oz) - dried hibiscus flowers/sorrel
- 3 - Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 - Orange Peel
- 15-20 - Whole Cloves
- 1 Cup - Xylitol
- 1/2 Cup - Raw Honey
In a large pot, bring 12 cups of water to a boil.
Once boiling, add the sorrel, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, whole cloves, and xylitol (we will add the honey once it cools down so we don't destroy all of the live enzymes in the heat!). Boil for a couple of minutes, and turn off to sit and cool.
Pour into a glass container (not plastic, as this Will stain!) and let it sit in the fridge overnight with all of the ingredients.
When you are ready to drink it, strain out the ingredients into another glass container and taste. If it is too potent, add more water, if it is too tart, add more sweetener.Serve cold and enjoy! 🙂