Spotlight Spice: Hibiscus Powder

While browsing the herbs section at the store, your eye is likely to be drawn to our Hibiscus Powder. Its deep burgundy color stands out starkly against its herby neighbors, which are all different shades of green. Once you spot it, you’ll almost certainly wonder what you’d use it for – it’s one of the most commonly asked product questions at the shop.

Our Hibiscus Powder comes from the dried, ground sepals of the hibiscus sabdariffa (hibiscus) plant. Because of its deep burgundy color, people often assume it comes from the petals of the flower; however, the fine powder actually comes from the fleshy, trumpet-shaped fruits that grow once the flowers have bloomed. The resulting product is a deliciously fruity and tart powder, and a little goes a long way.

The powder has a wide variety of uses, varying from Ayurvedic medicine to dyes and even skin and hair care, but today we are focusing on its culinary uses.

Hibiscus Powder is a great natural food coloring, making it one of the most common ways it is used. A little of the powder will make a large, colorful impact, so you can easily use hibiscus powder in frostings and batters to tint them a pink or red color. Because you won’t use much, there’s no need to worry about imparting an overly tart or fruity flavor.

The powder is also a good addition to beverages – both hot and cold. It can be brewed with tea or steeped on its own to create a liquid to add to other drinks. Lemonade, sangria, and other cocktails are good choices. When steeping it, you should remove the sediment prior to using the liquid for best results. Get fancy with your drinks and mix a little with sugar and use it to rim the edge of your glass.

We like to add a bit of hibiscus powder to tarts, pies, and jellies too. It complements the flavors of rhubarb and raspberries particularly well, so start there first, then branch out to using it with other fruits and flavors.

Find recipes which use Hibiscus Powder in the AllSpice recipe library. We constantly learn from you new ways to use our AllSpice products.  If Hibiscus Powder is something you keep handy in your spice drawer, share with us how you like to use it in the comments below.