The tale of Hibiscus Mint Quinoa
A little while back I published a recipe for Hibiscus Flower Popcorn. Our family loved the tangy flavor and vibrant color the hibiscus powder gave to the crunchy snack.
However, I knew that I wasn’t done with the ground hibiscus flower powder. The color and taste were so appealing that I wanted to add them to a side/main dish. I didn’t think that rice would absorb the color the way I wanted it to. I decided to try white quinoa.
And so…Hibiscus Mint Quinoa was born.
Adding the rest of the ingredients
While adding the hibiscus powder to the quinoa was the perfect solution for the “what grain am I going to add the hibiscus powder to” question, pretty quinoa was not my ultimate goal. I wanted to add complimentary tastes that would enhance the hibiscus flavor and add good textures to the quinoa as well.
So I asked Chef Google “What does hibiscus pair well with?”
Chef Google is awesome!
In about a nanosecond I got the perfect answer: Mint
Why is mint perfect?
Mint is naturally refreshing and offsets the sweet tanginess of hibiscus powder. It also adds a gorgeous pop of plant based green color to the purpley fuscia of the hibiscus quinoa.
While it’s not Optimistic Garden season, you can still get fresh mint at your local grocery/produce store, and in a pinch you might even substitute dried mint. Both reasonably good options. I had no problem ordering fresh mint from my local produce store. I’m not sure where they grow/get it from, but it was fresh and minty. I couldn’t ask for more.
What else to add to the Hibiscus Mint Quinoa
Quinoa in and of itself is slightly crunchy/nutty. I felt there needed to be even more crunchy texture to the dish. Slivered almonds would add just the right amount of light nuttiness and the ivory nuts would really stand out, enhancing the beauty of the quinoa.
There wasn’t the punch of hibiscus flavor I was looking for, so I added an additional tablespoon of hibiscus powder. It worked. I still added it after the cooking of the quinoa because I didn’t want too much hibiscus flower powder to effect how the quinoa cooked.
But still not perfect. While the hibiscus flower powder is sweet and tangy, the quinoa still needed another flavor boost.
Another sweet and tangy something….like Craisins!
The color of the Craisins blended perfectly with the purplish quinoa and gave the final dish that extra tangy sweetness I was looking for.
Here’s the Recipe
I used white quinoa that I rinsed before cooking. Rinsing removes the bitterness from the quinoa. I use my OXO strainer to rinse the quinoa until the water is clear. Then I make sure to let all the water drain from the quinoa to ensure that I’m not adding extra liquid to the recipe.Print
Vibrant and gorgeous Hibiscus Mint Quinoa comes by it’s color 100% naturally!! Made with pure, ground hibiscus powder and fragrant fresh green mint, it’s the healthy dish you’ll want to eat at every meal!
- 1 cup white quinoa, rinsed until liquid runs clear
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons hibiscus powder, divided
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon dried green onion
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Craisins
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- Rinse and thoroughly drain the quinoa. Transfer to a large stock pot with a tight fitting lid.
- Add the salt, two tablespoons of ground hibiscus powder, green onion and water. Stir to combine.
- Cover and bring the quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes.
- Remove the quinoa from the heat and allow to rest for an additional 10 minutes.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Toss in the additional tablespoon of hibiscus powder, the chopped fresh mint, slivered almonds and Craisins.
- Serve warm or cold.
You can use other colors of quinoa, but the white results in the most vibrant color.
If you don’t have fresh mint substitute a tablespoon of dried mint.
To make this dish nut free, simply leave the nuts out or use an allergen friendly sunflower seed.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 251
- Sugar: 22.4 g
- Sodium: 160.1 mg
- Fat: 8.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 41.8 g
- Protein: 5.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Hibiscus, Hibiscus Powder, Dried Hibiscus, Gluten Free, Plant Based, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Vegan, Dairy Free, Quinoa, Healthy Recipe
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