A sorrel plant flourishes at the side of the road outside a house with a gated garden of sorrel plants in Aranguez on Saturday, November 28, 2016. Citizens with this plant in their yards will be making the popular Christmas sorrel beverage very easily rather than paying a “pound and a crown” for it from retailers. When you are growing sorrel it is free from chemicals and you can use the extra cash to buy the things you cannot grow… like Christmas presents!
December 2015 – Issue 19 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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The sight of sorrel or roselle in Trinidad and Tobago meant the Christmas season has started. Nowadays, it is used all year long for not only does it taste good but it is good for your health too. Also, many people are growing sorrel now. Several studies have shown sorrel juice to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure and controlling cholesterol.
Sorrel also contains an enzyme inhibitor which blocks the production of amylase. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down complex sugars and starches.
Drinking a cup of sorrel after meals will reduce the absorption of dietary carbohydrates and should assist in weight loss.
Sorrel is rich in vitamin C and makes a wonderful herbal remedy to fight off colds and infections by strengthening the immune system.
Other benefits of Sorrel include preventing bladder infections and constipation if taken regularly. Source http://www.rosellatea.net/
During the months of November and December you see the red fruit in every grocery, market and sold by vendors on the roadside.
The plant is a versatile one as it is not only the calyx that can be used but the leaves are cooked in other parts of the world. The juice is popular here in Trinidad and Tobago and to a similar extent the rest of the Caribbean. It is very simple to make but requires some patience.
If you intend on drinking sorrel all year round, you can have the sorrel cleaned, then dried and stored in an air tight container for future use. It should keep for a long time. If you do decide to plant the seeds and try your hand at sorrel cultivation you would be surprised to know that you would have fresh sorrel at least three times during the year.
Traditionally the calycles (small thorns on the fruit of the sorrel) are pulled off and the calyx (petals surrounding seed pod) are cut away. It is believed that not doing so would result in a bitter tasting product.
The benefit to cutting away the seed pod is you would now have your own sorrel seeds to plant.
Today, people boil the entire sorrel seed to extract the crimson coloured juice.
The sorrel is then added to equal parts of water and then brought to a rolling boil and allowed to seep. It is also customary to add bay leaves and cloves during boiling. The resulting red liquid is then strained and additional water and sugar are added to give you sorrel juice.
This sorrel juice is also consumed in some countries hot as sorrel tea.
Grow your own sorrel plant and share with us all the uses that you have come up with for sorrel.
November 2016 www.sweettntmagazine.com