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. 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 juice 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 drinking sorrel juice 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. People in Trinidad and Tobago are making their sorrel juice for the Christmas season.
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.
November 2016 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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There is nothing that says Christmas more than sorrel. You see it selling everywhere on our highways and byways, in markets and groceries all around the country. This is a recipe that goes well with grilled chicken or the Christmas baked turkey.
2 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup sorrel or roselle syrup (see how to make sorrel pancake syrup)
Seasoning to taste
Season the chicken fillets. Preheat the grill. In a small pot, sauté the onion with a tablespoon of butter.
Add the chicken stock and the sorrel or roselle syrup.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
Grill chicken according to your griller’s instructions or brown them in a pan with oil and butter.
When they are done, transfer them to the pot with the sorrel or roselle sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes longer.
Serve with any side of your choice.
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November 2016 www.sweettntmagazine.com
“Exquisite Sorrel Liquor is a smooth local blend made specifically to honour our culture’s traditional love of sorrel.” Entrepreneur Candice Hughes-Bengochea introduces the addition to the Exquisite Brand. For many in our region, Christmas is not complete without a taste of sorrel.
It’s Christmas morning and you want to try something new for breakfast. Instead of ham and eggs, you can try a simple and easy to make roselle or sorrel pancake syrup. This will definitely wake you up this holiday season.
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