This vibrant, refreshing dessert is so simple to make and full of herb flavor. Be sure to use grapefruit juice that’s fortified with calcium. If this isn’t available, substitute another calcium-fortified juice, such as orange juice. This recipe contains lots of vitamin C—also important to bone health. SERVES 4
• 1⁄2 cup water
• 2 tablespoons lavender buds, fresh or dried
• 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus flowers
• 2 tablespoons honey, agave nectar or another sweetener
• 3 cups calcium-fortified grapefruit or orange juice
• 2 tablespoons lavender and/or hibiscus, for garnish
1. In a small saucepan, heat water, lavender, hibiscus and sweetener. Bring to boil, remove from heat and steep for 5 or more minutes. Strain with a fine-mesh strainer and herb-infused water. Discard herbs. Let cool.
2. In a medium shallow bowl, combine cooled herb mixture with grapefruit or orange juice.
3. Freeze. Scrape every 30 minutes to 1 hour until slushy. (The consistency is similar to snow cones you might have enjoyed as a kid.)
4. Serve one-cup servings in sundae cups, parfait glasses or wine glasses. Garnish with additional lavender buds and/or hibiscus. Eat with an iced tea spoon.
Note: Steep dried hibiscus in very hot water to soften and open petals before using as garnish.
For an instant dessert: On a steamy summer’s day, freeze the mixture in ice cube trays. Take out the amount you need and slush in a blender.
Shop smart: Dried hibiscus is sold as “Flor de Jamaica” in Mexican markets or the Hispanic foods section of grocery stores.
A healthy-living writer and photographer, Letitia L. Star has written more than 1,000 published articles, including many features on healthy eating and gardening.
Click here for the main article, How to Get Stronger Bones with Herbal Foods.