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Jim Hunter
master gardener







Roselle Recipes  —  Hibiscus sabdariffa

This annual plant has a fleshy, bright red calyx, which is the edible part of the fruit.  Many recipes call for removing the seed pods from the calyx, but experiments have shown that this is not really necessary.  About three weeks after the flower appears, the roselle should be picked as it becomes fibrous if left to long on the stem.  The flavor of roselle is similar to cranberry hence the nickname “Florida Cranberry”.

  Roselle Tea    

Roselle Tea is believed to also reduce cholesterol. Roselle Tea is also known to help circulatory insufficiencies, helps loss-weight and keeps body fit. Roselle tea is high in vitamin C. This drink is particularly good for people who have a tendency, temporary or otherwise, toward water retention: it is a mild diuretic.

  • 2 cups of dried roselle calyces, washed
• 2 liters of water
• Juice from one-half of a lemon or lime
• 3/4 cup of sugar or to taste

1. Combine the roselle and water in a large pot and bring to a full boil. Remove from stove and let steep covered for 15 minutes. The color should be a deep red-purple, like some kinds of grape juice.
2. Strain off the liquid through a sieve and throw away the roselle.
3. Stir in lemon juice and sugar.
4. Serve hot or cold.


  Roselle Sauce      

3 cups roselle calyxes              1 cup water
1 ½ cups sugar                      1 tsp. cinnamon

Cook calyxes in water until soft.  Add sugar and cook until dissolved.   Add 1 tsp. cinnamon if desired.

  Roselle Sauce for Microwave    

4 cups roselle, washed with seed pods removed
2 cups water                          2 cups sugar

Combine sugar and water in a 3 quart casserole and cook on full power for 8 ½ minutes until boiling – stirring once.
Boil at full power for 5 more minutes.
 Add roselle and cook for an additional 9 ½ minutes.      

  Roselle - Carambola Compote for Microwave    

2 cups roselle sauce               2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice                ¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger        
6 carambolas with spines and seeds removed, cut into slices
2 oranges peeled, in segments with seeds removed

Put roselle sauce, sugar, lemon juice and spices in a 2 quart casserole.  Cook covered at full power for 3 ½ minutes – stirring once.  Add carambolas and oranges and cook covered at full power for 7 minutes.

  Roselle Carambola Crisp    

1 cup roselle calyxes         1/8 tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup sugar                       3/4 cup brown sugar  
¼ cup water                       ½ cup sifted flour
¼ cup butter or margarine
4 carambolas, sliced, seeded, and spines removed

Place roselle in the bottom of a baking dish which has been well buttered.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Place carambola slices on top and add water. 
Mix flour, brown sugar, nutmeg and butter with a fork.  Spread over carambolas.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Serve hot.

  Roselle Pie      

1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 cups roselle, seed pods removed
1 cup sugar                                        2 Tbsp. flour
1 ½ boiling water                              ½ cup raisins
½ tsp. salt                                           1 tsp. ground ginger
Pastry for 9 inch pie (top and bottom)

Mix roselle, raisins and water and cook for 10 minutes. 
Combine flour, sugar, ginger and salt.  Add to roselle mixture and cook, stirring constantly until thickened.
Line a 9 inch pie pan with unbaked crust.  Put roselle mixture in it, cover with top crust and dab with butter.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

  Roselle Tart Pie      

4 cups roselle calyxes                      ½ tsp. nutmeg
2 cups sugar                                     ½ tsp. ginger
½ lime rind, grated                          1/3 cup water
1 tbsp. flour                                       dash of salt
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine             ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup coconut, grated                    
pastry for 10 inch pie, top and bottom

Mix flour, spices and sugar, add salt.  Combine with water and heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly.  Add roselle and cook until tender.  Add lime rind and butter.
Put ½ of this mixture into pastry lined 10 inch pie pan.  Add coconut.  Top with the rest of the mixture.  Cover with lattice cut from top pastry.
Bake at 425 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

  Roselle Whip      


4 cups roselle, seed pods removed
2 cups water                          ¾ cups sugar
3 Tbsp. plain gelatin             ½ cup water

Cook roselle in 2 cups of water until fruit is soft.  Push through coarse sieve.  Add sugar.

Dissolve gelatin in ½ cup water.  Return roselle mixture to the stove and bring to a boil.  Mix with gelatin.  Pour ½ the mixture into a wet jelly mold and place in ice water to hasten stiffening. 
As soon as the remaining half starts to thicken, whip with egg beater until fluffy.  Pour this over the first half and refrigerate.  Unmold to serve.

    Roselle Sponge    

4 cups roselle calyxes               2 cups water
3 Tbsp. gelatin                            ½ cup cold water
1 cup sugar                                1 cup whipped cream

Cook roselle in water until soft.  Rub through sieve.  Add sugar and set aside.
Soak gelatin in ½ cup cold water until soft and add to hot mixture.  Blend thoroughly until gelatin is dissolved.  Pour half of this into a wet mold. 
Chill other half until almost set and beat with rotary egg beater until fluffy.  Pour over first part and chill until firm. 

Unmold to serve.  Top with whipped cream.
    Roselle Salad    

1 pint fresh or frozen roselle calyxes, ground
1 cup marshmallows cut small
2 carambolas, deseeded, and cut into chunks
½ cup Stover grapes, deseeded and cut in half
¼ cup sugar                           ¼ cup chopped nuts
½ pint whipping cream

Combine roselle, sugar and marshmallows.  Let stand at least 3 hours. 
When ready to serve, whip cream.  Fold all ingredients together.  Serve in chilled cups.

    WInter Squash Stuffed with Roselle and Jicama    

2 acorn or butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise,
Brush cut edges with margarine or oil
1 cup roselle calyxes, fresh or frozen    
½ cup jicama pulp       
 ¼ cup brown sugar or honey
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine, soft or melted
Mix all together.

Place squash halves in a shallow baking pan in water just to cover bottom of pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F. until just tender when a fork is inserted into pulp, approximately 40 minutes.
Put ¼ of stuffing mix into each squash.  Continue baking for 15 minutes.  Serve hot.

    Roselle Stuffing    

2 cups roselle calyxes       1 cup chopped nuts
½ cup sugar                      1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion        ¾ cup milk
8 cups soft bread crumbs   
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. each: sage, thyme, marjoram, savory

Combine all ingredients and stuff foul or serve as a side dish after baking in casserole for 1 hour.

    Roselle - Carambola Relish    

2 cups roselle calyxes
2 carambolas – tops, tips, and edges of ribs cut off
1 orange, quartered and deseeded
¾ to 1 cup sugar

Coarsely chop fruit.  Stir in sugar.  Mix thoroughly.  Serve as relish.  Refrigerate.

    Roselle Catsup    

5 cups roselle calyxes     
¼ cup water                   ½ cup vinegar
½ tsp. paprika                1 tsp. ground cloves       
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Cook roselle in water until tender.  Rub through sieve.  Add all other ingredients and cook over hot heat until thick, stirring constantly.
Pour into sterilized canning jars and seal.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

    Roselle Drink    

1 gallon of water               ½ tsp. whole cloves
1½ tsp. allspice                  4-5 cinnamon sticks
1 large mashed ginger piece
Combine above ingredients and boil for 20 minutes.  Remove from stove.

1 gallon roselle calyxes

Use a glass or porcelain pot to add calyxes, cover and let rest overnight.  Strain.  Add honey or sugar to taste.

    More about Roselle