Cherry shrub

Cherry Shrub

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Sweet-tart and heart healthy hibiscus mixed with antioxidant rich cherries and star anise make a refreshing beverage enjoyed over ice or use the syrup to top your favorite frozen dessert. Use the “pickled” cherries in green salads or chicken salad; smoothies or anywhere that you want a slightly sweet addition.

MAKES: 3 cups

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2/3 cup 100% pure, local honey

1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers (find on Amazon.com or bulk section of grocery)

2 star anise pods (spice section of grocery)

1/2 cup fresh or frozen, pitted sweet cherries

2 tablespoons dried tart cherries

  1. In a two-liter-sized, wide-mouth Mason jar or pitcher with a lid mix apple cider vinegar and honey. Stir until combined and honey is thoroughly mixed into vinegar.
  2. Add hibiscus flowers, star anise, fresh/frozen and dried cherries and stir to combine. Put cover on container and place the jar in the back of your refrigerator and let it sit for 3-7 days. Taste the shrub beginning on day three. If you’re happy with the flavor, strain cherries and reserve for other use. Press firmly to remove all the liquid.
  3. Store strained shrub in a clean jar and keep refrigerated. It is ready to use now, but will mature in flavor over time. Store, refrigerated for up to two months.

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Sueson Vess is a professional chef, author/food writer and educator helping people eat healthier, especially those with food intolerances and others with chronic illnesses. She is passionate about nutrition and helping others achieve and maintain a “good for your health” lifestyle. There are always delicious, helpful and healthy solutions! Her focus is on “Foods with Benefits” – learning to increase delicious beneficial foods in your daily life. Sueson makes bone broth at Nature’s Own in North Carolina, and teaches cooking classes at FirstHeath and Duke Cancer Center. She is a regular contributing writer for Sandhills Naturally and Gluten-Free & More publications.