Made by boiling or infusing dried Roselle (hibiscus) leaves in hot water, Zobo is a favourite in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and some Northern parts of Africa and the Caribbean (named Sorrel there).
Carrying an enormous amount of vitamin C and a high concentration of antioxidants, Zobo sure has its numerous health benefits. Little wonder this super drink is often enjoyed warm as a soothing tea or chilled as refreshing juice. For ages, Roselle leaves have been used in traditional medicine as a natural diuretic, mild laxative and fever/cold combatant.
A drink of Zobo has shown to relax the uterus significantly, reduce cholesterol content in the body, suppress blood lipid levels, improve loss of appetite and combat indigestion. Roselle leaves are also known to possess anti-hypertensive properties which make them impactful in the control of blood pressure. Their diuretic properties equally make them useful in protecting your liver.
Another attribute of these petals is their anti-bacterial effects on worms and bacteria in the body. Drinking zobo also helps your body in reducing its absorption of carbs, thus subservient to weight management. Alkaline in nature, zobo leaves have got cleansing properties which also work in maintaining a balanced pH in your body. The anti-oxidants in them also make this unique drink a great detox go-to. Calcium, carotene, niacin, riboflavin and iron are some other nutrients zobo drink has to offer your body.
Got sweet tooth? To enjoy the best of this nutritious herbal drink, ditch the sugar. Date fruits or honey are healthier alternatives for sweeteners. And rather than use artificial preservatives for flavours, go for fresh fruits. Fresh fruits give your drink that sweet fruity taste plus loads of nutrients too!
• 2 large cups of zobo leaves
• 1 Pineapple, peeled and cubed
• 1 large cucumber (cubed)
• One piece fresh Ginger, grated
• 1 Tbsp. cloves (ground or whole)
• 2 Oranges, peeled and cubed
• 12 -20 Dabino (Date fruits, pitted and soaked)
Wash zobo leaves thoroughly and place in a large pot. Also, wash the pineapple and orange peels thoroughly to ensure no dirt and add into the pan. Cover generously with water and bring to boil on low heat for about 30 minutes.
While the leaves and peels are boiling, combine all other ingredients in a blender and puree till smooth.
Turn off the heat and add your blended fruits and spice mix. Stir well and leave to cool. If not drinking immediately, leave to cool further with the leaves still infused. You can allow infusion for a whole day, and then carefully strain at night into containers or bottles for chilling in the refrigerator.
***You may choose to add your cloves right from the beginning to boil with the leaves.