The Juniper Shrub

Juniper Shrub
Juniper Shrub

I have very distinct memories of Juniper shrubs from my youth in Eastern Oregon where we just called hem Junipers. It was not until I arrived in Texas, where everyone calls Them Cedars that I even realize they were cedars. Junipers shrubs are ubiquitous across the arid regions of the United States.

Description Of A Juniper

  • The Juniper (Juniperus communis ), also known as cedar, this treelike shrub which , depending on variety, can grow to a height of 20 feet or more and a width of 20 feet,
  • Junipers have tiny, scaly evergreen leaves that are densely crowded on the branches. A Junipers berrylike cones are usually blue and whitish wax coated.

Where Do Juniper Shrubs grow?

  • Junipers grow in open, semi-arid, places throughout the throughout North America, Europe, and Southwest Asia.
Juniper Berries
Juniper Berries

What Are The Edible Parts Of A Juniper?

  • The berries of juniper are edible raw.
  • Juniper twigs can be consumed as a tea.
  • Dried and crushed berries are good for seasoning meat.
  • The seeds can be roasted as a substitute for coffee.

Related References

Hibiscus Tea (Agua De Jamaica)

Hibiscus Tea (Agua De Jamaica)
Hibiscus Tea (Agua De Jamaica)

I know this tea from the Mexican with cooking tradition and it is a favorite summertime drink around our home.  The flowers used for Hibiscus tea are easily obtained online or in your local grocery, at least in the Southwest. In the Mexican tradition, it is known as Agua or Water, but it is actually a tea made from the flowers of the Hibiscus plant. While usually drank chilled and/or on ice, it makes a perfectly fine hot beverage, as well.

Hibiscus scarlet colored tea is a flavorful and versatile drink, which can be used in a multitude of ways, including:

  • To add flavor and color to a berry or fruit smoothie, or simply, to thin a smoothie a bit.
  • Frozen to make Popsicles
  • To make colorful ice cubes for your summertime drinks
  • Added to Jell-O for more depth of flavor and or color
  • Added to beery jellies, jams, and other recipes to more depth of flavor and or color. This is especially true of strawberry recipes.

Also Known as:

  • Agua De Jamaica
  • Jamaica Water

Hibiscus tea is very simple, though many recipes make it more complicated than it needs to be.  Basically,  you need the hibiscus flower and water.  A sweeter is strictly optional.  Actually,  to provide maximum flexibility, I recommend you don’t sweeten the tea until the time of consumption.   This allows each individual to sweeten the tea according to their personal tastes and/or needs.  Also, It makes a perfectly fine unsweetened drink, which is my favorite way to drink Hibiscus ice tea.   Also, if you skip the sweeter, it not only keeps it very low calorie,  but it is the most flexible way to allow you in incorporate the tea into other recipes, which may have already been sweetened and/ or don’t need the additional sweeten.

Recipe

Ingredients

Ingredient1 Quart Measure12 Quart MeasureNotes
Hibiscus Flower½ cup1 cup 
Water1 quart2 quartsI use 2 cups for boiling and the remainder cold
Sugar/Sweetener6 tablespoons¾ cupStrictly optional
    

Directions

  • Rinse the flowers quickly to remove dust and debris
  • place flowers in saucepan with 2 cups of water and
  • Bring water with flowers to a boil.
  • Reduce to a slow simmer for ten minutes
  • Permit to cool
  • Strain through a fine wire strainer to remove flowers into a pitcher
  • Add cool water and/or ice according to pitcher size
  • Server Chilled

Related References

Edible Flowers

Edible Flower Mixed Greens Fresh Salad
Edible Flower Mixed Greens Fresh Salad

Flowers are something most people don’t consider edible, even though the have likely been eating and or drinking them most of their life without much consideration.

Taking advantage of edible flowers and allow the multi-use their plants as food sources.  May flowering plants also have edible leaves, stems, berries and/or fruit. Given some care not to hinder your berry or fruit production, edible flowers and allow your family to begin eating from more of your garden earlier that would otherwise be possible.

Here is a quick list of edible flowers:

Edible Flowers

NameLongevity
Anise hyssopTender Perennial
ApplePerennial
Bee BalmPerennial
BorageAnnual
CalendulaAnnual
ChamomilePerennial
DandelionPerennial
Daylily Perennial
DianthusPerennial
Elder (Elderberry) flowerPerennial
English DaisyPerennial
FennelPerennial
HibiscusPerennial
HoneysucklePerennial
JasminePerennial
Johnny-Jump-UpAnnual
LavenderPerennial
LemonPerennial
LilacPerennial
LindenPerennial
Malabar SpinachAnnual
MintPerennial
New Zealand SpinachAnnual
PansyPerennial
Pineapple GuavaTender Perennial
Pineapple sageTender Perennial
PumpkinAnnual
Red CloverBiennial
RosePerennial
Scented GeraniumTender Perennial
Signet MarigoldAnnual
Squash (summer & winter)Annual
SunflowerAnnual
Sweet WoodruffPerennial
Tuberous BegoniaPerennial
TulipPerennial
Turkscap Perennial
VioletPerennial

Related Topics

Perennial – DAYLILY (Hemerocallis)

Daylily
Daylily

Originally, from China where the Chinese hybridized the early cultivars to create the most edible variety.  The common or orange daylily was introduced into the United States in the late 19th century. It is a very popular plant favored by homeowners and landscape designers for its showy flowers, hardiness, and ability to spread. There are now over 40,000 registered cultivars, many of which likely are or have the potential to become invasive and should be watched.

Hardiness

  • Hardy perennial

Edibleness

  • All of a daylily is edible raw or cooked.

·       Flowers

  • Flowers eaten in salads, picked, breaded, and fried. Dried they are used to flavor soups.

·       Leaves

  • Leaves can be used in salads

·       Bulbs

  • Bulbs are cooked as a vegetable

Flavor

  • Flavor profile varies from sweet and floral to vegetable or slightly metallic, depending on the variety. Always harvest the plumpest buds, just before they open.

How to use

  • In Asian cuisine, salads, desserts, deep-fried, or sauteed with garlic and asparagus.

Growing tip

  • Best in full sun or light shade in fairly moist, well-drained soil amended with organic matter.

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