Rosehip is part of the fruit that grows on the blossom of a wild rose called Rosa Canina. This rose grows mostly in Europe and parts of Africa and Asia – the plant grows up to ten feet tall and bears a white, very fragrant flower. Once the flower has bloomed, and all the petals have fallen off, the hip is picked and used in a wide variety of preparations.
Rosehips are high in beneficial micronutrients and phytonutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, E and K, and flavonoids. Rosehips contain as much as 20 x more vitamin C than oranges; a single tablespoon of rosehip pulp gives an adult more than the recommended daily allowance of 60 mg of Vitamin C.
Vitamin A is also beneficial to the immune system. It can help to prevent infections from both bacteria and viruses and fight off any infections that do occur.
Rosehips are often thought of as a great cancer preventative because they have carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, leucoanthocyanins, and catechins.
Rosehips can be eaten raw, after being put through a blender, or soaked in water overnight and then cooked in the water for about half an hour.
To preserve their vitamin C content, keep rose hips cool after picking and process them as soon as possible, either by stewing, drying, or freezing.
Wash the hips and cut off the stems and blossoms. Cook them, covered, in a nonreactive pot over low heat. Aluminum pots and utensils can react with the acid in the hips, resulting in a metallic taste.
You can also freeze fresh hips in plastic bags after washing them and cutting off the ends.
To extract the juice of rose hips for use in jams and jellies, wash the hips, remove the blossom ends and stems, and simmer them in water to cover for 15 minutes. Steep, covered, for 24 hours, then strain. Use the strained juice immediately or freeze it for as long as a year.
Preparing Dried Rosehips
Dried rose hips, found in health food stores, are either whole or cut-and-sifted (dried seeded). All store-bought rose hips contain pits, which must be discarded. The pit bits left in cut-and-sifted rose hips look like small apple seeds. Those in whole dried rose hips are harder to remove because the pulp is stuck to them. Don’t bother to pick them out if you will be straining the mixture later anyway. For other recipes, first simmer the hips briefly until tender or pour boiling water over them and steep for at least 15 minutes; then press the pulp through a food mill.
When using whole hips that have been simmered and seeded in recipes, measure the proper amount after simmering but before seeding.
Wash large hips, cut off blossom and stem ends, cut in half, remove the seeds, spread the seeded hips on trays, and dry in an oven or dehydrator set at 110°F until the hips are hard and brittle. Dry small hips whole or sliced but without removing the seeds. When thoroughly dry, store the hips in airtight jars. (If not dry enough, they will mold and must be thrown out.)
When ready to use the hips, cover them with water and simmer until soft. Strain out any seeds and use the pulp to make jam or jelly, alone or with fruit such as apples or cranberries.
Recipes for Rosehips
There are many uses for rosehips, and here are just a few of them…
You use whole rosehips so there is no need to remove the seeds.
If you cut your rose hips, you’ll need to remove the seeds so you don’t get digestive issues!
- Use about two heaped teaspoons of rose hips per cup of water.
- Pour boiling water over the rose hips and let them sit 10-15 minutes.
- Strain out the rose hips.
- Add some honey to sweeten the tea a bit and add more health benefits
Rose Hip & Apple Muesli
Muesli is an oat-based breakfast that often includes nuts and dried fruits. Soaking the mixture overnight makes the oats and nuts more easily digestible and allows the dried rose hips to rehydrate. With a little prep the night before, you can have a quick and delicious breakfast in the morning.
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 1/4 cups oats
- 1/3 cup dried rosehips with seeds removed
- 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons honey, or to taste
- 1 cup diced apple (about 1 medium apple)
- Mix the oats, rosehips, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl with a lid.
- Stir in the milk, yogurt, juice, vanilla extract, and honey. Leave in the fridge overnight to soak.
- In the morning, add the apple. Serve with additional milk if desired.
This muesli is fine to eat as is, but if you prefer warm breakfasts, feel free to heat it up.
- 1.75 litres fresh rosehips
- 310ml water
- 250 ml sugar, or more to taste
- Remove stems, seeds, and blossom ends from rosehips. Rinse quickly.
- Bring water and rosehips to a boil, and then lower to a simmer, keeping it covered, for about 30 minutes or less, until the rose hips are tender.
- Strain the fruit through a sieve and weigh the pulp.
- Add 1 cup of sugar for every pound of pulp.
- Bring the sugared pulp to boil, stirring continuously, and boil for 10 minutes.
- Pour into hot jars, cool and seal.
Note: try to avoid using aluminum pans and spoons, as it tends to break down the Vitamin C in the rosehips.
- 450g rose hips, top, tailed and seeds removed
- 560ml cider vinegar
- 225g sultanas
- 450g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- seeds from 3 or 4 cardamom pods, crushed
- a shake of chilli sauce
- 1 lg clove garlic, finely chopped
- 225g soft brown sugar
- Juice of a lemon and grated zest of half a lemon
- Soak the rosehips, sultanas and apples in vinegar overnight.
- The next day put all the ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened. You should be able to draw a spoon through the mixture and clearly see the base of the pan for a second before the chutney covers it again.
- Warm clean glass jars in the oven or put them through a wash in the dishwasher, then pot the chutney into the hot jars. Cover with plastic-lined lids, glass lids or waxed paper circles and cellophane.
Store for a month before using.
Rosehip Ripple Ice Cream
- 500g castor sugar
- 500g rosehips (picked over, stalks removed and washed thoroughly)
- A clean tea towel or some muslin
- Bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a saucepan. Roughly chop the rosehips and add them to the water. Bring back to the boil then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
- Line a colander with your tea towel or muslin and set it over a bowl. Strain the rosehip mixture through it, squeezing to extract all the liquid. Set the bowl aside.
- Return the rosehip pulp to the saucepan with another 500ml of water, bring to the boil, take off the heat, then leave to infuse for 30 minutes .
- Strain through the muslin or tea towel as before then return all the reserved syrup to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and boil until the volume has decreased by half. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the sugar until dissolved, return to the heat and boil hard for 5 minutes. Pour into sterilised jars.
It a very easy recipe that doesn’t require you to faff about making a custard; instead it makes a lovely soft ice cream.
- 225ml whole milk
- 450ml double cream
- 125g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Put the milk and sugar into a bowl and stir with a whisk until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Stir in the cream and vanilla extract then cover the mixture and refrigerate for an hour if possible.
- Turn on your ice cream maker and pour in the mixture. Churn until you have a soft ice cream.
- Pour into a tub then freeze for a few hours until it has firmed up slightly (if you try to ripple it when too soft the ripple will just blend in too much).
- When you have a firmer ice cream, drizzle some of the rosehip syrup over the ice cream and stir through to create a ripple effect.
Candied Rose Hips
Snap off the stems and tail of the wild rose hips you have collected. Discard any imperfect ones. Insects like rose hips too, so sort them with care.
- Split the hips open.
- With a teaspoon turned over, force the seeds out of the hips.
- Scrape out any extraneous membrane from the inside.
- Cover with cold water in a saucepan and bring to the boiling point.
- Reduce the heat and simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Drain well.
- Cook to the boiling point 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 1 or 2 pieces of crystallized ginger.
- Add the drained rose hip pieces (not more than a cupful at a time).
- Cook slowly until the hips just begin to appear translucent.
- Using a skimmer, remove the hips from the syrup and spread them on a platter to cool.
- If you have more hips, cook them in the same way until all are cooked, but never add more than a cupful at a time.
When cool, roll the hips in granulated sugar and spread thinly on waxed paper to dry.
These make a healthy snack for the kids. They should be stored in an airtight, childproof glass container.
This may be a bit time-consuming to make, but it tastes like candied ambrosia!!!