Friday, May 25, 2012

Foraging for Rose Hips

Rose hips develop at the base of a rose blossom after it dies.

It literally is the single most power packed little bundle of vitamin C God ever created. Surprisingly, they are related to apples.   

Should you find yourself and your family in a survival situation, then you really need to include rosehips in your diet. Lack of vitamin C can cause scurvy and all sorts of health problems.  Even in the dead of winter, you can get added nutrients from rose hips.

One of the nice things about rose hips, especially for the timid forager, is that there is no mistaking them for anything else. You may harvest any time of the year, but are best right after the first frost.

Last fall I found a fine crop of wild rose hips. As Mike and I went for our stroll along the river, I picked a bunch and crammed them into my collecting bag.
Washing rose hips to remove the stems.

Here they are, being drained.
This was my first time to collect rose hips, so I wasn't sure how to deal with them. 

The darned things are crammed with fuzzy little seeds.

  • The skin is the edible part.
  • Everything I read says to cut the seeds out... hmmm.... what a job! If I wanted to make rosehip jelly or syrup, then those seeds have to go...
  • I later found that some rosehips are raised domestically for jellies, syrups, and such. They are substantially larger than the wild ones.  But hey, wild ones are free! 

I decided to leave the seeds in on this batch.

  • Mine will be used to make rosehips tea, that way the seeds aren't an issue.

Uses for rosehips:

    • Teas
    • Jelly
    • Jam
    • Syrups
    • Leathers
    • Pudding
    • candy

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