The Vitamin C of the North, we may not have citrus trees and schizandra berries but we do have an abundance of wild rose hips. Rose hips are rich in Vitamin C (1000mg/100g) and other flavanoids,polyphenols,Vitamins B1,B2,B3 and Vitamins K and A, making them particularly useful for those long winter months. I love going for walks and balking at the huge juicy rose hips growing everywhere we go. They are very abundant in these parts, as in much of the world particularly North America, China and Europe. During the Second World War, the people of England gathered wild rose hips and made a vitamin C syrup, for general consumption, and in particular for children. Citrus fruits were understandbly very difficult to find during wartime. Not only are rose hips good for the immune system they are also amazing for the skin.
The best time to pick them is after the first frost, then you really get the sweetness that they stow away to burst forth for a relatively small window in the late fall. You can pick them before the frost, just make sure they are nice and red, if you want to sweeten them up just pop them in the freezer. The outer flesh of the rose hip is edible when raw, but you do want to discard the hard hairy seeds. However, if you are drying the rose hips you don’t have to worry about taking the seeds out.
Make rose hip oil
1 C fresh or dry rose hips, chopped into little pieces (don’t worry about the seeds)
2 C preferred carrier oil such as almond or olive oil
In a slow cooker add both rose hip pieces and oil and allow to heat on low for 8 hours. Strain with a fine cheesecloth until the oil runs clear. Store in glass jars out of any light. Use as a natural skin remedy, treatment for scars/stretch marks and moisturizer.
Simply add a few whole dried rose hips to your tea blend and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Alternately you could pulverize your dried rose hips and add the powder to your tea blends instead.
(Recipe from Fat of the Land)
Remove the seeds and any hard bits. Simmer the rose hips in 4 cups of water for about an hour. Mash them all up as they cook. Strain using a fine mesh, extracting as much juice as possible. Return juice to pot and add lemon, sugar and pectin. Ladle into jars and secure lids. Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Guess It’s time to get pickin’!
How did the rose ever open its heart
And give to the world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
Otherwise we all remain too frightened.