Its the time of year again, rose hips are plentiful, and ripe for the picking! There are multiple ways that you can preserve, and use these berries in many ways, including teas, syrups, jams, and even oils! Today, I am going to talk about my favorite way to use them, which is a healthy, vitamin C packed jar of syrup!
There are many reasons why you should consider picking rose hips right now, and not only becasue they are healthy for you, but also becasue they are abundant all over Alberta! Wild roses are literally spread far and wide across most of the Alberta terrain, you can find them growing wild in parks, near streams, and rivers, and literally in almost every single forest I have been to, there were wild roses. They are beautiful, and they are widely available to all. There are a few different varieties of roses available, and in the below photo, I have multiple types that I had collected all from the same area. The species found in Alberta are the Arkansas Rose, Prickly Wild Rose, and the Prairie Rose. Their berries will be of varying shapes and sizes!
So how many of you actually knew that roses even produced berries? Yup, they do. After the flower has bloomed, and been pollinated, the petals fall off and a large green berry will start to swell were the petals were. As the seasons turn, the berries will turn a bright red, until they are nice and ripe. Once they are ripe, the birds, and some animals will eat them and help to spread their seeds. However, roses, in my opinion are not a berry that you should just pick and eat. The reason for that is becasue they contain fine hairs that can irritate the GI tract, and some say they give you an itchy butt when the seeds pass. Not only that, but the berry is full of many seeds, making this berry more seed then fruit. So this is why most people who collect them will use them as medicine!
nd rose hips are jam packed with good healthful medicine thats for sure. First and formost, they are loaded with VITAMIN C! Like, totally loaded with it. This makes it a great candidate for syrup. Syrup that can be used during the cough and flu season to help support the immune system, give that vitamin C boost rather then taking vitamins that are full of unnatural sugars and chemicals.
You can also get a great boost of antioxidants, and rose hip oil, an extract made from the seeds, is great for the skin, to help it looking young and healthy.
Rose hips are also a great way to keep your heart health in check, as they contain so much antioxidants they have been studies and shown to lower total cholesterol plaque build up in the heart valves and blood pressure!
Well, now you know a bit about rose hips and why they are good for us, and where you can find them, lets get down to the SYRUP!
You will need :
2 cups of fresh rose hips
4 cups of water
2 jars of raw unpasteurized honey (or 1 large jar)
large mason jar
Lots of love!
Start by preparing your rose hip tea. In order to be able to blend the rose hips into the honey, you must start with tea. To make the tea, simply add the water to the pot and boil it. In the meantime, place your rose hips into a blender or food possessor and lightly blend them, in order to break up the berries. Then scrape the blended berries right into the water. Allow for the water to heat up, and you will see it turn a beautiful red color. Do not over boil, but you can cook it slightly to get all of the goodness out of the berries and into the water.
The water should look something like this after about 10 minutes of a slight boil. Kind of the same way that you would cook cranberries! All of the berries should be opened and the water should be nice and rich with berry juice!
Once you are satisfied with the richness of your water, you can start to strain the berries and seeds out. You will need a medium strainer, and its important to strain TWO TIMES , since the berries have fine hairs, you don't want those ending up in your final product.
I strained mine first back into the clean blender, using my teeny tiny strainer ( you should use a larger one, this one sucked) You can press down on the blended mix using a spoon to get all of the juices out.
Almost done the first strain.
Now you can place the strainer over the clean pot you will be using to finish off your syrup, and do your final strain. You will see some goo and fine hairs collecting on the strainer, this is good news. Your liquid should have no particles in it, take a look to make sure.
Now that you have your double strained liquid, place it back onto the stove and turn it onto low simmer, just enough to keep it warm.
Now grab your honey ! But lets talk about the honey for a second. There are many recipes that will use sugar to make this syrup, and the first time I made rose hip syrup, I did use sugar. But when I used it throughout the winter, I always asked myself, how healthy is this syrup now that it is loaded with processed sugar? It kind of ruined that for me. So now, I will only use raw local honey. Today I used local honey from Peace River Alberta! The downside to using honey, is you dont get a syrup that is as thick as you would sugar, but thats a trade off I am willing to take for a more healthy beneficial syrup.
Just pour your honey jars right in! The reason to put on low simmer is to allow for the honey to mix right into your liquid, but it wont be hot enough to damage any of the beneficial elements of the raw honey.
Let your mixture stay warm for a few minutes, and give it a bit of a stir every now and then.
Your final product should have legs when you stir it, you can see the slight thickness right there in the pot. This is perfect!
The final product can now be poured into a mason jar and palced into the fridge to cool. As it cools, it will start to thicken up as well. This syrup can be used on toast, in ice cream, or used as a cough syrup replacement for sore throats and dry coughs. You can also use it as a natural sweetner for coffee or tea, or put it into smoothies for that extra antioxidant boost in the morning!
Thank you so much for reading my newest blog post about rose hips ! I just love so much to write and share all my wealth of information to you guys, it just warms my heart when I find out that yall are using my recipes! If you have an questions, please leave a comment below and send a form submission to my site! Thank you very much, please dont forget to like and follow my facebook or join my website of you want to learn more about the amazing plants and wild edibles that Alberta has to offer! Also follow me on tiktok to see great videos and sneak peaks to new blog posts
*This information for educational purposes only. This blog post is not intended to cure, diagnose treat any type of disease or condition whatsoever, or replace any prescription medication you are currently taking.
Always make sure to check with your doctor before choosing herbal teas or salves for remedies, as some herbs may not work for all people and may react to certain medications.
This post is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease or illness. It is not intended to represent or replace professional medical advice or prescription medicine. It is not intended to give medical advise either. **