Stop and eat the roses—er rose hips. This edible part of roses are commonly used to make herbal tea, but chock full of nutrients and vitamins and with a subtly sweet flavor there’s much more you can do with rose hips.
What Are Rose Hips?
Rose hips are the seed-filled pods, sometimes called the fruit of the rose, part of a rose. They’re found underneath the rose petals of a rose and look like small, berry-sized, reddish (although they also come in yellow and black). They’re edible with the right preparation.
How to Cook With Rose Hips
While you can eat rose hips without cooking them they’re commonly used to make herbal teas, jams, jellies, syrups, and vinegar. If you’re using fresh rose hips you’ll want to rinse and trim any leaves and/steams off of them. From there if you’re making them into a jam, jelly, syrup or vinegar you’ll need to reduce by placing in a saucepan with water and cooking on a low heat until the rose hips are soft (about an hour).
If you’re using them in tea, you’ll likely want to dry the rose hips out first. Again, rinse and trim them first but then lay them out in a sunny spot and leaving them to darken and shrivel up—about 7 hours.
What Do They Taste Like?
Rose hips have a floral, slightly sweet flavor with a touch of tartness.
Rose Hip Recipes
Rose hips make great jellies, sauces, syrups, soups, seasoning, and even fruit leather.
Where to Buy Rose Hips?
While rose hip tea is widely available in many grocery stores if you’re looking simply for rose hips you’ll find it easier to source online or from your local drug store where you can find them dried. If you’re looking for fresh rose hips your best option is to forage for them from your garden or in the woods right after the first autumn frost (this is when the sugar content in the rose hips is at the highest).
You can store dried rose hips in airtight jars for up to a year. Fresh rose hips can be stored in the fridge but should be used within a week.
Nutrition and Benefits
While rose hips are a popular natural remedy for a variety of health problems such as arthritis, ulcers and more here isn’t enough scientific research to say how beneficial they are. However, rose hips contain a lot of Vitamin C, as well as an anti-inflammatory compound, called galactolipids.