EDIBLE MOUNTAIN — Rose Hips
The rose hip is the accessory fruit of the various species of rose plants. Whether the pride of your garden is the English rose, American rose, vintage rose, or Multiflora rose, all are producing rose hips that are edible if, of course, not sprayed with pesticides.
Since rose hips are in the same family as apples (Rosaceae), they’re packed with a ton of vitamin C. In England, these sweet “false fruits” are popular in making tea, jam and syrup.
The best time to pick rose hips is after the first frost. You do want to remove the seeds because they contain hair that are actually used as an ingredient in itching powder!
When preparing a tea, keep a few things in mind. Dry them whole to avoid the hairs. Drying them in the oven with a temp of 100 F will draw out the flavor and preserve the vitamin C. And dry them until brittle; this could take 3-12 hours. Steep in hot water for 10-15 minutes and then strain with a coffee filter to enjoy a delicious and healthy cup of tea. And don’t forget dried rose hips can be stored for months, sealed in a
jar and kept in a dry, cool place.
So next year instead of dead heading your roses, you may want to think twice so you can gather the rose hips for delicious and healthy tea, jam and syrup throughout the winter months.
Edible Mountain is a bite-sized, digital series from WVPB that showcases some of Appalachia’s overlooked and underappreciated products of the forest while highlighting their mostly forgotten uses. The series features experts, from botanists to conservationists, who provide insight on how to sustainably forage these delicacies. It also explores the preparation of these amazing delectables, something that many could
achieve in the home kitchen.