Foraging for Rose Hips

As you know I am into my bushcraft/foraging and September/October is the perfect time for gathering Rose Hips. Rose Hips have been used for many years as a source of vitamin C in syrup form, they have also been used in wine, bread, jam, soup, bread and many more.
You can also eat Rose Hips Raw like any other fruit although I would advise taking care with the hairs inside the hip itself as they can cause irritation. The hairs are actually used to make home made itching powder so you can imagine how itchy your throat would be.

The main thing I will show you how to make is Rose Hip Oil as I use this in my fishing baits although I will also tell you how I make Rose Hip Tea and Rose Hip Syrup both of which are delicious.

Okay so the first one and one I use the most is the rose hip oil and for this you will need…

500g Rose Hips
Carrier Oil (such as Sunflower Oil, Almond Oil, Hemp Oil)
Cheese Cloth/Muslin Cloth

Chop all your rose hips in half and add them to a saucepan, cover them in oil using 1 part Rose Hips to 2 Parts Oil.
Now when heating your oil you want to “slow cook” the mix to get the best out of your oil. To achieve this gently simmer on a low heat for 4-6 hours and keep the lid on the saucepan, give the mix a stir every hour to create a more even distribution of the flavours.

Allow the mxture to cool down and then strain the mixture through your cheese/muslin cloth and store in your airtight jar.
You can use your Rose Hip Oil in your cooking as you would any other oil but I also use it in my fishing bait recipes and I use 5ml per egg I use in a boilie recipe.

Another good way to use Rose Hips is to create a syrup. The syrup has been used by people all over as a home remedy for the common cold due to the high levels of Vitamin C. It also goes very nicely on toast, dribbled over ice cream or even diluted as a nice tasting alternative to squash.

So to make the syrup you are going to need…

600g Rose Hips
Two and a Half Pints of Mineral Water
1 Pound of Sugar

Place your rose hips in a food blender and blend to a textured mush, whilst your doing the blending bring your 2 pints of mineral water (you can use any water but I think mineral water gives it a nicer taste) to a boil.

Add your rose hip mush to your boiling water, give it a stir to mix it all together and put the lid on the saucepan. Reduce the heat so that the mixture is gently simmering and simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the mixture from the heat and leave to cool down slightly for 10-15 minutes. Strain the mixture through some muslin/cheese cloth and return the strained liquid back into the saucepan.

Add the other half a pint of mineral water and bring back to the boil. Pour in the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool down and the transfer to sterilised airtight bottles and store in the fridge.

On to the final mix that I like and that is Rose Hip Tea. This is actually very easy to do (even easier if you have a dehydrator), if you don’t have a dehydrator give your rose hips a wash and cut the stem and the pointy ends off.

Place your rose hips onto a tray and place in a source of direct sunlight where they are going to feel the heat. The drying time will vary due to the strength of the sun and heat ( a dehydrator should do the job in around 6 hours) but give them a gentle squeeze and you will be able to tell when they have dried out. (they also go quite shrivelled)

Once your rose hips are dried place them in a food blender and give them a quick blitz. You want to keep the pieces fairly large. Place the blitzed rose hips into a flour sieve and gently shake so that all the hairs fall through the sieve leaving you with the dried rose hip and the seeds. Tip the remaining mixture into an airtight jar and use as and when you want.

To make a nice cup of rose hip tea add two teaspoons of dried rose hips to a four cup cafetiere, add boiling water. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, sieve and serve.

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