pic above: beautiful red rosehips.
Rosehips are a medicinal herb and grow abundantly on the bushes surrounding the allotments where GD and I have our little plot. Trying to live from seasonal and local produce these were a delightful find, away from pollution and easy to gather, baring catching the hands on the prickly thorns.
Rose hips and seeds are covered with fine hairs (the origins of itching powder ), which can irritate the skin and cause internal damage, important not to eat them raw or collect them in a pocket or apron. The hips are used to make jellies, preserves,sauces and wine. Rosehips are a super source of vitamin C being four times higher than blackcurrant juice and twenty times higher than that of an orange.
pic above: sharp thorns.
They were part of the war effort to boost vitamin intake and prevent scurvy when fruits were hard to come by.
Hips are ready to harvest when they are firm with just a little give and bright red in color.
pic above: Simmering the rosehips in water, about 10 minutes is fine.
Rosehip has a delicate pink heart shaped flower, which indicates it is beneficial in matters of the heart, soothing, nourishing, nurturing. Calming anxiety and healing the gut. Anti inflammatory it is beneficial in treating arthritic conditions especially the knees.
Sensory Solutions Herbal Evolution, whose recipe I am based around, write ‘Rosehip has a maternal quality ‘the constant giver’, use rosehip in syrup form to put nurture back in when you’ve been giving out to others’.
pic above: Straining the rosehips through a jelly bag.
The rosehip syrup Gd is helping me with today is sweetened with concentrated apple juice. We also make syrup using sugar, but this particular recipe is a great find for us as we usually make our own apple juice, this year though with moving house we did have to buy some in, it is expensive this way but well worth the end result.
Rosehips. we filled about a 1/2 litre ice cream tub.
Apple juice Concentrate. Suma do a concentrated organic apple juice. We got ours from Amazon.
Spring Water. the water in our area is soft and fluoride free, so we felt it fine to use instead of spring.
1. Place rosehips in a large pan.
2. Cover with water.
3. Bring to the boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Mash with a potato masher.
5. Blend until smooth.
6. Strain through a jelly bag or muslin square. This is most important to strain out those fine hairs. Let strain for a couple of hours.
7. Add the apple juice concentrate 2 parts apple to 1 part rosehip. We had 200 ml of rosehip juice and 400 ml of apple concentrate juice.
8. Return to pan and boil rapidly for another 5 minutes.
9. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal immediately. Makes two small jars.
pic above: apple juice and sugar based rosehip syrups.
We ended up making both apple based and sugar based rosehip syrups today. You can see the difference in the colours. The apple based syrup is on the left and has a far more intense royal taste, the sugar based on the right retains the bright orange colour of the syrup and a lighter rosehip taste.
GD likes his over his morning porridge or yogurt but it would go well also as an ice cream topping. You can make it into a drink by diluting with hot or cold water, can be used also to flavour homemade ice lollies.
I like it because we are working with nature, picking from the hedgerows around us and it tastes divine.