Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rose Hips - Edible jems from your ROSE BUSH

Do you have roses? Then you have Rose Hips!

Rose Hips are an excellent source of Vitamin C - more than an Orange in fact! When your roses are finished blooming, don't dead-head them and see what happens... a scrumptious little rose hip forms! Let the rose hip grow and ripen (starts out green and eventually turns orange, then red). In the fall, the rose hip is ready to be picked - here in Oregon, it's usually around early/mid October when they are ready - but you don't want to wait too long after the first frost because after that happens, the vitamin C content starts to diminish! The best time to pick is either just before the first frost or right after. You also don't want to wait until they start getting brown spots or start to wrinkle or be mushy, but it is okay if they are just slightly soft and yeild with gentle pressure - you want them dark orange/red and round and without brown for the best results!

What do I use Rose Hips for, you ask? You can make a delicious fall tea to warm you up after raking leaves... you can make a soup to warm you up too! Rose Hips make a yummy jelly, and you can also put them on top of a salad or add them to other dishes.

After you pick 'em, you want to dry 'em. Cut them in half for faster results. You can either remove the seeds and hairs now, or it will be easier once they are dried after a day or so. Then, you can freeze them or dry store them, boil them and strain them in a sieve for jelly or process them in a food processor into chunks for a tea or for snacks/baking (use like you would raisins or cranberries), or keep processing them into a powder that you can sprinkle into your recipes for a C boost!

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