Rosehips are the fruit or seed pod of a rose plant, and they form after the rose has bloomed. If you deadhead the flower, the seed pod won’t form. They usually form in late summer or early autumn. They best time to forage is after the first frost.
I didn’t wait that long.
Rosehips are ready to harvest when they are red or orange, and firm. Harvest by simply picking but watch out for thorns! how to harvest. Wash them well and either use them immediately or cut of the stem and bottom and let them air dry. Store them in a dark place for later use. They are great for tea, jams, jellies and vinegars.
I wanted to use them fresh, so I cut them in half and scooped out the seeds. The seeds are about the size of grape seeds, and the pod is also filled with tiny bristles that stick to your fingers. It’s tedious but necessary. The fibres can cause irritation inside and outside your body! One article referred to it as “itchy bottom disease”. Nasty! Therefore, if you are not using the whole rosehip, Chef Mueller recommends using a coffee filter.
I followed Chef Mueller’s recipe for rosehip tea. I had about a 1/4 cup of chopped (and mostly de-seeded) rosehips but added more than a cup of boiling water (because I wanted to share the experiment with Mom). At first, I used a defuser within a defuser, but the water wasn’t covering all the pulp. So I removed the larger infuser, and poured the steeped tea through a coffee filter. I steeped the tea for 15-20 minutes because it was light in colour and I had used more water than recommended.
The tea was a very pale yellow and it had a slightly earthy, tart smell. It’s hard to describe the taste. At first it was slightly sweet and floral, but it also had a slightly tangy quality to it. It had a definite astringent aftertaste. Overall, it wasn’t particularly pleasant, but it also wasn’t completely unpleasant. Helpful, I know. I added some honey and the sweetness helped. I then added some plain black tea and that provided a much fuller flavour.
Rose hip tea is great as a cold remedy because it has up to 25 times the amount of Vitamin C in oranges! Rose hips are also very rich in Vitamins E, K, and B, and act as an antioxidant.
O my Luve is like a red, red roseThat’s newly sprung in June;O my Luve is like the melodyThat’s sweetly played in tune.