A relative of apples, roses create these gorgeous fruits, the hips, that are packed with vitamin C and that have skins tasting much like apple skins. They are edible, but they taste much better when you use them for making teas, syrups, jellies, and even soups.
Gail's article inspired me to try making rose hip syrup. It's incredibly simple to do. After gathering the ripe hips (I just use a good pair of kitchen scissors), wash thoroughly and pick through them, removing any blemished hips. Put them in a saucepan and fill with enough water to just cover the hips. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a bowl, pressing the hips gently with a spoon.
You can discard the hips at this point, or add them to your compost. Gail says that chickens love to eat them, too! I don't have a compost here, so I had to discard mine, but I included a photo of the cooked hips above because they are just so pretty!
You're left with a gorgeous, pinky-golden liquid, which you can now drink as tea with a little honey or make into syrup. I made mine into syrup by adding one part honey to three parts rose hip liquid. I cooked it to dissolve the honey and thicken slightly. It's not a thick syrup, so you don't need to cook it for long. Once cooled, pour into a storage container and pop it in the fridge where it will keep for a couple of weeks. Delicious!
This morning I made whole wheat banana pancakes with rose hip syrup.
Perfectly ripe bananas. My dream food.
The owners of the cottage where we're staying have this tiny pitcher (even smaller than a typical creamer) which seems custom-made for the rose hip syrup. How did they know?
Gail says the syrup is perfect on ice cream as well.
Guess I'll be forced to try that, too!