Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Gift of Rose Hips... and How to Collect, Drink, and Freeze Them

Rose hips are in season!  I have mentioned them before on my blog, but don't think I have given them their fair share of the spotlight!


Here is a ripe rose hip growing on a wild rose bush.  You can see where the wild rose petals fell off, and all that remains is the bud below it.  All summer, the bud was green, and in the fall, they begin to turn a bright beautiful red!


The rose hips I found on our property were quite small... but they are a powerhouse packed full of vitamin C, and I collected all I could find!




So I have diligently been collecting rose hips around our property the last few days since most of them began turning red.  Here is my small collection after a couple of days of looking!  My husband even joined in, bringing me 2 or 3 to add to my collection as he was working out in the yard and came across them.


Somehow a dear friend, RH, found out I was searching for rose hips (and not having much luck), and she gifted me by picking this jar full of rose hips for my birthday!  They were in full bloom abundantly all over her property, and what a beautiful gift it was!

Now if you are wondering what all the "hype" is about rose hips, please read on!  I would like to share with you a few facts I've learned about rose hips, how to find them, how to store them, and how to enjoy them!

A rose hip is the fruit of the rose that grows underneath the rose after it has bloomed.  If the rose was not picked, but allowed to die/dry on the vine, a rose hip will be produced.  The rose hips are green throughout the summer, but in about August/September the green rose hip starts to turn into a gorgeous shade of red.  Once fully red and soft, the rose hip is ready to be picked.  It does help if you wait until after the first frost, because the rose hip will have a sweeter taste then.

Rose hips grow on just about any rose bush, but the kind I am talking about today are the wild roses that grow freely here all over Idaho.  However, you can use any rose hip that you are able to find, just make sure that they have not been sprayed, or had chemicals of any kind on them.

The reason rose hips are such a valuable food source is because of the high level of vitamin C (and other vitamins) found in the rose hip.  Fresh rose hips contain the most vitamin C.  After storing (dried) rose hips, the levels of vitamin C drop.  However, if the fresh rose hip is consumed fresh or if it is frozen immediately after picking, it retains much more of the vitamin C content.  (See here for more information).

Fresh wild rose hips are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, flavonoids and other essential fatty acids that help to keep your bones, muscles, and joints working together properly, as well as they help to boost the red blood cells in your body, which works as an immune support system.  So you can see what a mighty powerhouse the rose hips are for your body!

After doing some research, it appears that drinking fresh rose hip tea is the best way to enjoy these vitamin C, E, & K packed fruit.  Drying/processing causes the rose hips to lose much of their nutritional value.  So, the best thing about the method I am going to show you is this - once you brew the tea, it can be frozen, and you will not lose much of the vitamin C content, as opposed to drying and storing the rose hips.  This appears to be the best way to retain the nutrient value from the rose hips in the best way possible.



For today's post, I simply used the rose hips that I had gathered on my property.  I used about 2 tablespoons of fresh rose hips.  I washed them, and cleaned both ends of the hips, and then placed them in about 1 cup of water.

It is necessary to mention here that you do NOT want to work with rose hips using aluminum pans, but to use stainless steel, glass etc.  The aluminum pot (and utensils) will react with the precious vitamin C, and cause you to lose precious valuable vitamin C content.


That being said, I brought the cup of water to a boil in a stainless steel pan, and let it simmer gently for 15 minutes.


And then it was time to enjoy my rose hip tea! I poured the tea into my beautiful tea cup and stirred in a dab of honey.



And drank to my health!

Now, if you have collected a lot of rose hips, and want to store them in the best way possible to get all the vitamin C, E and K you can from them, you can use this recipe of approximately 2 tablespoons of fresh rose hips to one cup of water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  (If you are using dried rose hips, you can use 2 tsp per 1 cup water).

Once the tea has cooled, you can then pour the rose hip tea into ice cube trays and freeze.  Once frozen, remove from ice cube trays and store in a freezer container labeled "rose hips" (so you won't forget what they are!) Then, throughout the winter, whenever you want a boost of fresh vitamin C, you can pull a rose hip tea cube from your freezer, and place it into a cup of hot tea for that added vitamin C boost!

What does vitamin C do, you may ask?  That is a good question!

Let me, in my own words, after doing some research, attempt to explain it as simply as possible.

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is valuable in preventing and treating cold and flu symptoms. Vitamin C also plays an important role in supporting bones, connective tissues, muscles, and blood vessels.  The body needs vitamin C to help absorb iron, and iron is needed for red blood cell production.  In a roundabout way, vitamin C boosts your red blood cells, and keeps your immune system healthy and active.  If you feel that your immune system is under attack (cold, flu, virus), then you can up your vitamin C intake to 500 mg a day.  Some people take up to 2000 mg of vitamin C a day, but this is only in a severe case of a virus or flu attack.

Since vitamin C helps with your connective tissues, it is important to note that taking extra vitamin C as you grow older will help maintain your connective tissues, and may even work to prevent arthritis, or joint problems.  If you have a vitamin C deficiency, you may experience loosening of your teeth, bleeding gums, bleeding under your skin, and swelling in your joints.

The FDA recommends that men need 90 mg of vitamin C a day, and women need 75 mg a day.

I wondered how much vitamin C is found in an average rose hip.  It was hard to pin down that information, but I did find one website here that says this:   Fresh rose hip contains between 0.5-1.7% vitamin C (5, 8) and is estimated to contain 1250 mg vitamin C per 100 grams of rose hip (6). However, much of the vitamin C is destroyed during drying and processing(11), and declines rapidly with storage (2)

I checked another website and found this:

Fresh rose hips contain 0.5 to 1.7% vitamin C. However, the vitamin C content of dried, commercially available rose hips products varies considerably. While some accounts suggest that rose hips are the richest natural source of vitamin C, a number of more concentrated sources have been identified. Citrus fruits contain approximately 50 mg vitamin C per 100 g; uncooked broccoli, kale, and kiwi fruit, approximately 100 mg; black currants, guavas, and some tropical vegetables, 200 to 300 mg; rose hips (Rosa canina), 1,250 mg; acerola or Barbados cherry (Malpighia punicifolia), 1,000 to 2,330 mg; and Terminalia ferdinandiana, up to 3,150 mg. In addition to vitamin C, rose hips also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and K. Other ingredients include pectin, tannins, flavonoids, carotenoids, and a variety of minor components.

In simpler form: 

Citrus fruit -  50 mg vitamin C per 100 gm
Uncooked broccoli, kale, kiwi - 100 mg per 100 gm
Black currants, guavas, and tropic vegetables - 200-300 mg per 100 gm
Rose hips - 1250 mg per 100 gm
Acerola/Barbados cherry - 1000-2300 mg

Using the gm per gm measurement, fresh rose hips have 25 times more vitamin C in them then an orange!  Quite impressive!

You can buy dried rose hips at just about any online herbal store; however, be aware that the quantity and quality of the vitamin C deteriorates with drying and processing.  Freezing the tea is your best bet for maximizing the benefits of rose hips!

If you would like to do more research on your own, here are some links that you can visit.  Also please leave me a comment to let me know if you have ever made rose hip tea, or other beverages/recipes with rose hips, I would love to hear about it!

https://recipesfromthewild.wordpress.com/rose-hips/ 

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/butler95.html

http://wildcraftvita.blogspot.com/2012/10/rosehip-collection-25-things-to-do-with.html



41 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info ~ great idea of freezing the tea in ice cube trays. :-) ♥

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    1. Indeed, it is a great idea, I thought! Great way to get that extra boost of vitamin C deep in the heart of winter :) Appreciate your visit and hope you are enjoying the fall weather!

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  2. Wonderful Post!!! I have known about rose hips for a long time now. Isn't it just amazing how our good God provide for us!!! Everything we need to stay heathy is in the plant all around us!! He is so Good!!

    Kelly

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    1. Oh yes, he certainly has provided us with so much abundance all around us! It is wonderful to find things that grow wild in abundance that are good for you. Appreciate your visit today :)

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  3. A great post.. Thank you.. I love using rosehips but did not realize that you should not dry them and freezing is better..
    Also ...
    Could you email me at houseofhenry@hotmail.com as I need to ask you a question.. Thanks dear.. xo

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    1. I did not know about the loss of nutrients in drying either, until i began to research it some more. So, I'll be making lots of rose hip tea :) I have just emailed you! Appreciate your visit today :)

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  4. Great information and beautiful rose hips! I have been typing up a similar post on rose hips this week also (great minds think alike ~wink~) but I will say yours are much prettier. Mine are not wild and are more orangey. I would love to be able to forage like you did :)

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    1. Oh wow, that is awesome! I will be looking for your post! It doesn't matter if yours are not wild, as long as they are chemical free. It is fun foraging :) It is so wonderful to know that we can find good uses for plants to boost our nutrition. I look forward to reading your post... have a lovely evening :)

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    2. I was hoping you would add this post to the link up :) Thanks for sharing it!

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  5. How very intresting. This is the first time I read about rose hip and their benefits. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs and Kisses,
    ❤️Ana

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    1. Oh, glad that you were able to read about the rose hips. Appreciate your visit today, and hope you continue to enjoy lovely fall weather :)

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  6. Wow! this post is packed with useful information! Thank you for sharing.
    I will definitely be trying the tea.
    Have a great weekend!
    Debbie
    xo

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    1. Awesome, so glad you found this helpful... it has been a blessing to know I am getting such wonderful vitamin C enrichment from something found right in my yard! Have a blessed and wonderful day :)

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  7. What an interesting post. Thanks for sharing all the information. I quite like rose hip tea, nice to know that it is good for me :-)
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Rose hip tea has a wonderful flavor to it, and even better knowing it has such vitamin C packed goodness too! Thanks for your visit, and hoping you have a blessed and beautiful fall day!

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  8. I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying rose hip tea, but after your lovely tribute to this fruit, I am definitely destined for a cup of this vitamin rich elixir! Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend!

    Poppy

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    1. Yes, isn't it wonderful to find out information about something that can be found in your own garden! I love the taste of rose hip tea as well, very gentle and soothing, with subtle earth tones, and even better knowing how good it is for you :) Have a blessed and beautiful fall day dear Poppy!

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  9. Wow, this is so interesting! I buy Vitamin C supplements with rose hips, never knowing exactly what they were! I had no idea they could be collected in your yard. Thanks for all the interesting facts. And thanks for visiting my blog!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad this was helpful information... this is what makes blogging such a wonderful thing to do! And it is wonderful to know that these vitamin C boosts can be found in your own backyard, even better! Have a blessed and beautiful fall day :)

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  10. I love rose hip tea! One year my hubby and I picked a ton of rose hips and gave them away for Christmas. Haven't done that in a few years....nows the time to go picking if you can get to the mountains... of course you live in the beauty of the mountains! And I have to drive for a bit to get to ours...ha!
    Thanks for all the information on them, I forgot how good they are for you.
    Enjoy your week!
    Hugs, Amy

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    1. OH what an awesome Christmas present to receive! It is the time to pick now for sure. It makes for a fun time out in the woods or in your own yard :) Appreciate your visit, and hope you are having a fabulous fall day :)

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  11. I love rose hip tea! One year my hubby and I picked a ton of rose hips and gave them away for Christmas. Haven't done that in a few years....nows the time to go picking if you can get to the mountains... of course you live in the beauty of the mountains! And I have to drive for a bit to get to ours...ha!
    Thanks for all the information on them, I forgot how good they are for you.
    Enjoy your week!
    Hugs, Amy

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  12. I've had rose hip tea and really enjoyed it. Although it wasn't fresh like yours. I think it was Celestial Seasonings, or something like that. Love your cup. I do believe those are Morning Glories, which I adore. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Yes, and I too love morning glories! Well, anything blue speaks to my heart, including blue bonnets, and lupins, and morning glories! Yes, rose hip tea is a special tea that really is power packed, and so wonderful to know that you could even find some in your own yard! :) Have a blessed and wonderful day Nancy!

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  13. This is simply fabulous, my friend! We have a bunch of rose hips this year and I knew they were an excellent source of vitamin C, but I had no idea you could prepare them this way. I am going to have to take a hike this week with my little one and gather some rose hips {{smiles}}

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful information, lovely lady. Wishing you a beautiful week. Love and hugs!

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    1. Oh how wonderful to know that you have such wonderful access to rose hips! I love drinking the tea, and look forward to many such days using my frozen tea "drops". :) Hoping you are able to relax, and enjoy the beautiful fall weather! Many blessings across the miles :)

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  14. What a wealth of information! I have been looking at the rose hips on my bushes but I don't have many as I picked most of those roses. (: Your tea looks wonderful! Have a beautiful day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Yes, picking the roses doesn't allow the rose hip to develop... such a hard choice, because I do love roses! We are blessed here to have wild roses growing abundantly, which is beautiful in the spring, and awesome in the fall when rose hips are ripe to be picked. I hope you are having a beautiful and blessed fall day in my dear PEI! I will be by to visit your blog soon! :)

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  15. Informative and wonderful post! Visiting from Roses of Inspiration #38!
    ~Tanya

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    1. Thanks so much for your visit Tanya, it is always wonderful to meet new friends in this blogging world! Hoping you are having a blessed and beautiful fall day :)

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  16. Rose hips are so cute! And full of so many good things too. This was a fun post, thanks for sharing! And thank you for stopping by to say hi on my blog. Have a great day!

    Alexis @ www.chemistrycachet.com

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    1. They really are so pretty when they are nice and ripe, and it is good to know that they can be found in your own backyard (if you grow roses). I appreciate your return visit, and hope to visit your blog again soon... have a blessed and beautiful fall day!

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  17. Hello new friend!
    I love rose hips! Never really knew where they came from.....I have dried rosehips that I keep in a tray surrounded by candles. I also have a Rosehips and Hibiscus Tea that I drink, supposedly loaded with antioxidants! This was really interesting Marilyn, so glad I stopped by!
    xo
    Linda

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    1. Hello dear Linda, so happy to see you visiting here...and enjoying my goodies while I visit a bit with my blogging friends. Appreciate you so much, and am glad that you like rose hip tea... it has a wonderful earthy flavor and it is good to know that you are drinking to your health too! I am so glad you stopped by as well, and I look forward to visiting you again on your blog soon. Have a blessed and beautiful fall day! :)

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  18. I love tea. A freshly brewed one like this for sure tastes better.

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  19. Wow, really neat! I didn't even know what "rose hips" were before.

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  20. This was such a great post! I remember my dear mother taking some sort of Vitamin C supplement, and she would always want me to make sure it was the kind with rose hips. Other than that, I did not really know anything about them. But, now I feel a lot more educated, thanks to you and this wonderful research! This must have taken you so long to do all of this for us...thank you so very much, sweet friend! God bless you abundantly!!

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  21. Good morning! I have ~ featured ~ this informative post today on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Have a lovely week :)

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  22. So much good information here. I am motivated to look for rose hips!

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  23. My mother used to tell me how, as a schoolgirl in the war, she used to pick rose hips for the war effort. The children were paid ( very little) per sackful! This was because there were no oranges or lemons available in England in those years. The hips were made into syrup which was issued via the baby clinics for babies and young children to provide vitamin c. This syrup was still issued to families when I was born in the 1960s. I now live in Norway and I made my own rose hip syrup when my babies were born. Rose hip tea is easily available in the supermarkets here, and seasonally, in the autumn time, rose hip jam is also available commercially. I wonder what the vitamin content of this could be.

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  24. Great information! Thank you for linking up at #HomeMattersParty and hope to see you again soon!

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