Most people think of beautiful fragrant rose flowers when they think of a rose bush, but the rose plant also produces an edible wonder food called rose hips or rose haws.
Rose hips are a fruit, roughly the shape of a berry, which is left on the bush after the rose flower has died. Rose hips are among the richest plant sources of Vitamin C, surprisingly even higher than citrus fruits. Many individuals use rose hips on a daily basis as a nutritional supplement, ingesting it in pill form or by brewing the rose hips into a delicious tea.
Rose hips are harvested off the rose bush after the first frost. The berries, predominantly bright red or orange in color, have a slightly tangy flavor which many say is reminiscent of the sweet-tart flavor of cranberries.
The medicinal benefits of rose hips are legendary because they serve as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body. Many people suffering from arthritis and other painful conditions affecting their joints consume rose hip powder which in addition to high levels of anti-oxidants also contains anti-flammatory ingredients. Because there are no known side effects to using rose hips as a natural health remedy, many individuals also consume rose hip power or take it as a tea to successfully combat symptoms of flu, diarrhea as well as urinary tract infections.
Approximately two tablespoons of dried rose hips boiled in water for 10 minutes results in a fragrant and delicious hot tea which delivers vitamin C as well as anti-oxidants. Rose hips are often combined with hibiscus flowers, orange peel or fresh mint when used in tea preparations.
Rose hips from the Rugusa rose plant are valued for their excellent flavor for use in many culinary preparations. Be sure to remove the seeds prior to using in recipes and only cook rose hips in stainless steel pans to avoid losing their beautiful color and Vitamin C content. Rose hips can be added to the cooking water when making apple sauce, can be used as a flavoring to season salad dressings and sauces, can be added to crock pots when cooking soups or hearty stews, or can be used to create syrups for pancakes or for use in iced teas. Rose hips are also popularly used to make jellies and preserves.
Rose hips are popularly used in many dessert recipes, ranging from pie and nut tea bread to pudding and rose hips sugar candy which proves to be a delicious way to get your daily quota of Vitamin C.