Harvest fresh rose hips from the garden or forage from them. Take the steps to learn how to dry rose hips for tea and other uses. Learn how to dehydrate rose hips for use at a later time.
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I love roses, regardless of the variety, and enjoy everything about them. Little did I know when I began my journey to live a more holistic life that roses would provided more than beauty. They also provide a fruit which is extremely healthy and beneficial when consumed.
You see, roses bear fruit and the only way to see or even utilize this fruit is to allow the petal to die off and the fruit to ripen. Now, because most grow roses for the beauty of the flower the rose hips are often discarded to allow the bush to produce more roses.
Think of it like this, a beautiful rose variety from Austin Rose is not grown for its hips but the plethora of rose the plant provides when properly pruned. Pruning provides more flowers and a healthier plant and that is exactly what rose enthusiasts seek.
The Benefits of Rose Hips
The goal to living a sustainable life leads to seeking natural alternatives to boost the immune system whenever possible. This includes consuming a more natural form of vitamin C verses purchasing vitamin C powders, gummies, or chewable tablets. Ripe rose hips provided exactly this.
Remember, consuming a cleaner and higher concentrate of vitamin C through the consumption of rose hips is healthier than anything product from your local market.
Aside from Kakadu plums from Australia or Acerola Cherries from the Caribbean, rose hips fall in third as a fruit which contains high amounts of vitamin C. Luckily for all, rose hips are easily available worldwide in gardens and can of be foraged for through wild roses of all varieties.
In addition to containing high amounts of vitamin C rose hips have also been known to help with the following ailments –
- rose hips are used to help with a cold or flu
- boost immunity
- helps to reduce symptoms caused by minor arthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis
- regulate digest
- regulate respiratory conditions
- help build stronger bones and so much more
If you are not incorporating rose hips into your daily regiment I would strongly suggest you do so.
Harvesting and Foraging
Rose hips can be harvested from the rose bushes you intentionally planted or by foraging for them from wild rose bushes. In Washington state wild roses can be found anywhere the sun shines. Remember, any variety of rose will produce a hip.
With that said, rose hips come in various shapes and sizes. For those who seek to grow an abundance of large hips the Rosa Rugosa rose is a great variety to plant. This rose variety produces flowers of many colors and is an exceptionally hardy plant.
Keep in mind, when using rose hips for consumption make sure no harsh chemicals were used near or on the plant. Be exceptionally caution when foraging or the hips near roads or in town.
Here are a few tips to harvesting rose hips –
- Allow the petal to die off naturally. The hips will be green in color and will need to ripen prior to harvesting.
- The hips will be ready for harvest once they achieve an orange or red in color. Some hips will also take on a rich burgundy color.
- Rose hips should be harvested after the first frost though this is not a golden rule. Doing so allows the hips to be soft in texture and easier to clean for drying purposes.
- Snip the step close to the bulb as possible.
Following these tips will allow for how to dry rose hips for tea and other uses much easier.
Unless you are using rose hips for decoration purposes they must be cleaned prior to consuming them. The seeds have very tiny hairs attached to them which are very irritable to the skin. For those who have sensitive skin, clean the rose hips with rubber gloves.
How to Dry Rose Hips for Tea and Other Uses
Rose hips are quite tangy in flavor and can be used in multiple methods – dried, fresh, and even preserved. The uses for rose hips are plentiful, just remember, prior to using rose hips in an edible manner they must be properly cleaned.
The insides of the hips contain seeds and fiber like hairs can be irritating to the touch and cause your mouth and throat to swell when consumed. However, rose hips used for decoration can simply be dried in their whole form.
Some great uses for dried or fresh rose hips –
- How to dry rose hips for tea
- Add to homemade fire cider or elderberry syrup for exceptional immune boosting qualities
- Make jams and jellies
- Use for syrups, sauces, sugar
How to Dehydrate Rose Hips
By far the easiest method for drying rose hips is with the help of a dehydrator. A dehydrator with a rear mounting fan allows the hips to dry at close to an equal time, unlike top or bottom mounting fans.
The steps for how to dehydrate rose hips are quite easy –
- Wash the hips well, removing any dirt or debris on the fruit.
- Cut the rosehips in half and remove the seeds and hairs within the bulb.
- Once the seeds and hairs are removed, gently rinse the inside of the hips. Remember, only the fruit is to be dried for use.
- Place the hips into the dehydrator at 135 degrees, and dry for roughly 6 to 8 hours. The hips are dried once they are firm and brittle to the touch.
- Store the dehydrated hips in a mason jar with an oxygen absorber. Long-term storage will require the lids to be vacuum sealed using a jar sealer.
How to Sun Dry Rose Hips
This process requires no electricity which is ideal for many as it frees up counter space. The only downfall for sun drying rose hips? Full sun for a minimum of 8 to 10 hours is required.
- Follow steps 1 through 3 in the how to dehydrate rose hips section.
- Place cleaned rose hip onto a drying screen which allows air flow around the fruit. Select a drying screen which prevents wild birds from stealing the drying hips.
- Hang the drying screen in full sun, allowing the rose hips to dry all day. They are done drying once they are firm and brittle to the touch.
How to Oven Dry Rose Hips
Preserving rose hips is not reserved to the use of a dehydrator or sun drying. In fact, drying rose hips in an oven is also an option. However, oven drying goods is not my favorite method and here’s why –
- The temperature for oven drying goods must fall between 100 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit depending on what is being dried. The difficulty with this method, modern stoves do not go below 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The drying process can take up to 10 hour. This will require a family meal plan based on what is being dried in the oven.
- In addition to these two points, the goods which are being oven dried must be watched at all times. This prevents over drying and the items being dried ruined.
There you have it, prior to reaching for a vitamin C powder, gummies, or chewable tablet consider utilizing the most natural option available to receive your daily intake of vitamin C.