Rose hips are an excellent source of vitamin C for fighting winter colds and flu. Although I have gathered and used Rose Hips in floral arrangements for many years, it is only recently that I have learned about their medicinal value and richness in vitamin C. These amazing little seedpods contain 30 to 50 percent more vitamin C than oranges and provide good sources of iron, vitamin A, and calcium. Rose hips have natural occurring chemicals which enhance the immune system, assist in weight loss, lower cholesterol, and destroy cancer cells and free radicals that disease the body.
These little berries from the hedgerow are nutritional powerhouses. Because rose hips stay on the bush thorough the harsh winter months, they make an excellent survival food. The pulpy exterior of the berry can be eaten raw.
Roses grow everywhere and all varieties are edible, even the hybrid tea rose. From my personal experience, I find that rose hips vary in taste and become bitter and pithy the longer they remain on the stem. The wild apothecary Rugosa and Multiflora Rose are my favorite and have the best flavor if gathered in early fall after the hips turn from orange to red.
Rose hips (fresh, dried, or frozen) can be made into a tea by steeping a tablespoon of hips in hot water for 10 minutes. Add rose hips to smoothies, yogurt, and hot cereals for a boost of vitamin C or simply chew the raw or dried fruit.
Since rose hips will retain more vitamins when frozen as oppose to being dried, here are a few tips for freezing your stash this winter:
FREEZING ROSE HIPS A Natural Supply of Vitamin C
In The Field
With garden gloves & scissors clip unsprayed rose hip stems.
In The Kitchen
With kitchen shears, snip berries from long stem.
(I let the multiflora rose stem in clusters & discard any remaining stems before eating.)
Place on a tray and quick freeze 45 minutes or so.
Remove hips from tray and put them in quart jars or sealed freezer bags.
Label and keep for one year.
Hope this 'rosy' advice is helpful.