Rosehips are the fruit of the rose bush. If you’re like me, you are probably surprised to hear that roses even produce fruit. But indeed, they do. Also known as “haws” and “heps,” rose hips are orange-red, somewhat oblong, and about the size of a grape.
Rosehips ripen in late summer through autumn. They can be consumed fresh, but have traditionally been used dried for teas. The fruit is one of nature’s highest sources of Vitamin C, though the C content can vary extensively from species to species. Nevertheless, the presence of Vitamin C and antioxidants make rosehips a delightful way to boost immunity during cold and flu season.
The hips I have were foraged from Deer Creek Canyon, with the help of my husband and brother. They are “wild rose hips,” also known as Rosa woodsii. This species is incredibly fragrant, smelling very much like sweet apples. I will say these are another good herb for beginners. The fruits themselves are easy to identify, given their color and fragrance. And the shrubs themselves have the tell-tale thorns on the stems and the leaflets have little teeth. Here is a botanical as compared to the actual rosehips for your reference:
It takes a little grunt work to prepare the hips for drying, since each is filled with furry little seeds. After rinsing them, you’ll need to cut each hip in half, scoop out the seeds, and then let the hips dry flat for a few days in a warm, sunny spot. Alternatively, you can purchase rose hips here.
Anyway, it occurs to me than an an apple-flavored herbal tea is begging for some spice. So the recipe calls for a bit of cinnamon, as well as a little hibiscus for added antioxidants and honey for sweetness. It tastes like a lovely, mellow apple cider.
Spiced Rosehip Tea
Makes 1 serving
1 tsp dried rosehips
2-3 cinnamon chips
1 small dried hibiscus petal
8 oz boiling water
Honey to taste
Steep all ingredients in boiling water for ten minutes. Strain. Add honey to taste.