Healthy Food · Wild Foods

Wild Rose Hip Tea

Ever since I worked in a flower shop, de-thorning roses, I’ve had a distaste for this flower. I prefer wildflowers to green-house grown anyways. However, I have found myself growing attached to the wild roses I’ve found growing in the woods… Oh wait, that’s just my pant leg.

There is a Dutch proverb, “Roses fall, but the thorn remains.” I think this is supposed to be a poetic metaphor regarding aging beauty, but I like to repeat it to myself as I’m foraging. Wild rose hip tea is a wonderful warm and refreshing drink for the winter months, but beware the thorns!

I’ve spent several evenings picking rose hips out in the woods and each time ended up snagging myself several times on these vengeful plants. I suppose it’s only fair since I am benefiting so much from it’s fruit.

There are so many varieties of roses and rose hips that you should be able to find some nearby to forage for. If the thought of thorns makes you wary, you should be able to pick up some bulk dried rose hips from your local health foods store.

1 cup of Wild Rose Hip Tea is packed with more vitamin C than an orange. It has beneficial flavonoids, zinc, and vitamins A, B-3, D and E. That’s a lot of goodness! It has a refreshing citrus-tomato like flavor that is quite unique and the perfect pick-me-up on a cold day.

Rose hips are the fruit and seed left over when the rose blossom dies. They turn ripe and red in fall and winter, staying fresh long after snow has fallen. I didn’t even know we had roses growing wild on the property until I stepped smack-dab into a bush. My initial reaction of anger subsided when I saw all the red berries in front of me!

Rose hips are edible raw, but their seeds are not. If you wish, you may cut them up or eat around the seeds, but by far the most pleasant way to enjoy rose hips is through making a tea. And don’t worry-you don’t need to remove the seeds if using the rose hips in tea!

After picking your wild rose hips, you will need to remove the stem and wash them. Then you can use them immediately or dry them. I’ve used a food dehydrator and dried them in 5 hours, but you can also leave them on a drying rack in an area with plenty of air flow and they will dry in a few days. Dried, your rose hips will last you all through winter!

Wild Rose Hip Tea:

Steep 1 teaspoon of rose hips in recently boiled water. Let sit for 20-30 minutes and enjoy. Reheat if necessary.

Have you tried rose hip tea? Do you think a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?

Keep exploring!

~Katelyn

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