Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Every Rose has its....Rose Hip!

As a gardener living close to the majestic, yet unforgiving Atlantic Ocean, I'm always in search of plants that can sustain harsh seaside conditions. Through trial and error, I've managed to grow a rather eye pleasing perennial garden of flowers and shrubs that can hold their own against the bitter cold, wicked winds and stinging salt spray. Our rugosa rose bushes in particular have been very successful. Nothing pleases my nose more than their heavenly scent during an early-morning stroll through our garden path. With autumn drawing near, the beautiful pink blossoms of the summer have been replaced by plump, bright red fruit - rose hips.

Until recently, I had only admired rose hips for their beauty and the cheerful splash of color they added to my fall garden. Little did I know the culinary treat that I had growing in my own front yard! A long-time gardener friend introduced me to their edible nature after she enthusiastically picked a ripe red hip and began to nibble on it. Of course, I joined in on the fun and was pleasantly surprised by their tasty apple-like flavor. A few Google searches later and I had big plans to make my homegrown batch of rose hip jelly.

Despite a few thorns in my side, I was able to pick a few quarts in no time. Not only did I make a delicious batch of jelly, I even had enough left over to make yummy rose hip cake. Ironically, the cake recipe was supplied by Chi-Chi and Muffy, directly from the pages of one of their favorite story books, A Whole Day Full of Surprises from The Adventures of Broughton Bear series. My gardener friend (who has more patience than I do) seeded a basket of rose hips and popped them in the blender with a dash of honey. She claims it makes a very tasty topping to her morning yogurt. I just might give this a try!

As a bonus, rose hips are an excellent source of Vitamin C! With cold and flu season on its way, a little extra Vitamin C in the house might not be a bad idea. I've still got lots left to dry for a healthy and tasty cup of tea during the colder months.

Now I'm starting to wonder what other tasty treats are hiding in my flower garden....any suggestions?


sherrieg said...

Oooh, could you please post your jelly recipe? We have tons of roses (and rosehips) on our property, and I've never done anything with them. Thanks! :)

April said...

Ooo, Broughton Bear would be proud (Toby was in my store today, in fact!) I'd love to try some of this. My rose bush is only two years old, and only produced one rose for each year it's been planted...not enough for jelly yet, but one day!

The Wool Fairy said...

Hi Sherrie,

Here's the link to the page I got the recipe from. This one used Certo and more sugar than I'd like to admit....but it was pretty foolproof.

Another simple treat is a rose hip smoothie I did up this morning. Soy milk, strawberries, blueberries, bananas and rose hips! I used about 5 rose hips and seeded them by cutting them in half and scooping out the seeds under running water with my fingertip. It did the job well and 5 hips was doable.

Ok, Here's the link!

April, my bushes are only about 2-3 years old so it won't be long! You'll be harvesting before you know it.

sherrieg said...

Thanks for the recipe link! I think I might try it this weekend. :)

Michelle said...

I can't believe I never knew these were edible! We have them growing wild all along our driveway! Thank you so much for the info--we'll be researching tonight & harvesting tomorrow :-)

I'll let you know how it turns out!


The Wool Fairy said...

Hi Michelle,

Yes, you must give them a try. Just google rosehips and you'll be all set with lots of ideas. I made a batch of apple muffins and substituted the apples for rosehips. Deseeding is easily done by cutting them in half and scooping the seeds out with your fingernail under running water.

Good luck and let me know how you make out.