You will need:
- Rosehips, freshly foraged, heads and stalks trimmed off, washed
- Sugar, granulated or caster (or whatever is in your cupboard)
- Jar (sterilised)
- Equipment (pot, boiling water, tongs, spoon, folk, scissors)
- Muslin for straining the syrup (and rosehip hairs which irritate)
There are many recipes for rosehip syrup which traditionally involve boiling, straining, and deseeding the rosehips, but this method taken from the Woodland Trust uses the rosehips ‘raw’ maintaining all the properties of the hip. It is by far the easiest recipe to follow and is great for novice foragers and strangers to the kitchen. It’s truly a sweet delight!
Be sure to know you are picking rosehips when out and about, the elongated shape of the rosehip is a giveaway, but it’s always a good idea to get to know your local hedgerows first. Look out for the dog rose bush earlier in the year so you can return to a spot you know will be laden with rosehips. Pick a basket full of hips then wash them at home, removing the furry ends and stalks with a pair of kitchen scissors. Pierce each hip with a fork and layer them in a sterilised jar, in between layers of sugar, sealing the jar when full. Place on a sunny windowsill and watch it turn into syrup.
Turn upside down every few days to let the sugar cover the hips, drawing out the oils and preserving the goodness. After a couple of weeks, or months, strain the syrup into another sterilised jar through a muslin cloth, this is to remove the fine hip ‘hairs’ which are an irritant. Keep in the fridge, and enjoy drizzled on breakfast cereals, diluted in water, or in a mojito!
Rose in all it forms protects against bacterial infection, helps ease menstrual cramps, has natural sedative properties and can help ease joint pain. The hip is packed full of vitamin C and healing oils that treat inflammation, soothing arthritis and joint pain. It’s iron rich so also great for menstrual cramps, and it’s even good for your heart as it reduces blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol in the blood. What a tasty bonus!