Both rose petals and rose hips are edible. Be sure to harvest both the roses and the hips from rose bushes that have not been sprayed or fed with a chemical systemic. Organic grown rose bushes are the ones you should chose to harvest from.
Rose hips are high in vitamin C and are best harvested right after a light frost when they are slightly soft. The frost makes them sweeter. There will be seeds inside of each hip that can be used to grow more roses. There are also tiny hairs on rose hips which can be irritating to the throat. These should be removed. The easiest way to do this is to lay the rose hips out to dry, and then grind them. The tiny hairs will fall off. Put the ground hips into a sieve and give it a good shaking. The hairs will fall through the sieve and all you will have left is the ground up hips.
When using rose petals, be sure to cut off the white part right at the end of the petal where it attaches to the stem due to the bitterness of the white area. Choose roses that are highly fragrant for the best outcome. The fragrance will be evident in your food.
Here are a few recipes for using rose petals and hips.
Rose Petal Jelly
- 3 cups fresh picked, clean fragrant rose petals
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 packet powdered pectin
In a stainless steel saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the rose petals and cover the pan with a lid. Set this aside and allow it to steep for five minutes.
Line a colander with cheesecloth while the rose petals are steeping. When the rose petals are done steeping, pour the liquid through the colander making sure the rose petals are caught in the cheesecloth. Squeeze the cheesecloth so all the remaining liquid is removed from the rose petals. Compost the used rose petals.
Return the pan to a medium high heat; add in the pectin making sure to stir continually until the pectin is dissolved. Bring to a hard boil and stir in the sugar and lemon juice making sure once again that the sugar completely dissolves. Be sure to keep stirring the contents of the pan so the jelly does not burn.
Bring to a hard boil and cook for two minutes. Remove the foam scum that forms on top of the jelly, and then pour the jelly into sterilized canning jars . The smaller 4 ounce or half pint jars work well.
Wipe jar rims, put lids and bands on making sure they are fingertip tight. Process for ten minutes in a cold pack canner , remove and tighten lids.
Set the hot jars on a secure surface. I lay an old towel on top of my table and set the canning jars on it. Remember these jars are hot so use hot pads and jar lifters.
Tighten the bands as tight as possible.
Allow the jars to cool overnight. When the jars are completely cool, remove the bands and check the lids to make sure they are sealed.
To check the lids, simply try to lift them up with your fingers. If they come off, set the food in the refrigerator and eat it within a week. If they do not come off, the cans are sealed. Replace the band and store in a cool, dark place.
Be sure to label the jars with the name of the food in them and the date.
Rose Hip Candy
- 1 cup ground rose hips
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons water
This is a great way to get the little ones in the family to eat rose hips!
Put the water and sugar into a stainless steel pan; bring to a gentle boil while stirring continually so the sugar does not burn. Add in the rose hips. Cook for five to ten minutes but do not let the rose hips burn.
Remove the rose hips and roll them in sugar until they are well coated. Another option, if the rose hips are sweet enough without rolling them in pure sugar is to make a coating of chocolate or cinnamon sugar to create a different taste.