Easy to make and nutritious rosehip syrup is a great way to enjoy rosehip's fruity taste and benefits in the kitchen.
One of my favorite fruits I like to forage in autumn are rosehips. Their bright red color is easy to spot among chestnuts, acorns and nuts and their medicinal benefits are just too perfect for the autumn cold and flu season.
While many people like to make tea or jam, I also use rosehips in fire cider, elderberry tincture, wine or this rosehip sauce, that we used for our Thanksgiving dinner.
Today however I would like to share with you my favorite recipe to make rosehip syrup.
Rosehip syrup benefits
Rosehips have a long history of use. Our ancestors have been using them during the cold winter months or during World war II. to survive. Packed with vitamin C they replaced citrus fruits that were not available during that time.
Together with vitamin A and E content they play an important role in prevention of flu and cold as they strengthen our immune system. (1), improve blood flow (2) and certain studies suggest that rose hips from Rosa canina may help with weight loss (3).
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When to harvest rose hips
Rose hips ripen in late summer with noticeable color change turning to orange and deep shades of red at maturity. While the outer flesh is delicious, inside the fruit are plenty of seeds that are irritating. But for the purpose of making rosehip syrup we don’t need to remove them, we are going to strain them with double cheesecloth.
Ideally, they should be picked after the first frost as it softens the fruit. However where I live there is hardly any frost so I just pick them from September all the way to December. Some people suggest putting them in the freezer overnight, allowing them to soften.
There are several types of rose hips but all are edible. It is good to know that rose hips come with thorns so I always wear long sleeves, trousers and garden gloves. While picking, don't forget to leave something for squirrels and birds.
Where to get rose hips for syrup
If you prefer to skin the foraging step or you don’t have an access to rosehips you can order dried rose hips
How to make rosehip syrup
Once you collect two baskets of rosehips, wash them thoroughly and you are set to make your first batch of rosehip syrup.
Depends on the type of rosehips and time you are foraging them. If the rosehips are too hard to cut in half you might want to freeze them for a couple of hours to soften. The soft ones can stay whole.
Use a blender to break them apart.
to keep most of the vitamin C, steep the fresh rosehips instead of boiling them.
Pour one cup of boiling water into a saucepan with 3 cups of mashed rosehips
Close the lid and keep it overnight to make the syrup darker as well as tastier.
Next day turn the heat on and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes
Let the mixture cool down.
Strain the pulp through a strainer with cheesecloth to avoid any small itchy hairs in your syrup.
Add sweetener of your choice. I like to use honey but you can use brown sugar, stevia or custard sugar as per your taste. You can mildly warm it up to dissolve the sweetener. Be very careful if you use raw honey as it is very sensitive for rapid healing. Heating up to 37°C (98.6 F) causes loss of nearly 200 components, part of which are antibacterial (4)
Fill into the sterilized bottles and seal. Label and use within 4 months and refrigerate once opened.
You can also refrigerate it to extend its shelf life.
Rosehip syrup uses
- The syrup has a great sweet and sour taste and can replace maple syrup. Thus is great on pancakes, waffles or ice cream.
- The easy way to prepare your cup of rosehip tea. Just dilute it with hot water in the ratio 1:1
- Drink it as rosehip juice - diluted or undiluted - I like to drink it with soda and ice cubes as a refreshing nutritious cordial
- Use it in cocktails such as this rosehip whiskey smash
- In smoothies like this vitamin C smoothie
- enrich your healthy breakfast cereal, muesli, or oatmeal with rosehip syrup for extra flavour and nutrition
- Add gelatin to the mixture to make a rosehip jelly.
When you use dried rosehips use 1 teaspoon for 1 cup of water, when using fresh rosehips use 1 tablespoon for 1 cup of tea.
If you make a small batch that you plan to use within a few weeks or month, you don’t need to do anything, just keep it refrigerated.
If you plan to make more bottles of rosehip syrup to keep for the whole year or give it as a gift require canning. Canning rosehip syrup is easy. Fill your canning pan with water and set it to boil. Reduce the heat and place your jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove them from the water bath and now they should be safe to use for 8-12 months.
lternatively, you can store the rose hip syrup in the freezer to extend its shelf life up to 6 months. Use airtight containers or ice cube trays and freeze it.
A thicker consistency of the syrup is required when you use it on pancakes or over ice cream thus you can reduce the syrup. If you used honey as a sweetener for your syrup you will lose its medicinal benefits with higher temperature. So I would rather increase the amount of honey to make the syrup thicker than to heat the syrup.
Although Rose hips contain some natural pectin, it can happen that the syrup will rather be thicker than loose.
recipes with rose hips
Elderberry tincture with rosehips
I can't wait to make this. I have a huge rose garden and only used them for tea.
Do you still do the blender and mash steps with dried hips?
Yes, but let them macerate over night before the blending.