Preparing rose hips

Discussion in 'Survival & Emergency Preparedness' started by naturelover, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. naturelover

    naturelover Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,802
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    There are 2 posts here because of the number of pictures included.

    I've been spending the past few weeks wild-harvesting fruits for dehydrating or putting up as preserves. This has been a bumper year for roses so I've been focusing a lot on picking ripe rose hips from wild beach roses (rugosa roses) that grow along the verges of cat-tail rushes in salt marshes here. They are wild but are not like the typical variety of wild pale pink dog roses with small hips, both species are often found growing side by side here in the PNW. The beach rose hips are bigger, rounder, redder, not so elongated as dog hips and about the size and texture of large cherry tomatoes. They are very fleshy, juicy, they taste like sweet ripe apricots with a hint of rose and have a rosey, fruity citric acid scent to them. I have been dehydrating some of them and also making jam out of them (not jelly) since there was a tremendous amount of juicy, firm flesh on them, they are not at all mealy or mushy.
     
    Here is some information about the nutritional and vitamin C content of rose hips. http://www.livestrong.com/article/328518-nutritional-value-of-rose-hips/ There is a great deal more Vitamin C in rose hips than there is in citrus fruits or tomatoes, and Vitamin C is vitally needed to help prevent scurvy and stress to the body. The real beauty of roses is that they will grow in just about any climate and don't need as much attention and care as cultivated citrus fruits and tomatoes require.
     
    This topic is really about the importance of properly cleaning out the hairy seeds, insects and insect eggs from the insides of large rose hips, I'm including pictures of the procedure here.
     
    First of all, here are some pictures of rugosa beach roses and common dog roses for comparison.

    These are the 2 beach rose bushes that I picked from, they are growing close to cat-tail rushes. They were loaded with hips and this is what they looked like after I finished picking - there are still plenty of ripening hips left on them though:
     
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Rose bloom and leaves of beach rose

    [​IMG]
     

    Beach rose hips - These ones in this picture are not ripe enough to pick yet:

    [​IMG]
     

    These are the ones that I have been picking:
     
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

    Dog rose bloom and leaves

    [​IMG]
     

    The hips of dog rose, which are usually very, very small and only suitable for dehydrating because they are mealy, and often very difficult to get the seeds out of.
     
    [​IMG]
     

    Dog rose and beach rose growing together - see the difference between the leaves

    [​IMG]

    .
     
     
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  2. naturelover

    naturelover Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,802
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    This picure is of a cross section of a developing rose to show the developing hip and hairy seeds inside the hip - picture credit to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rose_hip_02_ies.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
     
    If rose hips are going to be eaten it's important for the seeds to be cleaned out for 2 reasons. First is because the bristly, hairy irritating seeds (which also have trace amounts of cyanide in them) are very irritating while passing through the digestive system and in particular can be damaging to the colon. The second reason is because there are insects that get inside the hips by pushing the hair plug out of the way and crawling inside through the open hole where the leafy cluster of sepals is at the end of the hip. These may include such critters as small worms and larvae, caterpillars, wood lice, spiders, flies and earwigs.
     
    Rose hips are favorite hunting grounds for predator insects. Here you see a picture of a grasshopper perched above the hole patiently waiting to pounce on an unwary prey coming out of the hole.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    A good way to encourage most of the insects to abandon the insides of the hips before starting processing them is to completely submerge all the hips weighted down in cold water for about 10 minutes. Some of the water gets inside the hips through the open holes at the end and forces the insects to leave the hips in order to escape from the water. It does not get rid of all of them but most of them are eager to evacuate.
     
    I then skim off the insects floating on the surface of the water then drain the hips, rinse them thoroughly again and process them immediately. I start by pinching off the leafy clusters of sepals at the ends of all the hips to get rid of any other critters that are still hiding tucked under those sepals. It's easy to remove the sepals, just pinch and twist slightly and they come right off, leaving the hole quite visible.
     
    Hips with sepals pinched off

    [​IMG]
     
    I then cut them all in half and clean out the prickly seeds along with any stubborn critters remaining.
     
    This is a peeled hip to show the bristly seeds and to show how juicy the flesh of the hips are
     
    [​IMG]
     
    I don't cut the hips right in half, as that will just squash them and make a squishy mess trying to cut through the seed packet. Instead I use a sharp knife to slice a complete circle around the equator of the hip, just through the flesh only until the blade meets the seeds but not cutting through the bundle of seeds, then I give the 2 halves a slight twist and they come apart very easily.
     
    This one has been sliced around and twisted apart, you can see the hairy plug that is attached to the seeds and was plugging the hole at the sepal end of the hip.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    I have long fingernails so I use my thumbnail to scrape out the seeds but with hips this large a grapefruit spoon works just as well
     
    [​IMG]
     
    2 halves of a hip with the seeds removed
     
    [​IMG]
     
    These are ready for the dehydrator or for making jam. The orange ones that have been quartered are firmer and less ripe than the darker red ones so they aren't suitable for dehydrating. They will be made into jam along with other riper hips.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    The jam has been prepared using the same recipe and method as for preparing apricot jam and the filled jars were all given a hot water bath.

    [​IMG]


    .
     
     
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011

  3. AR Cattails

    AR Cattails Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,257
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Location:
    NE Arkansas
    Thanks for sharing this Naturelover. I really enjoyed looking at this thread. I've never tasted rosehip jam. I'm going to try to keep my eye out for some.
     
  4. rancher1913

    rancher1913 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,205
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    ne colorado
    This is Moldy - thanks for the post. I haven't had rose hips here in CO - really need to get some planted next spring. I just dried mine and use it in tea if I feel like I'm starting to come down with something.
     
  5. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,506
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    Could they just be run through a juice instead? Cutting all those hips around the equator is a time investment I just don't have.
     
  6. bourbonred

    bourbonred Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,040
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Northeastern KY
    Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.
     
  7. NickieL

    NickieL Accidental Farmer

    Messages:
    14,837
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    I grow rugosas and yes, they make great preserves. Nice post. i don't bother taking the seeds out, I strain it all to make juice for jelly.
     
  8. InHisName

    InHisName Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,275
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE WA
    Thanks for the great post! I have a question concerning the vitamin c content- but I believe Vitamin C is destroyed by heat, as well as water soluble. http://www.dietitian.com/vitaminc.html
    http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09312.html
    I would like to find a way to use rose hips without heating them- any ideas?
    In the article you posted, it talks about rose hip tea and the vit C content from using dried rosehips- I am wondering if they measured the vitamin C content, and how hot the water is that is used. Also, how much vit c is lost during dehydration, as it is lost when exposed to oxygen.
    Not trying to question op- I just have a food preservation workshop to teach next month, and want to focus on nutrition. We have rose hips here, and no oranges- would like to present a doable way to get the optimum nutrition out of the them....
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  9. sweetbabyjane

    sweetbabyjane Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    952
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Location:
    South Georgia
    Thank you NatureLover, very good information! Can you use the hips from any kind of rose? The ones around here are much smaller.

    Thanks again,
    SBJ
     
  10. chickenslayer

    chickenslayer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,258
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland
    Those are some funny looking coins :happy2:
     
  11. unregistered29228

    unregistered29228 Guest

    Messages:
    7,799
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Thanks for such a great pictorial! I've never used rose hips but have always wanted to try. We planted a bunch of roses this summer and I've let them go to seed so I can try using the hips. I always assumed I'd just dry the hips and use them in tea, so it was useful to know I need to remove the seeds (and insects!) first. You've added some valuable knowledge to my new interest in natural herbs and fruits and how to use them!
     
  12. 7thswan

    7thswan Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    23,896
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Location:
    michigan
    Interesting, I had hopes that someone knew of a time effective way to clean hips. I have planted these "beach" roses along the picket fence out front, I purchased them as Rugosa Roses. When they bloom, they truely smelly Heavenly. Becareful eating them,those little fibers are like minature cactus needles.Thanks for the beautiful Pictures and info!
     
  13. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

    Messages:
    44,854
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Thanks Naturelover, this is something I've heard about and never knew how or what.

    now I know more than I did before I opened this thread.
     
  14. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    20,048
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    We get them in change from Tim Horton's. I want some Canadian dollar coins for my collection.

    I was very pleasantly surprised to find that my recently planted Morden roses have very large hips. Now I have to wait a few years for them to produce enough to use for jelly.
     
  15. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,437
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Hoosier transplant to cheese country
    What do you do with dried rose hips?
     
  16. naturelover

    naturelover Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,802
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    You can get the optimum nutrition from them by making an alcohol tincture. The alcohol will extract and enhance all of the properties out of the fruit into the alcohol. You would then use it as a medicine, not as a food. I would still recommend the seeds be removed first though, because otherwise the alcohol would also be extracting the cyanide out of the seeds, and it will also be extracting any ?properties? contained within any bugs that are inside the hips.

    Now as to dried hips or cooked hips losing their Vitamin C potency I think there would be far less loss from them than there would be from so many other types of fruits that get dried or cooked or processed in other ways. The reason for that is because there is already so much more Vitamin C in rosehips than there is in other types of fruits. If you will take a look at this following page it lists 50 known fruits that have Vitamin C and lists the amounts of how many mg of Vitamin C there is to every 100 grams of weight. You will see from the chart that there are only 2 other known fruits that contain more Vitamin C than rosehips - namely the Acerola Cherry and the Kakadu Plum: http://www.naturalhub.com/natural_food_guide_fruit_vitamin_c.htm

    I understand that time is of the essence for most people, and yes, it is time consuming removing the seeds and insects. Unfortunately I don't know of any time effective way to clean the hips without losing a lot of their benefits. I think that rosehips should be considered important medicine rather than food and that the processing of rosehips to remove the seeds and the profoundly essential medicinal benefits derived therefrom vastly outweighs the man hours expended in removing the seeds. For a few hours devoted in one season to removing the seeds I get 2 or 3 years worth of very important medicine.

    To be honest, the seeds are of much more concern to me than are the insects. Insects are just extra protein. However, I really don't like the idea of cyanide in my medicines, even if it is only trace amounts. But more importantly there is the hazard posed by the bristles on the seeds. As 7thswan says, they are like miniature cactus needles and not even a juicer or all the filtering in making jelly will get rid of all those miniscule bristles. They easily get embedded in the tongue and throat, within the digestive tract and colon and can cause real harm. The natives here have always recognized rosehips as an important medicine and nutritional supplement and they have a name for what happens if you eat the seeds. They call it "itchy throat" and "itchy bum" because of the inflammatory damage the embedded bristles can cause to the throat and rectum.

    You can, but some types of roses have more Vitamin C and other medicinal properties in them than others. Stick with traditional old roses and wild roses rather than hybrids and you will do okay. Some of the thousands of hybrid roses that are available on the market now are useless but if you let them go wild over the course of a few years they will revert back to their genetic origin and improve in content.

    Take a look at this link, it has some good information about what are the best kinds of roses to cultivate for medicinal and food purposes, as well as having some great information about other uses of roses (the flowers, the bark, the roots, the essential oil) besides their Vitamin C production. http://www.innvista.com/health/herbs/rose.htm

    And here is a list of Rosa species: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Rosa_species

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose

    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  17. City Bound

    City Bound Male Supporter

    Messages:
    9,631
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Location:
    New York City
    Nice work on the thread. I like hips. I use to make a tea of them and then take the remaining pulp and mash it up with some honey to make a spread for toast, it was pretty good.

    Hips use to be given to women after their period to help with all the blood lose. They were given to mothers after giving birth also because of all the blood lose and stress.

    I use them to stay healthy in the winter.

    Some vit c pills in the store come from hips.
     
  18. ai731

    ai731 Jan

    Messages:
    723
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I make rose hip jam by simmering the whole hips in a small amount of water, and then rubbing the pulp through a seive to get the seeds out. Jam turns out lovely.
     
  19. chickenista

    chickenista Original recipe! Supporter

    Messages:
    14,037
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Location:
    NC foothills
    Awesome post, NL!!
    Thank you.
     
  20. City Bound

    City Bound Male Supporter

    Messages:
    9,631
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Location:
    New York City
    That sounds like a good way....less work.