Several months ago we harvested rose hips (you can read about that here, Rose Hips: A Simple Snack). The day of harvest, the rose hips were eaten out of hand. Tasty as they were, I found eating an entire bag of hips a bit daunting; so we chose to preserve them through drying. Here is what we did:
Preserving Method: Drying
Drying is one of the most ancient forms of preservation. While it likely took place earlier, 12,000 B.C. is the first record of drying by inhabitants of the now Middle East and Asia regions. By removing the water through evaporation, drying inhibits the growth of bacteria, this extends the foods shelf-life.
We chose to air dry the hips by spreading them evenly on a baking sheet and letting them live in the oven for a few days. While some put the oven on its lowest setting, we chose to just keep it off. There are many methods, you should explore them all and see which best suits your needs. If we needed to use the oven we simply took the pan out and then put it back when we were done, letting the residual heat give the drying process a boost. Learn more about drying in your oven here: The Kitchn Blog.
One week later, the hips are dry and ready to be stored in a cool, dark place.
Very Simple Rose Hip Tea
To keep things simple I have chosen to use my dried rose hips whole. Another option is to pulse them in a food processor and then use a colander to remove the hairs and seeds, leaving just the beneficial flesh. If you choose this method, don’t skip the colander step, the hairs and seeds will cause your throat to itch, a lot!
Step 1: Place a spoon full of hips in your mug and swirl them around for one minute. This will help remove any prickles, hairs, dirt, or dust. After you are done, remove the clean hips and rinse out your mug.
Step 2: Return hips to mug along with a wedge of lemon and a spoon full of honey. Buckwheat honey is from Bill’s Bees, yum!
Step 3: Let steep for 5 minutes or so and enjoy. The tart rose hips and lemon are balanced by the sweet honey, what a treat!
Rose hips are abundant in vitamin C, perfect for aiding your immune system as it wards off illness in this sniffly season!