Pure Rose Hip Jelly Recipeby Twyla DiGangi
Rose hips are the ‘fruit’ of the rose plant. They appear late in the summer and stay on the bush the entire winter.
Wild roses (Rosa spp.) have been used for a wide variety of uses through the ages. The entire plant is both medicinal as well as a natural source of food. The petals can be added to salads, or eaten on their own as a trail snack. The petals also make a nice natural band-aid for minor cuts when camping or hiking. The root is used to treat diarrhea, flu, dysentery, and worms. Decoction of the root and leaves makes a wonderful cleanser for your system. The entire plant can be used as a wash for wounds and injuries. Roses and the hips are high in vitamin C, E, B, and K as well as a good source of beta-carotene. This makes them a very nourishing meal that is highly nutritious. The spring shoots can be stripped and eaten raw.
Medicinal Uses of Rose Hips
During World War II importing oranges became impossible for a lot of different countries. British soldiers would gather rose hips by the hundreds because of their high vitamin C content. They would make syrups and jellies to keep away scurvy. Three rose hips have the same vitamin C content as one large orange.
The seeds of the rose hips were sometimes cooked by some native groups. They were then used to treat muscular pain. The fibers in the seeds have been known to irritate the digestive tract. They also have a cyanide-like compound that is destroyed by drying or cooking, making the rose hips safe for consumption.
Rose hips can be added to stews, teas, made into pemmican, jams, and jellies. It is better to collect rose hips after the first frost. This makes them even sweeter as well and softens them a bit. Collect on a sunny day after the morning dew has evaporated. Make sure to cook or dehydrate rose hips before eating them.
Recipe for Pure Rose Hip Jelly
You can collect rose hips even in the middle of winter to make jelly all winter long. Take extra care if harvesting in the winter and dress for the cold weather. The rose hips will be very soft after you get them home and they begin to thaw out. Always make sure that the plants haven’t been sprayed with pesticides.
16 cups (4 quarts) ripe rose hips
8 cups (2 quarts) water
2 packages of pectin powder
5 cups of sugar
½ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon margarine (optional, will reduce foaming of the jelly)
After you have cleaned your rose hips and removed the tops put them in a large stainless steel pot. Pour the water over them and bring to a simmer. Let them simmer until soft. It will take about an hour. Remove from heat and with a potato masher mash the rose hips up a bit. Strain it all through a jelly bag or large piece of cheesecloth until you get 4 cups of rose hip juice.
In pot add rose hip juice, lemon juice, the two packages of pectin and the margarine. Stir until well combined and bring to a boil. Add your sugar and mix well. Return mixture to a boil that can’t be stirred down. Stir constantly for one minute and then remove from heat.
Ladle into sterilized jars. If you are going to process the jelly in a water bath canner process for 10 minutes. Let the jars sit for 24 hours without disturbing them. Label and put your jelly away.
This jelly is filled with vitamin C making it a healing agent to help boost the immune system, as well as a nutritious jelly for sandwiches or toast.