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I spent part of my last visit to my parents' house harvesting this year's rosehips, so I thought I would throw up a little pantry post on rosehips. I only discovered rose-hips three years ago, My brother-in-law mentioned them as one of the rose bushes wasn't being pruned. My grandmother and I started harvesting them and turned it into a whole enterprise, cleaning them and prepping them.

Rosehips are the fruit of the rose, growing from the base of the bud after the flower becomes overblown - if it is not pruned. They grow wild as well as on domestic rose bushes and can be a treat along a walking trail. They are bright red-orange when ripe and vary in size and shape, some being squat spheres, others being more ovaloid. On their own, rose-hips are quite tart and are very high in vitamin C.

Prepping them involves removing the seeds and small hairs attached to the seeds as these used to be used as itching powder - less than pleasant if left in food. Removing the seeds and hairs involves either turning the rose-hips into purée by boiling them then passing through a food mill or a sieve, or deseeding and drying. Both are a bit of work, the latter more so. Deseeding to dry rosehips I found too labour intensive with a Little Bit to corral, so I have only used puréed rosehips in the last couple of years, but if you have time and inclination, the dried ones are delicious!

I have fond memories of harvesting and prepping rosehips with my grandmother, before using them in various foods. We made jam with the puréed rosehips and some we deseeded and dried (excellent in porridge with apple juice and cinnamon). Only last year did I start expanding what I used them in, both sweet and savoury,

Here are a few of the recipes I have used them in:

The most recent batch harvested from my parents' white rose bush was used mostly in another Pumpkin Pie with a Rosehip Swirl again this year for Thanksgiving. With the rest, I plan on trying a rosehip ketchup, so watch this space!



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