Have you tried cooking with rose hips? Try this rose hip recipe, which incorporates autumn pear and those bright red fruits of the Rosa Canina plant. By ethicalDeal guest blogger and Registered Holistic Nutritionist Genevieve Blanchet.
Photo by Genevieve Blanchet
Rosa canina, wild rose, or dog rose was first cultivated in Persia, modern-day Iran, where the use of rose oil began. Rose hips are the fruits of the Rosa Canina plant. They are the ripe seed receptacles that remain long after the petals have fallen to the ground. The fruit is bright red in colour and the sweetness is intensified after the first frost.
Rose hip is a common ingredient in herbal tea and is used as natural remedy to strengthen the immune system, stimulate circulation and reduce inflammation. A number of studies have suggested that rose hips may help treat osteoarthritis, reduce cholesterol and may help fight diabetes. Rose hips are exceptionally rich in vitamin C; just one rose hip contains more vitamin C than an orange! They also contain a number of antioxidants, beta-carotene and lycopene.
Harvesting and cooking with rose hips
Rose hips are at their peak when picked just after the first frosts in the fall. If you’re not harvesting the rose hips from your garden, make sure they’re not polluted from car exhaust, pesticides or other chemicals.
Rose hips have a sweet apple taste and can be used fresh or dried. When using fresh rose hips, it’s important to remove the hair and seeds before consuming. The fine hair which can irritate the inside of the mouth can be removed by cutting the hip in half and removing the seeds and hair with the tip of a knife. When cooking with rose hips, keeping the temperature low will help preserve the vitamin C.
Preserving rose hips for winter
Preserving rose hips for winter is easy. You can dry them on nonmetal screens or frames covered with cheesecloth. Then, put them in a warm, dry place, such as an attic, for one to two weeks. If you dry them in your kitchen oven, don’t let the temperature to go above 150 F. Or, try using a dehydrator. During the first week of storage, look for signs of condensation, if you find any, take out the hips and dry them longer. Store them in an air-tight glass container.
Autumn Pear and Rose Hip Compote
This pear sauce is wonderful with a crisp sourdough baguette and goat cheese.
1 lb Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh rose hips, cut in half, with seeds and hair removed
½ cup water
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tbsp port or red wine
Combine pears, water, honey, zest and cinnamon in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove lid and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in Port or wine and simmer 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and mash pears with a potato masher.
About the author:
Geneviève Blanchet is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She blends Asian tradition and modern western nutritional science with the wisdom of healing herbs. She is passionate about eating fresh, seasonal and nutrient-rich food and would like to share what she’s learned with you. www.lepetitchou.ca.
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