It’s time to sit back and take a break from all the holiday activities and have a cup of tea. While you’re at it, you may as well make one filled with plenty of vitamin C, just in case you’ve been pushing yourself a little too hard and need an immunity boost. Rose hips are there for the picking and make a light and flavorful tea. If you harvest your own, just make sure that they haven’t been sprayed with chemicals. The best time for picking is right around the first frost of the year when the hips are fully ripe and the natural sugars are concentrated. I picked mine a few weeks ago from the wild roses that grow on our property on Orcas Island.
After washing them, I could have put them into a dehydrator or in the oven at a very low temperature but since I wasn’t in a big hurry, I just set them on a plate and let them dry on their own. They fit right in with all the other Christmas decorations and look like lovely little ornaments even as they shrivel and dry.
If you want to make tea, you’ll need to do a little work first. Cut off both ends, split the hip open and you’ll be amazed at how many seeds are packed into each one. There’s also a bunch of hairy fibers you’ll want to remove. I won’t lie, it’s a laborious process so the larger the hip, the faster it goes. I did a little at a time, scraping out the seeds and fibers with my thumb nail. The process seems to be easier when the hip isn’t completely dry. Once I removed the inside, I left the outer shell to dry a little longer. I saw some videos where they dumped the hips into a blender or food processor and then in a fine sieve to remove the fibers. Less work but I have my doubts about how well that would work to remove the seeds.
Once the shells are completely dry, you can pulse them a few times in a food processor to chop them up and remove even more of the fibers. Then you’re ready to make tea. Boil about 2T of dried hips in a pint of water for about 10 minutes. Pour the brew through a sieve into a cup. You can add sugar or honey to bring out the flowery taste but go easy so you don’t overpower the unique flavor.
I hope your holidays are filled with peace and joy!!