Rose hips, also sometimes spelled as one-word rosehips, are the golf-ball sized red fruit of a variety of rose bush that is native to Alaska. Rosehips are a part of the same fruit family as apples and impart a warm, floral, and fruity flavor. Rose hip syrup is a particularly versatile way to use rosehips in the kitchen. The sweet syrup can be used on pancakes, porridge, or oatmeal in place of the traditional maple syrup. The syrup can also be used as a sweet, floral ingredient in mixed cocktails. And, of course, nothing is better than rosehip syrup drizzled on ice cream, bread pudding, or other desserts - even just plain yogurt!
But rose hips are not limited to culinary applications. In fact, rose hips have been known for their health benefits as they pack a strong antioxidant punch. While rose hips are commonly known for their high vitamin C content (in fact, they contain 20 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange!), they also possess vitamin D and vitamin A, two extremely important vitamins that are not commonly found in food. In addition to being used to ward off cold viruses and influenza, rose hips and rosehip syrup has been used to treat arthritis pain and to aid in the body's absorption of iron. But when it comes to the health benefits of rose hips, always remember that traditional rose hip syrup recipes are extremely high in sugar and should be used sparingly.
- 4 cups (1 liter) rose hips
- 2 cups (0.47 liter) water
- 1 cup (240 milliliters) sugar
- Wash rose hips thoroughly.
- Remove stems and flower remnants before boiling rose hips and water for 20 minutes in a covered saucepan.
- Once boiled, strain the rose hips through a jelly bag and return clear juice to saucepan.*
- Add sugar to strained water, stir well, and boil five minutes until sugar has dissolved and sauce has thickened.
- Refrigerate syrup in an airtight container until ready for use.
*Cook's Note: Some traditional recipes call for straining the boiled rosehip water twice to ensure removal of all of the tiny, irritant hairs found inside rosehips.
Recipe Source: Cooking Alaskan (Alaska Northwest Books). Reprinted with permission.