Rose hips are plentiful at the moment. They are nutritious and medicinal. All clean, unsprayed and legally obtained rose hips can be used to make immune boosting preparations. But this is often easier said than done. They are full of itchy, hair covered seeds. These need to be removed before the Rose hips can be ingested.
One way to do this is to make your syrup, or whatever else you choose, and then strain out the seeds and hairs before the final storage.
Another way, is to remove them at the start. It is fiddly but it works and is worth the effort, especially if you’d like to make a cold uncooked preparation, such as Rose hip honey. I also think it makes the harvester/forager quietly aware of each hip and that is a good thing, on many levels.
Here’s how I do it.
1. Cut a hip in half. Out is best to harvest them before they become soft and pulpy, but when they are fully coloured.
2. Scoop out all of the seeds and most of the hairs, using a strong thumb nail or a blunt ended knife. Quirk through all your hip harvest in this way. Place seeds in a container to return to the harvesting location and the deseeded hips in another.
3. When all of the hips are deseeded, place them in a bowl and fill it with water. Swill them around a little, to release the hairs and other unwanted particles.
4. Strain in a colander, whilst swilling around in more water.
5. Lay the washed hips out on a clean dry tea towel (or a dehydrator) and allow them to surface dry. I like to use another teatowel to dry of the tops and then I tumble them around now and again, on dry sections off the teatowel, to speed up the process.
6. Wash your hands, arms and wherever else three hairs contacted you, with cold water. They come off easily but may tickle for a long time if you miss an area.
7.Use as described in your chosen recipe. I simply pack mine into a jar and pour in honey, at this point.