Thursday, October 25, 2012

Foraging for Vitamin C

As I walk near my house over crisp fall leaves, I am reminded by the dark blush of rose hips of the abundance of food to be harvested in the wild.

Rose hips are the fruit of the rose bush. If you don't clip off dying flowers (called dead-heading), a hip will begin to develop. In the fall, these red fruits will be kissed by frost and will turn sweet. The great thing about hips is they have an abundance of vitamins and minerals- especially vitamin C. For those of us who don't have orange trees growing locally, hips may be the only local source of this important vitamin during the winter months.

Hips should be red, soft, but not blemished when harvested.

I harvested a handful to make some tea. Tea can be made from fresh or dried hips, but they each require a different process.

To make tea from fresh hips,I first rinsed the hips to remove any small bugs or dirt

Next, I de-stemmed them, cut them open and scraped out the seeds and hairs under running water.

Once cleaned, I steep the skin and flesh in boiling water for about ten minutes and add a touch of honey. Voila!

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