Drying Rose Hips: 3 Easy Ways and Tips

drying rose hips
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – PeggyChoucair

Drying rose hips means that you can use these tasty nutritional bombs even when they’re not in season. We’ll show you the best way to dry rose rips, and tell you what to look out for when harvesting these bright little fruits. 

How to Harvest Rose Hips

harvesting
Rose hips have bright red fruits. (Despite the fact that every rose bush produces rose hips, but many people have never seen them.)

Before you can start drying your rose hips, you’ll need to go out and collect them. Rose hips are not usually available in supermarkets, so if you want to get your hands on this fruit, you’ll need to forage for them. In temperate climates, rose hips can be harvested in autumn, after the first frost. 

Rose hips are the “false fruit” of rose bushes. All rose bushes produce rose hips, so why aren’t they more familiar? Rose hips only grow after the flowers of the plant fade. Since most gardeners cut the rose blooms off to encourage new growth, rose hips don’t have a chance to develop, and many people have never seen them in their own gardens. 

After picking the rose hips off the stems, you’ll need to de-seed and clean them. The seeds have a hairy covering that will irritate your skin, so remember to wear gloves while doing this job. Simply cut the rose hips in half, scoop out the seeds, and wash the rose hips thoroughly. 

Warning: Make sure that the rose bushes that you collect your rose hips from have not been sprayed with poisonous pesticides. 

Drying Rose Hips in the Oven

rose hips
Rose hips are not usually available in supermarkets. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – PeggyChoucair)

Drying rose hips in the oven is easy. Here’s what to do:

  1. Spread the washed rose hips out on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  2. Set the oven to 100°F.
  3. Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon to allow moisture to escape.
  4. Allow the rose hips to dry in the oven until they are brittle. Depending on their size, this could take anywhere from three to twelve hours. Don’t be tempted to make the oven hotter to speed things up: at temperatures over 100 degrees, rose hips start to lose their nutritional value. 
  5. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. 

Tip: To save energy, let the rose hips air dry for a few hours before putting them in the oven.

Drying Rose Hips Without an Oven

drying rose hips oven
You don’t need to use an oven to dry your rose hips. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Trixpaule)

No oven? No problem. Here’s two more methods for drying rose hips, no extra electricity required:

  1. In the Sun: To dry rose hips in the sun, simply spread them out in a place where they are exposed to sunlight for as long as possible. If you are drying them outside, be sure to place some sort of protection over them, like a net, to stop birds from stealing them. 
  2. On the Heater: When drying rose hips on the heater, it’s best to lay them out on a kitchen towel or newspaper. 

Drying rose hips in the sun or on the heater will take several days. During that time, make sure that you turn the rose hips regularly, to make sure that they dry evenly on all sides. 

How to Use Them: Tea, Jam, Sauces and More

rose hip tea
Rose hip tea has a long list of health benefits. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – TerriC)

Rose hips have long been used in traditional medicine to alleviate digestive problems and boost the immune system. To get the benefits of rose hips, you can use them to make rose hip tea, jam, or compote.

They’re also great as a topping for granola, or as an ingredient for smoothies and sauces. And although you won’t get any nutritional benefits this way, rose hips also make a beautiful decorative addition to advent wreaths or holiday centerpieces. 

This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original here: Hagebutten trocknen: So kannst du sie haltbar machen

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