In modern times one might question the wisdom of dehydrating rose hips. It is easy to forget that they are truly a food, one rich in Vitamin C and also tastes great. Snappy, tart and simply wild. They make a lovely herbal tea in winter once dried, and can be soaked fresh in handmade syrups or honey to make a syrup that is wonderful added to many things.
Wild roses grow as freely as blackberries often, especially along coastal areas –
With roses you do need to be careful, they MUST be grown organically or picked wild/feral from areas you know to be chemical free. Do NOT take rose hips or rose flowers from bushes that are sprayed with fertilizers or pesticides. Thankfully I have access to many a wild bush, and know where to do some semi-urban foraging.
Pick ones that are plump and shiny, not withered. Rose hips are green when the rose is flowering above and turn red after the petals fall off, as fall approaches. Once picked, trim the ends and rinse/shake dry. I find for best results, cut in half and scoop out the seeds plus any of the “hairs”. You only want the outer shell.
Dry gently, under 120°, on mesh lined trays till dry.
Once dried, the rose hips are like shells –
Store them tightly sealed, in a dark and cool area of your home.
To use for tea, add to any favorite tea, or simply soak a few shells for 5 minutes in boiled water.
The rose hips can also be ground for sprinkling on. You will need a heavy duty grinder, I have used my dry container of my Vitamix blender for this.