|Old fashioned or wild roses are easy to care for and more nutritious than modern hybrids.|
The most commonly used parts of the rose are the petals and the hips (or seed pods). Rose petals are rich in vitamin C, carotene, the B vitamins, and vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and copper, although the amount of nutrition varies depending upon the type of rose being eaten. The best choice for vitamin C is the dog rose (R. canina). Pick them in the morning after any dew has dried off, selecting only the freshest blooms. Cut off the white part of the petal, near the base, because it can be unpleasantly bitter.
Fresh rose hips are a superb source of vitamin C; they have 20 to 40 percent more vitamin C than oranges (depending upon the variety), 25 percent more iron and vitamin A than oranges, 28 percent more calcium than oranges, and are a great source of vitamin E, manganese, bioflavanoids, and B-complex vitamins.
|Rose leaves are mostly used for tea.|
Rose Petal Recipes:
Rose Salad: Add fresh rose petals to any salad.
Rose Petal Sugar: In a glass jar, layer sugar and rose petals, using about ¼ cup lightly packed petals and 1 cup sugar overall. Cover and let stand in a cool, dark location for about a week. Remove the petals; sugar will be lumpy. Use in baking, tea, etc.
Sugared Rose Petals: With a pastry brush, gently coat rose petals on both sides with beaten egg white. Arrange petals on a cooling rack and sprinkle with sugar on both sides. Dry in a cool, dry location until hardened. Store layered with waxed paper in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Makes a gorgeous addition to cake and cupcake decorations.
Rose Petal Vinegar: Fill a jar with a snug metal lid with fresh rose petals. Bring some apple cider vinegar to a simmer, then pour over the rose petals in the jar. Put the lid on and allow to sit in a cool, dark location for one to six weeks. Strain. Great for soothing bug bites, using as a hair rinse, or for salad dressings.
Rose Petal Jelly:
3 cups of good clean spring water, the juice of 1 lemon or about 2 tablespoons full, 2 cups of granulated sugar, 1 box (packet) of pectin or 3 ozs of liquid pectin, petals from 6 roses or about 2 cups worth. (this could be 1 cup of frozen and reconstituted petals)
In a blender or food processor, pulse 3 cups water and 2 cups lightly packed rose petals until chopped. Pour the water/petal mixture into a saucepan placed over medium heat. Bring to a boil, turning off the heat immediately afterward. Allow to steep for half an hour. Strain with a fine strainer. Discard the petals. Strain again. Place the liquid into a clean saucepan; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add 2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 3 oz. liquid pectin. Stir until sugar dissolves. Boil for 10 minutes. Pour into jelly jars and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
|Drying rose hips.|
Rose Hip Recipes:
Rose Hip Stew: Add freshly prepared rose hips to soups or stews.
Rose Hip Jelly: Pour 2 cups rose hips and 2 cups water into a pan and place over medium heat. Cook until tender. Strain through a fine sieve. Add 1 cup sugar to every cup of pulp. In a clean pan, cook until thickens to the consistency of jam. Process in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Learn more about rose hips in my 2009 post on this topic.
Rose Leaf Recipes:
Rose Leaf Tea: Dehydrated freshly picked rose leaves at 95 degrees F. until completely dry. Crumble the leaves into a tea ball, pour boiling water over, and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. This leaf tea is traditionally used to reduce fevers, but is also a tasty substitute for decaf black tea.