We love to forage for wild rose hips throughout the fall and winter to make home herbal goodies like delicious Rose Hip jelly. Rose hips are naturally high in Vitamin C and E so we can boost our family’s immune system when we eat our homemade Rose Hip Jelly.
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Foraging for Rose Hips
Rose hips are our favorite wild edible to forage in the fall and winter since you can’t miss seeing their bright pops of color in an otherwise drab winter landscape. We have a plethora of wild rose bushes along the creek on our property. There are ample rose hips for us to forage and plenty to leave for the wild critters who may also enjoy eating them.
Here’s our previous post on how to identify and forage for rose hips. One tip I will share based on my experience is to wear a pair of leather gloves when foraging for rose hips. If you forget gloves, go back and get them (I didn’t do this the other day and I regret it!) After foraging for rose hips in the wild rose thicket along our creek the other day, my hands are covered in scratches from the thorns on the rose bushes. And I was even being careful trying not to get scratched! Luckily I had a jar of our homemade yarrow salve in the house to soothe the nasty scratches on my hands.
Rose Hip jelly recipe
This is the same basic jelly recipe I use for most of my homemade wild edibles jellies. The recipe makes about 4-5 cups of jelly.
2-3 cups of Rose Hips, washed and blossom end removed
4 cups of water
1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup – 1 cup honey OR 3/4 cup sugar – 2 cups of sugar
1 pack of Pamona’s Pectin
- Step 1: Place the Rose Hips and 4 cups of water in a large pan on the stove. Bring to a boil then simmer for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Using the back of a large spoon, press and mash the Rose Hips in the water to make a Rose Hip tea.
- Step 2: Allow the liquid to cool a little then strain the Rose Hips from the tea. The hairy seeds inside Rose Hips can cause digestive irritation for some so I place a piece of cheesecloth folded in thirds inside a fine mesh strainer like this one when straining the rose hips. Then gather the cheesecloth into a bundle and gently squeeze out the remaining liquid.
- Step 3: Pour the Rose Hip tea into a large pan and stir in all of the lemon juice. Stir in 4 teaspoons of calcium water (this can be found in the Pamona’s Pectin box).
- Step 4: Measure the honey or sugar into a bowl. I often use honey that we harvest from our bee hives but if we’re running low on honey I use a mixture of honey and unrefined sugar. Stir the 4 teaspoons of pectin powder from the Pamona’s Pectin box into the honey/sugar.
- Step 5: Heat the Rose Hip tea in the pan on the stove until boiling. Then quickly whisk in the sugar and/or honey pectin mix from the bowl. Boil the mixture for 1-2 minutes while continuously stirring to prevent sticking.
- Step 6: Turn the heat off on the stove burner and ladle the Rose Hip jelly into hot, clean canning jars (inspect your jars first by following these tips!). Process in a boiling water bath canner (this is the one we have and love) for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to adjust your processing time according to your altitude if necessary!
Rose Hip jelly is so delicious and has a totally different flavor and color than the other wild edible berry jellies we make. While our family was enjoying eating our wild Rose Hip jelly, we were discussing the flavors we tasted: “citrusy”, floral, earthy, sweet. Two year old Little Brother didn’t offer up his insights into the flavor, but he did keep asking for “mo, mo, mo!” So we know he approves of our homemade wild Rose Hip jelly!
If you enjoy foraging and making wild harvested jellies, check out our other posts:
- Wild Elderberry jelly
- Wild Oregon Grape jelly