We have a huge Rugosa hedge and at this time of year it is bursting with hips, more than enough for me to pick my fill and still leave plenty for the birds. They are one of the richest sources of vitamin C (rosehip syrup was a popular means to keep vitamin C levels up, especially in children, during the winter months). We use it for rosehip jelly, rosehip syrup and also rosehip oil.
Rosehip oil is wonderful for the skin. Packed with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties it is a permanent resident in my bathroom cupboard.
True rosehip oil is made by cold pressing the seeds. Despite the fact I have succeeded in distilling my own rosewater (and broke a sink with the brick afterwards) I have yet to build a cold press in my kitchen. However, I have found an alternative. First of course you need to pick your rosehips.
750g of fresh rosehips
Remove the stalks and tails and any of the hairy seeds (great for itching powder). I harvest with a pair of kitchen scissors and cut the debris away as I pick. Next chop finely, I put mine in a food processor.
Finally you place the macerated rosehips in a heavy bottomed pan with the oil of your choice. I used 1 litre of Avocado oil this year, but any natural oil will do, avoid olive oil – it has rather a strong smell and can overpower the rosehips.
Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer on the lowest heat possible for about 6-8 hours. You could also use a slowcooker or yoghurt maker.
Strain through a jelly bag or cheesecloth and store in sterilised dark bottles. Store out of sunlight.
Love Gillie x