What to do with Rose hips

Today is the day I take the leap and eat from the Alaska wild.  We are making wild rose hip tea and will forage for berries! 

So here we are quarantining at this quaint little cabin in the woods of Alaska.  We have lots of time on our hands.  The girls have started school in earnest and I am busy with work, but there is a lot of time to wander and the woods here are unlike any I have ever seen before.  There are tons of mysterious berries and gorgeous mushrooms I’m dying to identify. 

I’m more of a city person than a woodsy person, but at the same time I have always been a gardener and enjoyed growing my own vegetables.  Along these same lines the concept of foraging has always intrigued me and the plethora of berries in the woods around here are the perfect place to start. 

Let me be clear though– I have a very low risk tolerance.  Although these berries are new to me I won’t eat anything I haven’t confidently identified and confirmed by outside sources.   It is 100% necessary when eating things from the woods that you are 100% confident you know what they are 100% of the time.  Thus, I will start my adventures with Alaskan foraging with rose hips  since I can identify those readily.

Rose hips are the fruit of the rose plant and appear after the flowers die and fall off.  There are many varieties and each is slightly different as are the flowers that produce them, but still they are easy to identify.  The ones I am seeing around here are more elongated than others I have seen, but I have confirmed through various facebook foraging and plant identification groups that these are just an arctic variety and definitely rose hips.

How to Make Wild Rose Hip Tea

Step 1:

Gather rose hips: You can’t make rose hip tea without rose hips!

Rose hips are ripe when they start to soften.  There are many different varieties to make wild rose hip tea.
Rose hips are ripe when they start to soften
Step 2

Wash and sort them to get rid of any yucky ones

When making wild rose hip tea sort your berries well to get rid of any moldy ones or those with bugs/worms.
Rinsing in water.
Step 3

Chop off the blossom end (totally optional)

Prepping the berries for rose hip tea is fairly simple.  You can chop off the blossom end, but you don't have to.
Step 4

Mash them

Mashing rose hips to make rose hip tea is part of the fun!
Messy but fun!
Step 5

Boil them for as long as you want– the longer you boil them the stronger the rose hip tea

The longer you boil your rose hip tea the stronger the flavor will be.
Gently simmering for 15-20 minutes seems to do the trick!
Step 6

Strain and and serve your rose hip tea (honey optional)

Enjoy a cup of delicious homemade rose hip with this recipe!

Next up:  Mysterious Wild Berries

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About Mary

Mary Stephens holds a degree in international affairs from Georgetown University and a Masters in Teaching from the American University. Mary spent almost twenty years homeschooling her four children and is now navigating post homeschool life in Alaska. She offers personal insights, recipes, homeschooling tips and tricks and travel advice on her website penciltreks.com. Mary also owns Christopher Travel, a luxury travel company specializing in exquisite vacations around the globe.

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