Making rosehip syrup

by Kate Bradbury

I’d only used rosehips once before. I made a rosehip and apple jam. The whole process was messy and frustrating.

I’d only used rosehips once before. I made a rosehip and apple jam. The whole process was messy and frustrating - I seemed to spend about four hours chopping the rosehips, and the tiny itchy hairs got everywhere. All for one jar of jam. It tasted okay, but didn’t really seem worth the effort.

This year the abundance of rosehips tempted me to try to do something with them again. But I wanted it to be easy.

Rosehips are something of a 'superfood'. Packed with vitamins, especially vitamin C, they are also thought to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and to reduce cholesterol. But I didn’t want to eat them. I wanted to make rosehip oil.

Chileans have been using an oil made from the seed for centuries, in the belief that it prevents signs of ageing and reduces effects of facial scarring, acne, wrinkles, sun damage, burns, dermatitis and other skin problems. It seems the perfect remedy for we gardeners, who pop out to empty the compost caddy only to return, hours later, red-nosed and ruddy cheeked, having found ‘a few bits that needed doing’.

Removing the seeds and cold-pressing them into an oil seemed a little beyond my capabilities, but I found a recipe to do something similar by simply infusing the hips (seed and all) into another oil.

The recipe called for using almond oil, which is nice and light, but you can use any oil you fancy (I used a high quality extra virgin olive oil). I simply blasted the hips in the food processor and popped them in the slow cooker with a covering of oil, for five hours. I set the slow cooker to the lowest setting so as to retain as many of the rosehips’ magical qualities (vitamin C is easily destroyed in heat), and then strained the oil through muslin.

The oil has a pinkish tinge and smells sweet. I keep it in the fridge and have used it a couple of times as a moisturiser. I’ll never know if I’ve managed to capture enough of the seeds’ properties, or its vitamin C, but if I start looking 10 years younger I’ll let you know.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas.

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oldchippy 20/12/2013 at 16:11

Happy Christmas Kate,I grow up on rosehip syrup, as you say there are lots of hips this year growing on the golf course the common rose long narrow hips, the birds haven't eaten any yet maybe they waiting for the frost to soften them,I remember my Grandmother boiling the hips when I was young with sugar,times have changed and people are using them again. Oldchippy.

flowering rose 23/12/2013 at 14:01

I make rose hip syrup and it is really simple.I use the processor to crush the hips and a jelly bag to keep those horrid little hairy things in.It is always a joy to walk the paths and lanes and pick a few berries in Autumn and what a good way to ward of colds.