Rose hips have a long history in traditional medicine and rose hip jam is a very classic and folksy food. In many places around the world, rose hips are found growing wild and their history as a traditional food goes back a very, very long time. The art of making jams and jellies as a way to preserve foods is a tale as old as time.
This particular rose hip jam is an extra herbal take on a classic recipe. With rosemary and rose water added, it’s not only extra delicious, but extra nutritious as well.
all about the rose hip
Whether you know it as rose hip, rose haw, or rose hep, this fruit of the rose bush develops on roses just as the flower drops off. By late summer and early fall, they’re ripe. But the most delicious and nutritious rose hips aren’t ready until just after the first frost of the year.
A gentle frost serves to make them just a touch sweeter, as they’re naturally a little bit tart, indicative of their high vitamin C content. In fact, rose hips are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C. And not only does their taste change for the better after a light frost, their nutritive and medicinal qualities also increase.
The rosemary adds such a nice subtle woodsy, evergreen, and lemon-pine flavor to the natural tartness of the rose hips. Most rose hip jams consist of little more than rose hips, sugar, and water. Sometimes apple juice is used instead of water. The particular rose hip jam here is made with a fresh tea of rosemary and is sweetened with honey.
While there is no natural pectin in rose hips, they tend to gel up quite nicely on their own. This recipe calls for cut and sifted dried rose hips that have already had all their seeds and inner hairs removed. So instead of having to strain out the seeds and hairs, the rose hips are just blended together with the rosemary tea and honey.
making rose hip jam
This rose hip jam comes together in about 10 minutes. First, make some fresh rosemary tea. Then, to a small sauce pan, combine the rosemary tea and the cut and sifted rose hips.
Over medium-low heat, bring to a very low simmer just until rose hips soften and the mixture starts to thicken. As the rose hips soften, use a fork or the back of a spoon to help smash them into a pulp.
Because vitamin C is incredibly sensitive to heat, avoid high heat or over-cooking to maintain as much of the nutritional content of the rose hips as possible.
Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat. While not necessary, if you desire a smoother texture, use a blender to process to the consistency of tomato sauce. (An immersion blender works great!) However, this step is optional.
When the mixture is completely cool, add in rose water and honey to taste. I typically prefer about 3-4 tablespoons of honey in this recipe. And if you prefer a different sweetener, you can always use maple syrup or a granulated sweetener like coconut or cane sugar.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use within 5-7 days.
how to use rose hip jam
This rose hip jam does have a slightly different texture than regular jams and jellies. It’s a bit on the gummy side and can be a little shocking to your palate if expecting a regular jam. However, this rose hip jam is damn delicious, more nutritious than store-bought ones, and can be used just as you’d use any jam.
- Spread it on toast or warm biscuits.
- Add a dollop to smoothie bowls, granola, oatmeal, chia pudding, and more.
- Swap out maple syrup for this rose hip jam on pancakes and waffles.
- Get fancy with some sweet crepes.
- Make a real gourmet peanut butter and rose hip jam sandwich.
- Spread it onto crackers with herbed goat cheese.
The information given in this article is intended for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns at all, it’s always a good idea to check with your health practitioner before consuming certain herbs & medicinal foods, especially if taking any prescription medications.