Rose Hips

 Learning to cook and eat healthy food overseas can be quite a challenge.  I like to feed my family whole, nourishing, foods.  Since our recent move to Argentina, it has been an exciting, yet challenging, opportunity for me to discover what and where to buy foods to nourish my family of (soon to be) 7. 
During a recent trip to a local "dietetica" (or what we would call a nutrition store), I found that they were selling dried, whole, rose hips from the Patagonia region.  As I attempt to find the "go to" herbs we are used to consuming I am learning the "substitute" herbs that are grown in Argentina and in South America.  This has been quite a challenge.  Needless to say, seeing my old familiar friend, Rose Hip, was very satisfying.
I bought 1/4 kg and brought them home so that we could begin using them in our herbal teas, etc.  There was only one problem.  Every time I have purchased rose hips in the past, they have come semi-ground and do not contain seeds nor "hairs."  Did I say there was only one problem?  Well, there was another one...I didn't have a grinder in this little missionary apartment.
God is good and helped me do my research.  He also helped us find an old blender for use by the missionaries in these apartments.  I ground the rose hips up and placed them in the freezer where they sit until we use them.
Did you know that rose hips have been used for hundreds of years for the prevention of scurvy?  They have two and three times the vitamin C content of citrus fruits and are a powerhouse for antioxidants, according to several authors.  I have read countless studies on the chemical constituents of rose hips and I find that many conclusions differ from each other according to which type/variety of roses are used for the study, as well as according to the sample state (fresh, dried, ground, etc).  It is easy to generalize but I thought it best to include a little excerpt from
"While some accounts suggest that rose hips are the richest natural source of vitamin C, a number of more concentrated sources have been identified. Citrus fruits contain approximately 50 mg vitamin C per 100 g; uncooked broccoli, kale, and kiwi fruit, approximately 100 mg; black currants, guavas, and some tropical vegetables, 200 to 300 mg; rose hips ( Rosa canina ), 1250 mg; acerola or Barbados cherry ( Malpighia punicifolia ), 1000 to 2330 mg; and Terminalia ferdinandiana , up to 3150 mg.

Rose hips also contain vitamins A, B 1 , B 2 , B 3 , and K. Other ingredients include pectin (11%), tannins (2% to 3%), malic and citric acids, flavonoids, red and yellow pigments, especially carotenoids, polyphenols, invert sugar, volatile oil, vanillin, and a variety of minor components."  Brand JC, et al. Lancet 1982;2:873.
Anyway, it is my goal to find other uses for rose hips.  I'd like to learn to make a rose hip syrup.  The Patagonia region of Argentina is known for it's rose hip jelly production.  Do you have any ideas or recipes of how to use rose hips? 
- Kristi 

No comments: