While roses and treats are synonymous with Valentine’s Day, we wanted to turn that tradition on its head by suggesting you make a sweet rosehip jam instead! Plus, you can get around those thorny environmental and social impacts by skipping the bouquet this year. And, if you’re about to tune out because we’re suggesting making a jam, hang in there because this jam contains only two (2!) ingredients and doesn’t require any cooking. It’s that easy, folks.
If you’re still with us, you may be wondering what are rosehips? They are the fruit of the rose, visible as the round red berry that’s present after the petals of the rose flower have fallen off the plant. You’ve probably seen them and not even realized it until now. Fresh rosehips are a nutritional powerhouse, most notably, they are filled with vitamins C and A and a number of antioxidants, but the concentrations of these nutrients are lower if the hips have been dried. As such, rosehips are often used to boost immunity, treat a number of disorders including those associated with the stomach, urinary tract, and kidneys, obesity, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, there is little scientific evidence for these uses (that’s not to say that rosehips aren’t effective, just that the research isn’t there), but studies have shown that the herb is effective at reducing the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis! Additionally, rosehip oil is packed with vitamin A and is known to help rejuvenate skin cells, speeding healing and reducing scars, as well as keeping the skin elastic and hydrated.
For today’s recipe we’re going to use dried rosehips that have been deseeded, and because we’ll be eating them, look for organic. Sift through the rosehips before using them, picking out any stray stems. The only other ingredient in this recipe is a sweet fruit juice. I used Trader Joe’s organic concord grape juice, but you really can’t go wrong with any sweet juice. I’m stressing sweet because we aren’t adding any sugar or other sweeteners to the jam. You may be wondering how juice and rosehips are going to create a jam without cooking? The rosehips contain a fair amount of pectin, which is the natural gelling or thickening agent often added to homemade jams. When we mix the fruit juice with the rosehips, the pectin in the fruit will cause the juice to jell, and you will have jam! Here’s where things get loosey goosey, because there isn’t a precise recipe for this jam. As it was taught to me, here’s what you do:
- fill a half pint jar about 3/4 full with rosehips
- add the juice until it just covers the rose hips
- let the mixture sit out overnight
- the next morning you’ll have jam!
Once finished, your jam should keep in the fridge for at least a week or two, and you can use it as you would any other jam. We like to spread it on toast.
But it is also a delicious and fun addition to any cheese plate. Here I served it with brie, but I think it goes equally well with goat and cheddar cheeses too! I like to keep the jam in it’s jar and add a little espresso-sized spoon for serving.
This is a truly simple recipe that will add an interesting twist to any Valentine’s Day meal, whether you’re serving it with breakfast in bed or a candlelit dinner. Have you ever had it before? If so, what’s your favorite way to eat it?
Oh, and if you’re wondering how good it is, or if kiddos would like it, here’s a little behind the scenes action for you ~ I couldn’t keep little A away from the free samples while I was photographing today’s post. He’s an expert at eating the jam right off of the toast and reusing the bread, likewise, he asked me to refill the same cracker at least a half dozen times!… and he has no shame that his face and hands are covered with jam.