Wild rosehip tea creates the perfect Thanksgiving treat

Adeline Holte, Staff Writer

With autumn slowly ticking away its bright colors and luke-warm weather as Thanksgiving rounds the corner, you may feel a sadness in watching the leaves fall off the trees and the gray clouds and cold weather start to close in. But with the start of the end of autumn nearing us, you can be encouraged, because the rosehips are at their ripest. 

Sure, maybe rosehips don’t fully make up for the fact that fall is nearing its end, but since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, harvesting rosehips (or buying them!) can create a perfect Thanksgiving tea. Not to mention, rosehips hold largely beneficial amounts of vitamin C and full of antioxidants. As well as tasting great, they are also very healthy. 

If you have wild rosehips in your yard, this time of year is the best time to harvest. With the temperatures having dipped below freezing, rosehips are now at their peak time for sweetness, which means your tea will be the perfect blend of sweet. 

When making rosehip tea with dried rosehips, which is what you would most likely buy in a store, all you need to do is crush up your rosehips and steep them in your tea. Wild rosehips, however, are a different story, and a longer process. But, in my opinion, the time it takes to prepare tea with wild rosehips is a much better outcome and well worth the labor.  

Gathering your rose hips: The first step of your wild rosehip tea is to gather your rosehips. When picking, make sure the hips are red or orange in color, with no spots or wormholes. It’s also good to keep an eye out for birds or bugs in your bush, so that you are not getting any damaged rosehips. Make sure to wear gloves! Rose bushes are full of thorns and it’s not fun to get pricked.  

Cleaning your rose hips: Once you have picked enough, think about 1-3 cups, depending on how much tea you want to steep, you’ll need to wash the rosehips. I achieved this by first removing all the leaves or stray stems from my bunch, and then placed them in a strainer and rinsed with cold water for about 60 to 120 seconds. After, I placed them on a paper towel to dry and dabbed them off after a few minutes.  

Preparing your tea: To make your tea you will need to measure out your rosehips. I used one-fourth cup rosehips to each cup of water I used. I used three cups of water, but it all depends on how much tea you want for your meal. Next, crush your rose hips. I used a paper towel and the palm of my hand to crush them lightly for them to steep faster, but you can crush them in whatever way works best for you. With rosehips, there is no need to remove any seeds, so don’t worry about it.     

After you’ve crushed your rosehips, you will need to steep them to create your tea. Place your rosehips in a jar or bowl and pour your boiling water over the crushed rosehips before covering it. You will have to leave your tea to steep for at least 30 minutes, but if you want your tea even stronger, you can steep them for up to a few hours.  

After the steeping is finished, drain your tea into a different bowl or jar, using a strainer to remove the pulp from the rosehips. 

Enjoy! Your tea is done! After it is steeped for your desired time, you can serve it in any way you want. You can add some honey or simple syrup as a sweetener or leave as is if you like a more earthy taste. Rosehip tea pairs nicely with desserts, such as an apple pie or apple fritter, or even to sip during your Thanksgiving meal. I have discovered that I am happy to drink my wild rosehip tea all on its own. 

Whether store bought or wild picked, rosehip tea is a great edition to a Thanksgiving meal, and one that I will definitely be making annually. From hand picking your rosehips to draining the pulp, creating wild rosehip is a fun and rewarding treat addition to your Thanksgiving meal.