We have just made the rose hip syrup for the winter season, these small fruits of the dog rose contain a huge amount of vitamin C amongst other things which helps protect against catching colds and flu, if you would like to know more about the benefits you can read here.
We started by collecting the rose hips, but please remember only pick berries if you know exactly what you are picking. After washing and sorting out the good ones we ended up with about 500g.
Due to their hardness it is best to chop the rose hips first either by hand or in a food processor. Then put the whole lot in a pan and bring to the boil with double the amount of liquid to rose hips, so in our case we put in a litre.
We boiled this for about 5 to 10 minutes then left it to steep for 20 minutes. The cooled mixture was then put through a straining bag to leave us with just liquid and no pips. This strained liquid needs to be returned to the pan and re heated to add and dissolve the sugar, usually with syrups I add an equal amount of sugar to the liquid... so if your end product is 1 litre you would add 1 kilogram of sugar but I have found this quite sweet so we have added slightly less. If you add the sugar a little at a time you can stop at a level which is sweet enough for you, it is also possible to add honey instead of sugar which is something we will be doing next year.
Here is the finished product, I have taken the photograph outside so that you can see the wonderful colour. This is not only a very effective natural remedy but also tastes divine on natural yoghurt or ice cream.
The rose hip syrup has had special meaning to the children this year as we have been watching a wonderful history program called Wartime Farm, and they went into details of how important this was to children's health during the war.
We have also made elderberry syrup again this year as another of our natural remedies for the home medicine cabinet. We made double the amount of this as it was so effective last year, if you would like to make some you can find it here.