Nutritious, additive free, home made, seasonal rose hip syrup recipe

Learn to make home made, free from rose hip syrup for your store cupboard

Fancy boosting your vitamin intake and your immune system naturally? Then this gorgeous, seasonal rose hip syrup recipe may well be up your particular Boulevard. Rose hips contain 20 times the amount of vitamin C  of an orange according to They also contain vitamins A and D which are not often found in food. With winter knocking on the door, now is the time to get our vitamin D levels, in particular, topped up. According to the NHS website , we should all consider taking a daily dose of vitamin D to potentially help our defences against Covid 19. Hedgerows really are nature’s medicine cabinet and larder rolled into one and here we show you how to capture some of that goodness for your kitchen store cupboard.

Naish Farm, the rural HQ of Honeybuns bakery, enjoys an abundance of rose hips in the hedgerows. Rosa Rugosa, or sea spray rose, grows like a weed on our clay soil.

The Rosa Rugosa hips are pretty big; up to a table tennis ball in size and offer up plenty of flesh. If you don’t have them in your garden you are most likely to find this variety growing wild by the sea side. I’ve seen people foraging them along the South West coastal path for example. After the rose flowers have died off, the seed pods or hips are left. They grow in size and vary from orange to bright red in colour. The best time to pick them is in the Autumn and after the first frosts. The frost helps to break down the cell walls of the hips thus making them softer and sweeter.  All varieties of rose hip are edible and old cook books will often cite Rosa Canina or Dog Rose as the tastiest variety for home made jams, jellies and syrups. You can also make teas by drying the hips and then steeping them in hot water. So, in a nut shell, use any clean, pesticide free rose hips you can forage.

The syrup recipe we’ve featured here is really versatile and packed to the rafters with goodness. We’ve adapted the excellent raw rose syrup recipe from George Anderson’s original over at The Woodland Trust.

Have a look through the FAQs below before you get started. 

How quick is this recipe to make?

After you have foraged your hips then it will take literally 5 minutes to assemble.

You then need to leave your jar of ingredients on a sunny windowsill – or conservatory, green house or poly-tunnel for 4-8 weeks.

What is special about these recipes?

  • The no cook, raw nature of this recipe means that the precious vitamin C levels are not destroyed by heat.
  • The resulting syrup is a natural remedy and delicacy rolled into one. It’s a potent natural antioxidant and has been traditionally used to ward off colds and flu.
  • Floral and fruity – this is the great British hedgerow in a bottle!
  • Rose hips are free, delicious and incredibly good for you!

What can I use my natural rose hip syrup for?

This naturally gluten free syrup is the perfect vegan alternative to honey.

Try using:

  • To sweeten tea
  • Drizzled over your favourite Honeybuns cake
  • Enjoy as a cordial or in cocktails
  • Drizzle onto pancakes, waffles and porridge
  • Drizzle onto cakes, warm from the oven. See our Honeybuns books for inspo
  • Eat straight from the jar!

Is the vegan rose hip syrup healthy?

The sugar used in the recipe is obviously calorie laden but this is mitigated by the high vitamin content of the rose hips.

By not cooking the hips, you are preserving the high vitamin content.

According to the excellent website, ‘During WWII children were paid 3d per lb to collect rose hips as a source of much-needed vitamin C.”

This says it all really.

Can I substitute ingredients?

You can use any type of granulated form of sugar here. Granulated golden, white, caster, Demerara-.

The rose hips are needed as they are but you can always add your own twist.

Try adding:

  • Stem ginger
  • Lavender
  • Vanilla pods

How long will my rose syrup keep?

The syrup will keep for a year or more as long as you keep it in a lidded sterilised glass jar.

What ingredients do I need to make my divine medicinal and culinary masterpiece?

  • 400g rose hips, washed, trimmed, deseeded and chopped up
  • 250g castor sugar
  • Zest of 2 orange (finely grated)

What kit will I need?

1 x  sterilised Kilner jar

How to make your raw hedgerow rose hip syrup

It couldn’t be easier. Just layer up chopped hips. Mix the sugar with the zest and then add a layer of this then repeat: rose hips then sugar, until the jar is full.

Place on a sunny window sill and turn each day until the mix form as a syrup. This will take 2-4 weeks.

Here are our homemade rose hip syrup top tips

1. If you miss the frost or want to get started before the frost comes you can pick the hips and freeze overnight. This will soften the cell walls of the hips and will result in sweeter more fruity flavoured syrup.

2. For a great range of Kilner jars try Harts of Stur – they are our local go to for kitchen kit (and have a great online shop too!) and are lovely people to boot!

3. For more of a marmalade vibe, try adding lemon and grapefruit zest

4. For floral notes, you can pick and dry rose petals during the summer and add these too.

5. Try serving with our gorgeous Lemon and Ginger Shortbread. Warm the cake in the oven or microwave and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche drizzled with rose syrup. Heavenly!

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You might also be interested in reading our gluten free Lemon & Ginger Shortbread recipe blog with bake-along video