Rose Hip Apple Sauce | Simple, Healthy Recipe

Why would you want to eat Rose Hips?

Rose Hips by Tania Oceana
Rose Hips by Tania Oceana

Because they are chalk tasty, full of natural Vitamin C, & they offer many holistic health benefits!

So what are Rose Hips & where do I get them?

If you’ve ever noticed pump, red and shiny orbs growing on rose bushes in fall, then you have seen rose hips! They are the fruit of the rose plant, and are edible – though watch out for pesticide use before consuming.

These fruits range in size, like roses do, from small and thin to large and fat. Some have ample sweet flesh while other have very little flesh and are mostly tart. A fresh, fat rose hip is a real treat!

Wild Rose in Oregon by Tania Oceana

Where do the grow? Anywhere where there are cultivated or wild roses – so mostly gardens and in the forest understory. They ripen up starting late Summer and are ready to harvest in Fall or sometimes early Winter. You want to be careful of the seeds because they have itchy hairs that are not pleasant to eat.

While fresh hips are a treat, dried hips are much more accessible and fairly easy and affordable to purchase. I highly recommend getting de-seeded hips because it’s quite the process to separate them out yourself.

Did you know? Many edible fruits and berries belong to the Rose family, such as Apples, Peaches and Raspberries!

Rose hips as a Medicinal Herb & Food-as-Medicine Plant

Besides being very high in Vitamin C, rose hips also contain flavonoids, antioxidants, quercetin, pectin and more. This combination is beneficial for general and systemic inflammation and support healthy immune function.

Pictured: Dried, Fresh with other Rose Family plants and living Rosehip

There are too many health benefits to squeeze into one article, so check out this study entitled “Assessment of rosehips based on the content of their biologically active compounds” to learn more and how exactly these compounds benefit us via www.Sciencedirect.com

The various anti-inflammatory compounds can be useful in many inflammatory and autoimmune issues, such as arthritis, allergies and IBS.

The pectin is especially soothing to the digestive tract, and can help bulk up and moisten the contents in our bowels (such as with constipation).

“Rose hips contain a large range of important dietary antioxidants. The high antioxidant activity is mainly attributed to ascorbic acid that typically ranges from 3 g/kg to 40 g/kg [5], which is fairly more than any other commonly available fruits or vegetables” Sciencedirect.com

Incorporating wild and nutrient dense food into our diets is an excellent way to add variety and to “let food be thy medicine” as ancient Greek physician Hippocrates proclaimed.

Learn more about Roses HERE

OK So how do I prepare them?

Big batch of Rosehip Sauce from last year!

RECIPE TIME!

 Rose Hip Apple Sauce 
The Super Simple Healthy Snack!

 1/2 cup (or 1 part) Dried & Deseeded Rosehips

 1 cup (or 2 parts) Apple Juice (preferably Organic and 100% juice)* 

Add to a clean jar, combine by stirring and put a lid on. You want there to be room at the top of the jar so that the hips can expand. Put a label on your jar and refrigerate. The next day, or 24 hours later, check the consistency. Viola!

You can add more hips or juice to thin out or thicken up your sauce. The hips should be soft and the texture similar to apple sauce. You can use powdered Rose hips for a smoother texture, just make sure to break up any clumps.

Enjoy as a jelly, as a desert topping or straight out of the jar!

Check out my latest video on how and why to make Rosehip Applesauce

*Looking for a low or sugar free option? You can either use a juice with less sugar, cut the juice with water and/or substitute Stevia (a sweet and no-sugar herb). Since Stevia is so sweet, I suggest a ready-to-go product over the raw powder which varies quite a bit but be aware of fillers.

Bonus: More scientific studies on the anti-inflammatory benefits of Rosehips HERE

And last but not least, I’ve been asked a lot recently about herbs in addition to Vitamin C rich Rose hips to help support our immune system. Thankfully, there are many herbal allies that may help. Check out this quick read on immune boosting herbs!

– Stay Green!

By Herbalist Tania Oceana

Soft Skin Serum for Glowing Skin

More on Roses! Rose Hip Seed Oil for Beauty

Check out our SOFT Skin Serum featuring Rose Oil for healthy and beautiful skin!

ALSO CHECK OUT:

The Natural Approach to Beautiful Skin | CLEAR SKIN ACADEMY NOW OPEN!

And check out all of our articles here!

HOW TO CRAFT AN HERBAL SMOKING BLEND

AND THE BEST HERBS TO SMOKE

Herbs rolled into an herbal cigarette

Learn the best herbs for texture, flavor & effect + how to make you own herbal smoking blend!

And check out our Summer Evening Recipe below!

Our History with Smoking Herbs

Our history as humans includes a long tradition of burning and smoking herbs, often in community and for health or spiritual benefit.

Some of the earliest smoking pipes found come from within Eqyptian tombs from around 2000 BCE. Other ancient smoking pipes have been found in Norway, historian Herodotus noted Iranian tribes smoking “burning leaves” in 500 B.C and we know many indigenous tribes still present in North America still hold pipe and tobacco ceremonies.

Some of the most common herbs appreciated and worked with by Shaman, healers and everyday people around the world include;

  • Mullein
  • Damiana
  • Sage
  • Mugwort
  • California poppy
  • Skullcap
  • Red Raspberry
  • Rose petals
  • And of course….Tobacco
  • Cannabis
  • Lavender flowers

How to Create a Balanced Herbal Smoking Blend

It can be helpful to think of herbal smoking blends in 3 parts:

  1. Base herbs
  2. Supportive herbs (effects)
  3. Herbs for flavor

The Base

This is the foundation of the blend and constitutes it’s texture. Textures matters for matters when smoking (burn consistency) and ease of packing a bowl or rolling into a joint/cigarette/blunt. Since this is the majority of the blend, you also want to avoid harsh or intense flavors.

Note: not all herbs should be smoked, some herbs are poisonous. All herbs mentioned here are herbs that are used often by Herbalists internally and have a history of use in smoking. That being said, inhalation of combusted herbs should only be done by adults who understand that inhaling any kind of smoke can be harmful.

TOP 3 HERBAL BASES

Raspberry Leaf

Mullein

Marshmallow Leaf

All of these are light, fluffy and generally neutral in flavor. You can experiment with combining these herbs in different ratios!

Pacific NW tip:

Harvest some of the invasive Himalayan Blackberry leaves instead of Raspberry leaf

Just remember to dry thoroughly, shred & rub the leaves to promote a fluffier texture

Just watch out for those thorns!

Supportive Herbs

You can personalize this section based on what you’d like from a blend.The most common areas of interest include relaxation, sleep/dreams, expectoration (to help expel lung phlegm) and creative or romantic inspiration.

Here are my top supportive herbs (many are in more than one category)

BEST RELAXING HERBS

Passionflower

Skullcap

Kava kava

BEST SLEEP AND DREAM PROMOTING HERBS

Mugwort (promotes lucid dreaming too!)

California Poppy

Passionflower

Blue Lotus Flower

BEST CREATIVE AND ROMANTIC HERBS

Damiana (most popular aphrodisiac)

Gotu Kola

Yarrow

BEST EXPECTORANT HERBS

Mullein

Lobelia

Hyssop

Coltsfoot (a little goes a long way!)

Flavorful Herbs

The sprinkles on top include a bit of herbs simply to improve or enhance a more specific flavor

TOP HERBS FOR FLAVOR

Peppermint or Spearmint (which is a bit sweeter and more mild than Peppermint)

Chamomile flowers

Lavender flowers

Lemon Verbena leaves

Clove

How to Formulate an Herbal Smoking Blend

Now for the fun part, putting it together!

Feel free to experiment with small amounts before making a larger batch. Be creative and practicing trust in your intuition.

One general recipe structure for a new formula is;

  • 2 Tablespoons base herb/s
  • 1 Tablespoon specific herb/s
  • 1 teaspoon flavorful herb/s (or 1/4 teaspoon for powdered seeds or spices)

All Together Now!

Before blending your herbs in a bowl, feel free to gently rub your base herbs in your hands to fluff them up a bit more so they can help carry the other ingredients.

If you have large pieces of leaves or flowers you can crumble them up a bit with your hands (or a blender if needed). If you’re using a pipe then it’s OK if they’re bigger chunks but if you plant to roll your blend up then you’ll want a more consistent texture.

Combine your herbs and viola! You did it!

Now you can enjoy your blend alone or added to other common smoking herbs (yes I’m talking about cannabis and tobacco) and make adjustments as desired!

PRO TIPS

  • Keep your blend in an air tight glass jar out of direct sunlight.
  • Pop a whole 2 way moisture packet (do not open) in the blend if it seems a bit dry or harsh. Some people will also add a tiny spray of water, though be watchful of mold if you go that route.

If you really enjoy the smell of your blend you can burn it as incense! You can put the loose blend on a hot surface made for incense or use a binder like pine pitch to create a solid incense.

Herbal Smoking Blend Incense

If you really enjoy the smell of your blend you can burn it as incense!

Put the loose blend on a hot surface made for incense or use a binder like pine pitch to create a solid incense cone!


RECIPE | SUMMER EVENING BLEND

Simple yet satisfying

HERBS

3 TBSP Raspberry Leaf

1 TBSP Damiana

1 TBSP Lavender Flowers

If you liked this information (written by an Herbalist) then sign up for our newsletter to get interesting new herbal info directly into your inbox!

Stay Green!

Tania Oceana | Herbalist, Formulator and founder of Epic Herbalism

Additional references

Brounstein, Howie. (1995). Herbal Smoking Mixtures. Retrieved from: http://botanicalstudies.net/herbalism/smoking-mixtures/

Jenner, Greg. (2015). Did People Smoke Anything Before Tobacco Was Discovered? History Extra. Retrieved from: http://www.historyextra.com/qa/did-people-smoke-anything-tobacco-was-discovered

Pennacchio, M., Jefferson, L., Havens, K. (2010). Uses and abuses of plant derived smoke. Oxford University Press. New York.

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Top 5 Herbs to Grow at Home

It’s early spring and time to start thinking about which plant to grow!

Here are my top five favorite herbs to grow because they are all easy to grow as well as medicinal, culinary and nutritious!

They can all be started or grown indoors as well as outdoors (after the last frost).

Herbs to Grown this Spring
Direction from bottom right, up and over

1. Peppermint
– black thumb proof
– good for indigestion
– trace minerals & vitamins calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A
Tip: Keep potted because it will take over

2. Echinacea
– beautiful pollinator flower
– immune boosting root/leaf/flowers
– tolerates poor, rocky soil
Tip: Add to others teas because the flavor can be unpleasant/numbs your mouth

3. Sage
– classic culinary herb
– helps balance body fluids, especially around/in #menopause (dries nightsweats while helping skin to retain moisture)
– add flowers to salads & beverages
Tip: slow grower so I prefer to buy an already established plant over sprouting myself

4. Chamomile
– gently relaxing for people of all ages
– makes a soothing eye compress
– good for nervous stomach aches
Tip: grows well in a full sun window

5. Calendula
– heals wounds fast (use only on uninfected scraps, scabs & scars)
– easy and quick to grow from seed & reseed from flowers
– gently stimulates lymph flow
Tip: pluck the #flower heads off as they peak to get a long harvest window

Happy planting Plant Lovers!


Clear Skin Academy: Herbalism for Naturally Beautiful Skin

SURVIVAL FOODS | 3 Edible Herbs to Forage

1. Slippery Elm Bark

While tree bark may seem like the least appealing option, various tree barks have been staple in traditional diets. The part consumed is the inner bark, and unless you are in a serious emergency, take great care to gather this in the way that won’t kill the tree.

As the name implies, the texture, especially when made into a “survival gruel”, is slimy. Though slime isn’t my favorite texture, the flavor is neutral and almost pleasant. The mucilage (slime) also holds medicinal qualities that can help soothe digestive and respiratory irritation.

2. Cat Tails

I’ll never forget the time I mentioned in a college class that in an emergency you can eat cattails. To the horror of my classmates, I had to explain quickly and behind bright red cheeks that I’m not talking about a cat’s tail, but this plant!

This water loving plant is common in wetland areas, and you may have played with the flowers which clump tightly together on a tall spike that looks like a corn dog. When ripening you can release the tight flowers and they expand into white and very fluffy clumps that blow away and/or get attached to all your clothes. While fun, the fluff is not what you want to eat, though it can help as fire kindling. The edible parts include the stalk and young stems, which can be eaten raw or cooked (after peeling the outer layers). The young shoots can also be eaten cooked like asparagus, the roots can be dried and turned into flour and the nutritious pollen can be collected and added to foods.

3. Hawthorn Berries

The pacific NW is overrun with the invasive Himalayan blackberries, so go ham on those if you see them first (a bonus survival plant to know). A less commonly known edible berry grows on the Hawthorn tree. Ripe in Autumn, these red berries are found commonly in the wild, beside meadows and city sidewalks.

Hawthorn Berries

They are great because they can be eaten raw and range in flavor from bland/mealy apple to juicy and delicious. They are small but can be gathered, deseeded then dried or turned into sauces, beverages and jams. They support cardiovascular health and are high in antioxidants. Just watch out for those thorns! Learn more about Hawthorn here.

Bonus: 1 Plant to avoid at all cost: Snow Berries

You may notice birds eating this cute fluffy berry but be warned, it’s poisonous to humans. You can find these shrub berries throughout winter in the forest understory, as well as ornamentals in gardens. Though not extremely deadly, you do not want the gastrointestinal distress these will cause even if you’re not in a survival situation.

*NOTE: Always get multiple reputable sources (such as a reference book and double checking with a local Herbalist) before ingesting a plant you find.

Stay Green! And keep an eye out for our local plant walks coming up in Spring by adding your email below.

Tags: Foraging, Survival Skills, Wild harvesting, Plant I.D., Urban Foraging, Wild Foods, PNW Plants

Follow @mossytonic for more Herbals Info!

A Minute for Milky Oats

Milky Oat Tea is simple way to incorporate a healthy, food-as-medicine herb into your daily routine.

Milky Oat Tops brewing in a single serving teapot

This nourishing herb can be infused into a restorative brew that is safe to take on a daily basis. Avena sativa (aka Milky Oat tops) are nourishing to the nervous system and help to slowly but surely balance out feelings of nervousness, stress and exhaustion. 


The high mineral content also benefits multiple areas. The magnesium helps to calm and soothe the muscles and the mind, while the silica and calcium help to promote and maintain strong hair, skin, nails and bones.

To get the most out of Milky Oats, cover them in freshly boiled water and let steep at least several hours or even better, overnight. You can make a big jar batch and store that in the fridge to used throughout the week. Great herbal pairs include Peach Leaf, Skullcap and added to freshly made Lavender flower tea.

Stay Green Plant Lovers!

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