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Thursday, September 6, 2012

What to do with rosehip syrup.

A few weeks ago I posted an article on making rosehip syrup.  I mentioned that it was a good source of vitamin C and of pectin.  But one of the hardest things about having a new food is to find ways to use that food.  For years potatoes were utilized because the farmers were not used to eating them, and didn't see the value of this new food.  So how do we look at new foods, especially when we know that they are good for us. Are new foods a novelty or do they become part of the norm. 
I have been looking at different ways of using rose hip syrup and have found a few that I think are really good.  The first is to use rosehip syrup rather than sugar in tea.  The slight fruitiness of my syrup blends wonderfully with tea, and I am sure that it provides a bit of a pick me up vitamin wise.  I usually drink tea rather than coffee when I am starting to feel sick or when I am not feeling 100% so a boost of vitamins is probably another great thing for those days.
I made a form of cough syrup from rosehip syrup.  I took my normal rosehip syrup, and infused some candied ginger in it.  The ginger is supposed to help with sore throats and upset stomachs, and I find the taste delicious with just a bit of the spiciness of ginger in it.  I may try adding a little horehound (a very little goes a long long way) to suppress coughs, but this may make it too bitter.  I will update you on the future of rosehip cough syrup.
I found I can make a fairly pleasant shrub with it.  A shrub is a vinegar based drink, mostly popular before refined soft drinks became the norm.  It takes a fairly concentrated rosehip syrup to make shrub that has any kind of rosehip flavor.  Basically you mix the rosehip syrup with vinegar in a 1-1 ratio.  Allow a few days for the vinegar to mellow a bit.  You then use the new syrup mixed with soda water or lemon-lime soda to make a fruity sour beverage.  The sourness helps the drink to quench your thirst and is a lot like lemonade on a hot day. For some reason sour beverages just seem to refresh you more than sweet ones do. 
The last use I found for the syrup is rosehip rice pudding.  Using the syrup as a substitute for sugar in rice pudding gives a faint fruity taste that can blend well with the cinnamon that is usually in the pudding.  I find that it tastes like Christmas with fruit and spice flavors blending remarkably well.  While it is not remotely an every day dish, the substitution of the syrup for sugar can be used in a variety of desserts and would help to provide more vitamins than sugar alone does. 
Perhaps by using things like rosehip shrub, we will wean our taste buds off of the intense sweetness of sugar and learn more appreciation for the other flavors of life.  Either way, rosehip syrup makes a great addition to the pantry, and one you can make yourself.

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