Rose hips are the seldom grown fruits of the rose plants. While all varieties are capable of rose hip production, old-fashioned rose varieties, such as rugosa, are more likely to produce a large quantity of the hips. Rose hips are spherical fruits that are used both fresh and dried in a variety of recipes. That have more vitamin C than citrus fruits, according to University of Vermont Extension Service office. One of the simplest ways to add the rose hips to your diet is in herbal teas, where they add a tangy sweetness.
Pick the rose hips in autumn after they have matured on the rose bushes. Ripe rose hips are round and firm with a dull skin. Rose hips are red, purple or orange in color.
Place the rose hips in a colander, and rinse under cool, running water from the faucet. Remove any remaining stems or plant matter from the hips.
Pat the rose hips dry with a paper towel. Cut the rose hips in half with a sharp knife, and pull out the seeds and small hair-like pieces inside.
Spread the rose hips out on a baking sheet with the cut sides facing upward. Place in an oven that has been preheated at the lowest temperature available.
Turn the rose hips every two hours during the drying period. Drying time varies depending on the size of the fruit, but generally takes between six and eight hours. Dried rose hips have a slightly drier texture than raisins.
Place the rose hips into a jar or storage container once they have cooled down to room temperature. Store in a cool, dry place until you are ready to use them. For tea, just add the desired amount to your tea infuser when brewing.