Rose hips form an edible seedpod and are the part of the rose that is left after the bloom has died away. They are in the same family as crab apples and are highly nutritious, with antioxidants and 20 times the amount of vitamin C as oranges. Although all roses produce rose hips, the best tasting are said to come from the rugosa rose.
Use rose hips that are at the peak of their ripeness, which usually means they will be a deep red or coral color.
Trim off the stem and blossom tips from the rose with a sharp knife . Place the rose hips on a sturdy even area and slice down directly through the center. Remove the seeds and put them on a dry paper towel. Use your fingers and the edge of a knife to scratch off the hairy covering over the seeds. Rinse off the rose hips.
Gather the rose hips to make tea, which is the most common way to use them. You can use the rose hips fresh or dried, but they are most beneficial fresh. With fresh rose hips, use twice as much. Steep them in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Drink the tea cold or hot or make popsicles out of it.
Put rose hips into dishes that are sweet, like desserts. Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of rose hips to 1 cup of candy, pie or cake dough, sauce, pudding or ice cream. Sprinkle the rose hips on top fresh or cook them with the food.
Mix crumbled rose hips into jams and jellies, stirring them in thoroughly.