Introduction: Sugar Free Rose Hip Jelly
Whether it’s a zombie apocalypse, nuclear war, or a natural disaster, people need food everywhere. The need for food in the cities or urban areas will be greater than in the country because of the higher density population. Most people don’t think when they step out their front door they are standing in a sea of food, but they are surrounded by food. As long as you don’t use weed killer or fungicides on your lawn; even your lawn is a food source, grass, dandelion leaves, clover, even plantain leaves and many other broad leaf weeds are edible. There are over 100 edible plants growing on your front lawn.
Then there are the trees, shrubs, and flowers people plant for decretive reasons, many are toxic but others are edible like roses. Yes roses and rose bushes are a food source, the flowers and the fruiting bodies from the flowers (Hips), are edible and a rich source of vitamin C and minerals. You can even make jams and jellies from them.
My wife and oldest son are diabetic so I make sugar free jams and jellies every fall just for their dietary needs.
Step 1: Identifying Rose Hips
Most roses produce hips but I think the best hips come from roses like, Beach roses, Dog roses, and Wild roses. They don’t produce a rose like long stemmed roses, the flower is small with 5 to 6 petals and a cluster of stamens in the center. The fruit is red in color, varies in size, and filled with seeds, much like a small tomato, on many rose shrubs they cluster at the blossoming ends of the branches. Roses shrubs start to blossom in the spring and as the blossoms die they produce hips that stay in the bush well into winter. The leaves are small only about an inch long, odd pinnate, and obtuse or elliptic, with a serrated edge.
Step 2: Ingredients
This recipe makes 8 to 10, 120 ml jars.
½ liter or 2 cups cleaned rose hips.
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice or a ½ teaspoon lemon extract.
2 packs Knox Gelatine one packet of Knox Gelatine jells 2 cups of juice.
The sweetener you add is your choice; you can substitute honey, maple syrup, or corn syrup for Splenda, just match the recipe cup for cup. If you do not worry about sugar intake just use 4 cups sugar. You can go sugar free with 4 cups Splenda or some other artificial sweetener, or 2 cup sugar and 2 cup Splenda for low sugar.
Step 3: Cooking the Rose Hips
Rinse the rose hips thoroughly and cut off the stems and blossom ends and discard.
Place rose hips in a large stainless steel pot, do not use aluminum or cast iron to cook the rosehips only use stainless steel or some other non-reactive cookware. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour or until rose hips are soft and mashable.
Step 4: Directions
Use a potato masher to mash up the rose hips into a rough purée. Set up a jelly bag or a large very fine mesh strainer, or 4 layers of cheesecloth over a bowl or large pot. Transfer the rose hip mixture into the jelly bag, strainer, or cheesecloth, cover and let the mash strain for at least an hour.
Measure the juice, you will need 4 cups of juice for this recipe, so if you have less than 4 cups, add more water to the mixture. You can also add some boiling water to the mash in the strainer or jelly bag if you still have it set up, allowing more juice to drain out.
Step 5: Removing the Pulp
To make sure I get all the pulp out of the juice so I have a nice clear jelly, I like to pass the juice through a coffee filter, this gets everything the strainer missed.
Step 6: Preparing the Gelatin
Each packet of Knox Gelatine will jell 2 cups of juice.
Put ½ cup of the rose hip juice to a side and the rest of the juice in a stainless pot to heat.
While the juice is heating up, add 2 pouches of gelatin to the ½ cup of juice you put to a side, stir the gelatin in and let the half cup of juice sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 7: Finishing the Juice
When the rose hip juice starts to simmer add your choice of sweetener and the lemon juice.
Once the gelatin starts to jell, melt the jell into the rest of the juice by pouring hot juice over the jell stirring the juice as you go.
Step 8: Preparing the Canning Jars
Prepare canning jars. You'll need 8 to 10 120 ml canning jars and lids.
Sterilize the jars, the method I use is to place the jars lip down and the lids in a pan of water, cover, and bring it to a boil for 10 minutes. I did my jars in batches of 5.
Step 9: Filling & Processing the Jars
Fill the jars with jelly to within ¼ of an inch (5 mm) of the lip of the Jar.
Place the seals on the jars and screw on the rings loosely.
Place in a pot of water covering the lids by one inch (25 mm), cover, and bring to a boil for 15 minutes.
Step 10: Finishing the Jelly
Once the Jam has processed for 10 to 15 minutes remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Remove the jars of jelly from the processing pot wipe off the outsides and tighten the lids.
Place the jars of jelly on a rack to cool.
Once the jars are cool label and place the jars in a dark place for storage.