Edible Rose Petals and Hips

Posted in Rose Recipes

Rose PetalsDid you know rose petals and hips are edible?

I knew, but sort of forgot until I saw a feature on edible flowers in one of my favorite decorating magazines recently. Rose flowers have been used in cooking since ancient times in both Europe and Asia.

Rose petals work beautifully as a floral garnish, or made into jellies, butters, tea, rose water, and vinegars. The miniature varieties can garnish ice cream and finger sandwiches, or use larger petals to sprinkle on desserts or salads…both colorful and tasty. Freeze them in ice cubes and float them in punches also. Looks especially pretty and festive for baby and bridal showers or afternoon teas and backyard summer parties!

Like any fruit or vegetable, when and how you harvest can influence the quality of the food. Harvest early or late in the day when the blossoms are cool. I’ve read that the tastiest roses are usually the most fragrant…though I haven’t tried enough yet to substantiate that claim.

Be Safe – Follow These Guidelines:

* Don’t eat flowers if you have asthma, allergies, or hay fever (or try a very small sampling to make sure you don’t have a reaction).
* Only eat flowers that have been grown organically so they have no pesticide residue. Never eat florist-grown roses, as they usually contain toxic chemicals.
* Collect flowers for eating in the cooler parts of the day — preferably early morning after the dew has evaporated — or late afternoon.
* Choose flowers that are at their peak, avoiding those that are not fully open or those that are starting to wilt.
* Never gather flowers from roadsides or train tracks. These plants have been absorbing toxins from vehicles and petro-chemicals.

What Do Rose Petals Taste Like?
Rose Petals in Salad Flavors depend on the type of rose, color, and soil conditions. A potpourri of tastes with rose petals….sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. NOTE: Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals.

How To Prepare Roses For Eating

To prepare roses for kitchen use, rinse them and shake off the water. Check for any garden critters that might be lurking in the folds. Turn the bloom over grasping the open flower in one hand, so that the stem is facing up. Use a sharp pair of scissors and snip right above the stem, and the petals will fall freely. Many roses have a bitter white part at the base of each petal which should be snipped away. This can easily be done when removing petals all at once.

Rose Petal Recipes:

Rose Petal Tea


2 cups fresh fragrant rose petals
3 cups water
Honey or granulated sugar to taste


Clip and discard bitter white bases from the rose petals. Rinse petals thoroughly and pat dry.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, place the prepared rose petals. Cover with water and bring just to a simmer. Let simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until the petals become discolored / darkened.

Remove from heat and strain the hot rose petal liquid into teacups. Add honey or sugar to taste.

Makes approx. 4 servings


Rose Petal CupcakesRose Petal Sugar

Rose petal sugar adds a delicate and understated flavor element to desserts and beverages. Good sprinkled over strawberries, or add to cakes and cookies or stir into hot tea…for just a hint of floral flavor.


1/4 cup lightly packed fragrant rose petals
1/2 cup raw sugar


In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, layer the rose petals in alternating layers with the sugar. Cover and place in a dark, cool spot. Let sit for at least a week before using.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

What Are Rose Hips?

Rose hips form after the flower dies. If you immediately deadhead your roses, you will never have rose hips. Leave the flowers on, though, and the rose hips will form late in the season. (I stop deadheading my roses in mid-August) Pick when bright orange or red, before they turn brown. They are best used in jams and jellies, or in tea. Rose hips are very high in vitamin C, and were sometimes used to ward off scurvy. Rose hips do not taste like roses…their taste is sort of tangy.

Rose Hips in KitchenRose Hip Jam


1 cup trimmed and seeded rose hips
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups sugar
1 package powdered fruit pectin (1.75 ounce)
3/4 cup water for pectin prep


Put the prepared rose hips, water, and lemon juice in a blender; blend until smooth, about 15 seconds. Small bits of rose hips skin are okay. Gradually add the sugar while blender is running. Blend until sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds or so.

Stir the pectin into 3/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; and boil hard for about 1 minute. Slowly pour into the rose hip mixture and blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into small jars with lids. Store in the refrigerator. Jam not used within a few weeks can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.

Makes 4 cups


Note: The challenging part of the above recipe is halving and de-seeding the rose hips. Put on some music and relax…then cut the stems and bases off the hips, then slice them in half and scoop out the seeds. The little irritating hairs can make your hands itch after a while. After that is done – the rest is easy!

Rose Hip Jam is delicious spread onto toast, biscuits, muffins or cookies. It also works well as an accompaniment with chicken, pork, or turkey. It can be blended with a little mustard for an interesting sweet and sour sauce, or with BBQ and soy sauce.

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