Deb's family owns a small herb farm and herbal skin care business in Porterfield, Wisconsin. It is there that they play and work with herbs on a daily basis. Deb is a Master Gardener Volunteer, organizer of a local herb group, and a teaches herb-related and soap-making classes for a local technical college, folk school, and right on the farm. (www.petermanbrookherbfarm.com)
As a first time blogger for The Herb Companion, I have a little confession to make. Quite frankly, I am a bit on the chubby side. One of my goals for 2011 is to simply drink more water, and I plan to do that by drinking a variety of infusions.
My favorite simple infusion is made with rosehips (Rosa canina), also known as rose haws, hip berry or wild rose. Rosehips contain a fair amount of vitamin C and can help stave off cold symptoms. They are the fruit of the rose and have also been used to make jams, jellies and soups.
An infusion is basically the same as a tea, except the herbs and the hot water have been left to steep longer with the hopes of a stronger brew. Let’s get started!
Rosehips without water. Photo by Deb Doubek
I start with a quart jar that is filled with herbs about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Insert a metal knife, as this should help conduct some of the heat and help avoid chances of your jar cracking. This is a tip I learned from herbalist Linda Conroy.
Rosehips with water. Photo by Deb Doubek
Boil enough water to fill the jar and, using a funnel, pour into the jar. Lightly cover the jar but do not seal it. Leave this to sit on the counter overnight.
Rosehips in the strainer. Photo by Deb Doubek
In the morning strain the fat little berries out of the water using a strainer or a cheesecloth.
Mashed rosehips. Photo by Deb Doubek
I am frugal in many aspects, so I mash as much liquid as I possibly can get out of the berries. Eventually, they start to look like mashed tomatoes. Be sure you compost the rosehips and give them back to the earth.
The finished rosehip infusion. Photo by Deb Doubek
This is what the final infusion will look like, and it tastes delicious! I particularly like this rosehip infusion because it has a tart berry flavor. It does not require heat or honey. I like it cold right out of the jar.
I recommend that you refrigerate and use your infusion within a day or two. After all, you are going to want to use a different herb and make another one tomorrow.