Makes 4 cups
Rose hips produce a mild, tangy, fruity tea. Use them solo or combined with a hint of fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves. Chilled and sweetened with stevia, the tea is a vitamin-rich, sugar-free alternative to fruit juices or Kool-Aid that is appealing to kids and adults alike.
1) Combine 4 rounded teaspoons cut-and-sifted rose hips (ground in a spice mill or not) or 4 tablespoons whole dried rose hips with 4 cups of water in a nonreactive saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
2) Alternatively, place fresh or crushed dried rose hips in a warmed teapot, pour boiling water over them, and steep, covered, for 10 minutes.
3) Strain the tea and sweeten if desired with a scant 1/8 teaspoon stevia extract powder or 2 to 4 drops glycerin-based stevia liquid extract per cup. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate, covered, for as long as 3 days.
• Steep (or simmer if following first recipe) 4 to 6 fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves (2 to 3 teaspoons dried) with the hips.
• To make a punch, chill sweetened tea, add the juice of a fresh lime per quart of punch if desired, and serve over ice.
Rachel Albert-Matesz of Toledo, Ohio, teaches whole-foods classes and writes about food and nutrition.