You may have noticed delicate pink flowers blooming all over Anchorage. From the side of the Seward Highway to your backyard, wild roses are in full force this season. The roses, which grow in thickets, are very useful and the petals, which bloom in early summer, are edible and can be added to salads, made into syrup, jelly or used to make rose water. In late summer rose hips ripen. Rose hips can be eaten raw, cooked, used in tea, jams, sauce or baked into breads and other baked goods.
When harvesting the petals make sure the flower is bloomed and that you only remove the petals. Removing the whole flower also removes the reproductive parts of the plant. Be aware that the prickly rose lives up to its name, as the stems are lined with small thorns.
Rose water can be used in a variety of different products. Rose water is added to both food and drink all over the world, especially in the Middle East. A popular ingredient in cosmetics, rose water is a popular additive of perfumes and other beauty products. With anti-inflammatory properties and anti-aging benefits, rose water makes a great all-natural toner and moisturizer that has been used for centuries, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt. Rose water is even combined with the water from the Zamzam Well to clean the Kaaba in Mecca.
2 cups of rose petals
3 cups of water
Clean the petals by tossing in warm water.
After you’ve cleaned your petals, dump them into a small pot and put heat on low. Fill the pot with water until the rose petals are submerged and completely saturated in the water.
Place a glass lid over the pot and heat on low until the petals have turned white. Occasionally stir the petals around, making sure they are consistently under the water. It took about 45 minutes for my rose petals to turn white.
Once the petals are white, take the pot off the heat and pour the water in a bowl using a sieve to filter out the petals and any other foreign objects. The tint of the water will be gold. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.