In the United States, roses are revered for their beauty as flowers. We pass them around at Valentine’s Day and on anniversaries. We buy them as single stems or by the dozen. Some of us may even grow them in flower gardens or as ornamental hedges. What we don’t do all that much is eat them.

However, roses are great additions to the kitchen arsenal. They have a pleasant perfumey flavor and can add considerable flash to otherwise run-of-the-mill dishes. And, rose hips, the orangish-to-purplish small fruit that rose plants produce, are a fantastic source of vitamin C and powerful antioxidants.

Unfortunately, most roses we come into contact with have been chemically treated, so they aren’t safe for consumption. However, there are lots of wild roses to forage, and we can always grow our own roses organically. Then, it’s all about what we can do with them in the kitchen.

Rose Petals

Rose petals are one place to start with our rose-based recipes. In addition to food, they can be used for skin treatments, infused oils, potpourris, and other non-edible products, but they play nicely in the kitchen as well.

Rose petal jam

Rose petal jam is very sweet and fragrant, and it takes on the color of the rose petals used to make it. Often this means the jam has a vibrant red or pink hue that makes it all the more alluring. Making rose petal jam only requires rose petals, sugar, lemon juice, and water, so it’s easy to make as well.

Rose petal cookies

Tending towards the sweeter side of things, roses are prone to be in deserts. Rose petal cookies are a common way to see this. Adding a bit of rosewater to the cookie dough and stirring in some dried rose petals can make the standard sugar cookie into something much more impressive.

Rose petal milk

Mixing rose petals with plant-based milk can make an interestingly tasty treat with quality health benefits. Generally, rose petal milk includes a bit of rosewater in the mix as well as some kind of fresh fruit, particularly berries and cherries. Check out this fun play on the idea.

Rose petal ice cream

Using flower petals in ice cream recipes can take up standard flavors to a higher stratosphere. Rose pairs beautifully with berries, cherries, and chocolate, so there are lots of variations to play with. Here’s a lavender blackberry ice cream recipe that rose petals would fit nicely in.


Rosewater is often used for cosmetic purposes as it is good for our skin. However, when we start adding roses to our food recipes, rose water is commonly called for to add the essence of rose flavor. There are serious distilled versions available to buy, but there are also simple methods for making rose water.


Rosehips don’t get nearly the praise of the flowers. They are rather small, quiet fruits that appear after the blooming is done, often overlooked or never seen because the blooms are harvested for flowers rather than allowed to fruit. However, roses are in the same family as apples and crabapples.

Rosehip tea

Rosehip tea is a classic healthful tea with lots of antioxidants, immune-boosting qualities, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also tastes very nice. It’s easy to brew at home, and the fruits can be foraged or grown easily, too.

Rosehip jam

A great accompaniment to plant-based yogurt, ice cream, and oatmeal, rosehip jam has a good boost of vitamins and flavor. Basically, making rose hip jam is combining one pound of sugar and one cup of water for every pound of rose hips. Then, it gets simmered down to a nice consistency in a stainless steel (not aluminum) pot.

Rosehip syrup

Rosehip syrup can be added to cocktails and other drinks, as well as pancakes, waffles, and other syrup-friendly foods. Start with making a simple rose hip juice by boiling/simmering the chopped fruit in water. Then, strain out the fruit, add plenty of sugar and reduce it all down to a syrup consistency.

Rosehip compote

For a more substantial way to use with rose hips, a mixed fruit compote with apples, dried fruits, and walnuts can make a chunkier way to add rosehip to breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Again, this works well with plant-based yogurt, waffles, desserts, and bread.

To be honest, we’ve only just begun to play here. There are numerous other ways—rose petal granola, rose chocolates, candied rose petals, etc—to introduce roses into everyday cuisine and make life a touch more luxurious.

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