Rose Petal Jam
Roses are full of good medicine.
Their spectacular beauty and fragrance pulls us into the present moment. The rose hips which contain their seeds are one of nature's richest sources of vitamin C. And, their petals are edible and loaded with phytochemicals that support health and vitality for roses and humans alike. These "phytochemicals" or plant chemicals are in different families like "flavonols" (such as "quercetin"), "catechins", and "anthocyanidins". Roses (and other plants) make these compounds to protect themselves from pathogens like viruses, bacteria and fungi, to draw the attention of pollinators with their bright pigments and scents, and to signal different functions and patterns of growth. We humans symbiotically have receptors in our bodies for these chemicals: they help our body function well, they decrease the risk of cancer, and minimize the "oxidative stress" that causes the degenerative wear and tear that leads to illness and disease. These compounds also have direct anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects in humans, and can support our systems in being resilient and strong, too.
Roses are particularly rich in these compounds, as are their rosaceae family members. Petals of different colors have different makeups; however, they are all rich in health-supporting compounds.Rose petal jam allows us to take in a little bit of this floral, heavenly medicine after the blooms have faded. Keeping the sugar low allows the flavor of the roses and the medicinal effects to shine. I have quartered the amount of sugar found in many rose petal jam recipes I've seen; it is still quite sweet and wonderfully rosy.
2 cups of freshly picked rose petals
1 1/2 water
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
(if using you have a Meyer lemon, consider adding lemon peel for bonus brightening medicine!)
1 teaspoon Pomona's fruit pectin (this type of pectin allows for lower sugar. No calcium water is needed for this recipe)
1. Gather your roses, fully appreciating the many facets of the roses' beauty. If you are blessed with options in rose petal colors, consider making a jam with only pink, or white, or golden, or red petals, as we did here. The scent, and flavor, differs in such a delightful way.
2. Rinse petals, and place rose petals and water in a saucepan. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
3. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve.
4. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, watching for the magical chemistry reaction that happens between the acid and the pigment in the rose petals.
5. Simmer an additional 10 minutes, adding the lemon peel if using.
6. Stir in the pectin, adding very gradually to prevent clumping.
7. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes; it will thicken as it simmers, and will continue to do as it sits for the following several hours.
This heavenly treat can be refrigerated for up to two months. We chose to can ours so we can taste the delights of spring and have an immune supporting treat in the fall and winter.
This jam has a transcendant effect as you taste it with your full presence, savoring it. That mindful presence amplifies the benefit of this deliciousness, down to the cellular level.