Friday, 19 June 2015

The Taste of Summer

I had the most wonderful day. A road trip out into the country to find beautiful, 'almost' organic strawberries and then back home to my kitchen for some serious jam making.
I haven't made jam much because of the obscene amount of sugar that goes into the recipe. But this year I came across a blog- DYI Natural- that talked about a natural pectin brand called Pomona's Universal Pectin. This pectin allows you to use any sweetener you like, and the amount is lower than what is used with conventional pectin. I found it at our local health food store, and along with some honey, lime juice and a bunch of 125ml jars, I was good to go.

The recipe is easy to follow- I have included the link below. I prefer a jam that isn't too thick, so it is more like a spread, but you can tweak the recipe to give you the consistency you like. Lime juice is optional- in one batch, I used the full 1/4 cup, in another no juice and the last batch 1/8 cup. I think I prefer 1/4 cup, but they were all good.

I like using the 125ml jars too. I only used 1 flat of berries- 6 quarts- and that made 36 jars. We don't eat jam every day, so this size is perfect, as they keep for a couple weeks in the fridge after thawing. They are also great for little gifts. Tie a little ribbon around the top, maybe add a decorative spoon or knife or pkg of tea- a perfect hostess gift. And of course, I will have lots for when the kids come home!

Enjoy this beautiful season with some fresh healthy jam. It's the taste of summer.

I was so delighted to see how beautiful these berries were! It made the trip most worthwhile.

In fact I decided to buy 2 flats instead of one!
Setting up for the 'jam' session

Making sure all my jars were washed 

Getting my berries prepared- washed and hulled.

My favourite appliance- no hand mashing needed. Just a few pulses to keep some nice chunks in the jam.

Honey and fresh lime

Add the boiling water to the food processor, sprinkle in the pectin and blend for 2 minutes before adding to the berries. Stir well.

Then add the calcium water to the berries, mixing well. If the jam needs a little more thickening, add 1 tsp at a time until it gels.

Make sure you leave 1/2 inch at the top of each jar to allow for expansion in the freezer

Add the tops and screw the lids on tightly

I kept the boxes so I could stack them easily in the freezer.

Now time for some pumpernickel toast and jam, and camomile tea.  Life is good.

Here's the link to the recipe (recipe is also on the Pomona website-

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