Canning / Recipes

Organic Strawberry Jam

For years and years I have bought jam from the store.  It was easy, convenient  and if I bought healthy or organic jam, expensive.  Well this summer I have made it my mission to stock my pantry with homemade goods.  That way I can control what goes into my body.  No more preservatives and chemicals that I cannot pronounce and enough of the loads of sugar put into store bought jam. It’s time for me to get adventurous and get my jam on.

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Now I am not sure if its because I am a teacher or what, but before I do anything I research the crap out of it.  I surfed the web and found several organic eating and canning websites and they were all raving about Pomona’s Universal Pectin!

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Pomona’s Universal Pectin is a sugar-free, preservative-free, and is a low-methoxyl citrus pectin…Can you tell that I am a HUGE fan of this product??  The other types of pectin have all sorts of crazy chemicals or they require absurd amounts of sugar, so when I found Pomona’s I was just a little bit excited.

It was a bit difficult to find because it is usually found in health food stores or food co-ops.  If you can’t find it anywhere check out their website and order some: http://www.pomonapectin.com/

Back to the jam.  Oh this jam is delicious and the recipe can easily be adapted to different types of fruit.  To get the best fruit I strongly suggest going to your local farmers market.  It will have the ripest fruit for a good price.  Can’t beat that right?

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Once you make this delicious jam spread it on toast or use it in fillings for baked goods…hmm just had a new idea for a recipe.

Organic Strawberry Jam

Makes 5  8oz jars

Prep Time: 10 mins         Cook Time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of mashed organic strawberries
  • 2 tsp. of Pomona’s Universal Pectin
  • 2 tsp. of Calcium Water (This is found in the Pomona’s Universal Pectin box)
  • 12oz can of frozen organic apple juice concentrate
  • 5  8oz jam jars with lids and rings

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Instructions:

Take the lids and  rings and put them into a small pot full of water.  Bring them to a simmer until you are ready to put them on the jars at the end of the jam process.

Next bring a large stock pot full of water to a roaring boil.  I have a pot that has a rack that lowers down into the pot.  If you do not have anything like this you can go to Bed Bath n Beyond or some other home goods store and buy a canning pot that has a rack that lowers down into it.

Once you have your pot full of boiling water take the empty 8oz jars and lower them into the water.  You may be asking, “Why on Earth do I have to put empty jars, lids, and rings into boiling water?”  Well my friends you HAVE to do this to sterilize the jars so when you put that yummy jam into them there won’t be any bacteria and they will be good when you open them up later on down the road.

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While your lids and jars are getting all sterilized, take your strawberries and cut the stems off and the hulls out.  I mashed my strawberries with a potato masher because I like my jam a little chunky, but you can also put them in a blender or food processor.

Put your 3 cups of mashed strawberries into a pan and add 2 tsp of calcium water. Let the pot sit while you put the organic apple juice concentrate into a pot and let it boil.  Once it is boiling, put the apple concentrate into a food processor.  Add 2 tsp of Pomona’s pectin powder.

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Blend the apple concentrate and pectin powder for 1-2 minutes with the lid vented until the powder is dissolved.

Let the strawberries and calcium water mixture boil. Add the apple concentrate pectin mixture to the mashed strawberries and calcium water mixture. Bring everything to a boil and stir for 1 minute.

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Now the fun begins!! Take the strawberry jam mixture and funnel it into the sterilized jars.  Fill the jars to 1/4″ of the top.  Make sure to wipe off all of the excess jam from the rim of the jars.  Next put the lids and rims on the jars. Screw them shut tight and then lower them into the pot of boiling water.

Make sure that the jars are covered with 1 inch of boiling water.  Boil the jars for 10 minutes then take them out and let them cool.  Do not move or touch them for 24 hours.

Over the next 24 hours you will here the joyous noise of clicking.  This clicking and popping is the sound of your jam being sealed!!  If the next day there are jars that haven’t sealed, no worries.  Just plop them into your fridge or give them to friends to eat right away.  They will stay tasty and good in the refrigerator.

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Enjoy! Your family and friends are going to love that you now know how to make healthy organic jam…watch out they will ALL want a jar!

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