I have had enough of Winter! Snow continues to fall almost every day and my Spring Fever is in full go! In order to get me through those February gloomy days in Ohio, I decided that this week I would dust off my water bath canner and put it into use. Nothing makes it feel more like summer than hearing those jars “pop” as they cool on the counter top.
So, in my quest to break the winter blues, I decided to buy strawberries from the grocery store and begin my experiment for the perfect strawberry jam. As most of you know, we are trying to make most of our food from natural ingredients. We are trying to eliminate as much white flour and white sugar from our diet as we can. If you have ever made homemade strawberry jam, you know that for about every 2 pints of strawberries, you need 7 cups (yes, 7 cups!) of sugar to make traditional jam.
Although I love a PB&J sandwiches as much as the next person, I don’t like the fact that the sweetness of jam comes from that much sugar.
I have to say that for a first attempt to make an all natural jam – it’s become a huge hit in the house! It’s a touch thinner than traditional jam since pectin is the traditional thickening agent, but oh so good!
The best part is it’s simple to make and uses only 4 natural ingredients, using apples, which are high in pectin, to thicken the jam. It is the perfect consistency for that PB&J sandwich or the perfect topping on that bowl of ice cream. Whatever you choose to do with it – you can rest easy knowing that all the ingredients are natural and not full of white sugar!
Strawberry Honey JamINGREDIENTS:
6 lbs of fresh strawberries
3 3/4 cup raw honey
2 small granny smith apples
1 1/2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 of a large lemon)INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Hull strawberries and cut in each strawberry in half (or quarters if large), place in a large stockpot
2. Cut the sides of the apples away from the core and grate the apple leaving the skins on. (I used my food processor) Place in pot with the strawberries.
3. Juice a lemon until you get 1 1/2 tablespoons of juice and poor into the stock pot.
4. Pour the honey into the pot and stir.
5. Heat mixture on high until boiling stirring occasionally. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to medium low to simmer.
6. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the strawberries become soft. Using a potato masher, mash the strawberries so there are no recognizable sections. If you have an immersion blender, you can use this instead.
7. Simmer for another 15-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer the mixture simmers, the thicker the consistency. (Remember, this will not be as thick as the consistency made with sugar and/or pectin).
8. Strawberry Honey Jam can either be placed in freezer safe jars, or canned using a water bath for 10 minutes.
Mary and Jim
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