Monday, July 8, 2013

Freezer Jam

I have never made jam before. I've thought of it and wanted to try it, but it always just seemed like something that was very time consuming and a pain in the rear. While I was at the chiropractor last week, one of the workers mentioned that she made freezer jam and that it was so easy. Which of course got me interested. Add that to the strawberry picking we did over the weekend and I was sold!

One thing I've noticed about strawberry picking....the berries seem to go "bad" really fast. If I buy a container of them at the store, they stay "good" in my fridge for at least a week. But when we pick them, in about 2 days, they are already moldy, etc. And I don't wash them or anything-just keep them in the picking quarts and pop them in the fridge. I don't get it....and it makes me wonder what the hell the stores are putting on their berries!  So....when we pick berries, I know we won't eat them all before they go bad. Even with my kids who chow down fruit like it's their last meal. Last year I froze a bunch of them to use in smoothies, etc. This year I decided to give homemade jam a shot.

Let's just say I'm glad I did!

I chose to do a low sugar jam. I'm not a huge jam/jelly eater myself so I usually buy what Gabe eats since the kids at this point don't know the difference. He's on a low sugar kick these days and when I saw how much sugar goes into the low sugar recipe, I didn't even want to know how much goes in the regular recipe!

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

4 cups prepared fruit (roughly 4pts of strawberries)
3 cups sugar
1 box pectin for low/no sugar
1 cup water

1. Make sure your storage containers for the jam are clean and dry.

2. Crush strawberries thoroughly and measure out 4 cups of crushed fruit. Set aside.

3. Mix sugar and pectin in a large saucepan. Stir in water. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add strawberries and stir 1 minute.

4. Fill all containers immediately leaving 1/2 inch at the top. Wipe off edges of container and immediately cover with lid. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Keep in fridge for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to a year. Thaw in fridge before using.
(Notes: I crushed my strawberries in a food processor using the pulse button. Just do it until you reach a chunkiness that you like for your jam. I used just under 2qts of strawberries. This made six 8oz jars of jam.)

I could not believe how easy this recipe was. And honestly, the jam is awesome! I'm so glad we tried making it and we will definitely do it again!

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