Saturday, June 7, 2014

I was never much of a jam/jelly/preserves girl. Mainly because I would look at nutrition labels and be shocked by the amount of calories and sugar.
Last year, I started going to pick fruit--and honestly, there's only so much of it you can eat.. Or freeze. So I started making my own jam. I found many jam recipes that required almost a 1:1 ratio of strawberries to sugar. I always thought sugar was a necessary evil to activate the jelling process. Turns out, it's not. And when your fruit is amazing, there's no need for that much sugar. This has changed my life.
So anyways, last weekend, I went and picked strawberries from the Pumpkin Patch and picked a ton of strawberries. Now double this. Yes, I went a little crazy. :)
It was a gorgeous day here, and the berries were perfect and oh-so-beautiful and fresh. The afternoon was then spent washing and hulling and making strawberry creations.
By the evening, many, MANY jars of jam were ready. We made several varieties, including strawberry basil, strawberry honey, and a plain very berry strawberry.
 My favorite recipe? Vanilla Balsamic Strawberry jam. (makes 4 pints, but it just depends on how long you cook it down)
  • 10 cups of chopped strawberries
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split
  • 4 tablespoons of balsamic
Follow instructions from the Ball No/Low Sugar Pectin.  I did process my jars, and so hopefully this will last me for a while!  Perfect for breakfast, mixed with my favorite, Fage 0% Total. And with this ratio of strawberries and sugar, it's only about 5 calories per teaspoon!


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