The Simple Way To Make Your Own Fruit Jam

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Jam is good. It’s not just good on toast (though that’s definitely one of the best ways to enjoy it). Jam also works wonders in pastries, snack bars, oatmeal, biscuits and smoothies. Like most supermarket items, however, jam can either be full of unwanted things like GMO high fructose corn syrup and preservatives, or it can demand a pretty penny. In both cases, I tend to come away from supermarket/jam situation feeling a bit disappointed. On occasion, it’s nice to pick up a jar at a farmer’s market, supporting the local artisans, but in the end, it’s just a lot cheaper, more entertaining, and more adventurous to make my own. The beauty of the whole thing is that it really isn’t so complicated. Here’s what you need to know.

Choosing the Fruit

First things first, you’ll do well to get yourself some really great fruit. Some fruits work better than others, and by and large, you know these. Berries, apples, citrus, grapes, cherries, and loads more make for some dandy jams. Bananas—not so much. Basically, in the beginning stages, it probably behooves you to stay within those fruit categories you’ve seen as jams before. The general rule is that fruits with higher acidity—sour stuff—and more pectin (a.k.a fiber) work best. This is why citrus does so well.

Cooking It

Truthfully, this is the easy part. Think low and slow. In a large pot, you’ll need to add a little water, the amount varying depending on the fruit, with the main idea being that the added water simply prevents sticking and burning. You need no more than that, so don’t over do it.

You’ll also need pectin, a thickening agent generally made from apples or pears, and found at most supermarkets, and a sugar or sweetener of your choice.  Here’s where you need to weigh you options: there are no-sugar or low-sugar pectin products that will thicken your jam with less or none of the naughty stuff, or you can buy regular pectin and go with the idea of equal weight sugar and fruit. So make the choice that’s best for you (unless you’re into the chia seed jam idea) and proceed on.

Bring your water, fruit, sweetener or sweetener alternative, and pectin to a rolling boil slowly, stirring and waiting for the mixture to thicken into what you’ll recognize as jam-like. For soft fruits and berries, this process will be a lot quicker than for things like apples and pears. Just make sure not let it stick on the bottom and you’ll be fine.

Storing It

Let me address a sort of boiling kettle in the room issue: canning. Canning, to me, is the most daunting part of this process, so it makes sense to not do it. I’m terrified of contaminating the jars, giving a friend or myself botulism. There are a couple of simple solutions, which include making only the amount of jam you’d use in a week (it’ll last in the fridge) or bagging and freezing the jam as opposed to canning it. However, if you are deadest on canning, perhaps you are hoping to give out some jam as gifts, it really isn’t that complicated. Here’s a great guide with videos to help.

Eating It

As I mentioned, jam is versatile, so don’t be afraid to get funky. Sure, slather some pieces of toast with the delicious spread, hopefully on some delicious homemade bread (like these free fifty recipes), but also make sure to spoon it into some crumb bars or peanut-butter inclusive treats. And, so as not to let any go to waste, think ice cream topping or oatmeal topping to act as a natural sweetener. Don’t be afraid to fully embrace your new jam independence from the get-go. After all, that’s what you made it for.

By: Jonathon Engels
Source: www.onegreenplanet.org

2014-11-19T11:50:46+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I am on my 3rd day of the fully body cleansing. I am definitely doing this to lose weight. I am a 52 year old, black, Christian, wife, mother to 21 and 14 year old girls, legal secretary who is 450 lbs. I am to the point now where if I don't do this I'm going to be housebound. I can barely move some days that is why I started this because I feel so unhealthy. I have a question about the nuts. I got all gun-ho and ordered $135.00 worth of organic nuts from nuts.com. I got raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews and mixed them all up together (well I purchased 2 lbs of each but I only mixed up 1 lb of each together). Anyway, I was reading about how much calories are in nuts. Should I not pay attention to that because I was consuming a lot of calories in the first place or do I have to watch how many nuts I eat? I have put some nuts in a sandwich bags and basically filled it up and that is supposed to be my nuts ration for the day. I am also eating fruits and vegetables. So far the fruit have been grapes, grapefruit, red apples, pears, green apples and bananas. The vegetables have all been in a salad: tomatoes, celery spinach leaves, carrots, mixed in balsamic vinaigrette. I only ate the salad Monday night all the other times I have just eaten the fruit and nuts. I am also consuming approximately 75-100 oz of water. Sorry I’m long winded I just wanted you to get the entire picture.

    A:

    Thanks for the question, I can definitely help you.

     

    I am currently writing an eBook for www.dherbs.com called "Losing weight the healthy way." I have been a weight loss counselor for many years. I am also a health coach, personal trainer, bodymind nutritionist, and a vegan lifestyle coach. 

     

    When it comes to weight loss most programs want you to lose weight to get healthy. My mindset is to get healthy and lose weight. 

     

    In my health/fitness/nutrition coaching program www.theveganeffect.com I use a lowfat/high carb/ high raw/ nutrient dense/ high alkaline diet to achieve long term weight loss success. So far I am 100 percent in getting clients long lasting weight loss. If you are interested in my program please fill out the health history form on the side of the web page. We could have a free 1 hour initial consultation over skype to see how I can best help you.

     

    Nuts are best kept to a minimum if you use them at all. Nuts are extremely high in fat and have the opposite omega 3- omega 6 ratio that is optimal for health. Seeds are best as far as ratios are concerned. Also nuts are truly easy to over eat and cause your nutrient ratios to be off.

     

    A healthy vegan diet is a high raw fruitarian diet. 

    Example:

    Breakfast: green smoothie. (500-1000 calories of fruits blended with a handful of greens and water)

    Bridge: Dates and strawberries (500 calories) 

    Lunch: Salad with low sugar fruits (cucumber, tomato, squash, bell peppers) topped with fruit, beans, psuedo grains, 

    Bridge: 2-3 apples

    Dinner: Raw wraps (collard greens) with low sugar fruit and tahini

    Snack: Sorbet

     

    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: Is it alright to drink part of your fruits and veggies? I have a fruit smoothie for breakfast, and veggie drink in between lunch and dinner, nuts and a piece of fruit in between and a salad and a piece of fruit for dinner.

    A:

    Yes, you may drink part of your fruits and vegetables. As long as they are FRESHLY SQUEEZED

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    Q: I'm doing the Full Body Cleanse and I have a few questions about it: I get tired of drinking just the distilled water and I'd like to drink the herbal teas, but I don't like it by itself. Would it mess things up to add a pack or two of Splenda to my tea or maybe honey? I can't stand the salads with the olive oil or apple cider vinegar or the lemon juice as dressing and it makes me gag. I have To have some sort of salad dressing. What kind would be suitable? Do I look for sugar-free? Or organic and natural? I found one that is organic and natural, but it has 3 grams of sugar in it. Without eating all my whole grained breads and other fiber, I haven't had much of a bowel movement in 3 days, should I wait a while yet? (I had surgery on my bowels and always had to take fiber tablets and eat lots of grains to get my bowels to move.) I haven't done the enemas yet, (low on money) should I try that? Or should I resume my fiber tablets I normally take? Any type of fiber I could add to my fruit smoothies in the morning? I want to also do the female cleanse. Is it ok to do that immediately after I finish the full body cleanse or should I wait for a little while? Thank you for all your help, I feel much better than I did before and I just started this detox a week ago, lost 10 pounds, too, woohoooooo! Thank you

    A:

    1. Instead of splenda, use agave, stevia, or grade b maple syrup as a sweetener.

    2. In re Salad Dressing, an organic and natural one is great. You can also check our website for salad dressing recipes.

    3. The fiber pills are not part of the cleanse, so we wouldn't advise those. Fruit is you best choice of fiber so look into eating more papaya, mango, figs, etc. And yes, colonics (and enemas) would greatly help you - undoubtedly!

    4. You can do the Female Cleanse right after you finish detoxing. There's no need to wait!

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    Q: Hello, I'm on day 3 of the FBC and I'm having a really hard time with sweets. It's even more trying because I work in a bakery which I cannot avoid because it is a family owned business and I, myself do a lot of the baking. What do you recommend to help seize my sweet craving besides fruit? Because it seems that I can eat fruit for substitution but after a while I still want to eat cake lol. Also, what brand alkaline water do you recommend? Is it best to drink the bottled water or make it? Thanking you in advance. D.Bolden

    A: After a few days, your cravings will subside. If you feel like you need additional help with sugar cravings you can also try the Sugar Control. There are raw food desserts available in health stores like Whole Foods, raw food restaurants or raw desserts you can make. It would be best to purchase the alkaline water. Essentia, Nestle, Voss and Neo Water are some of the popular brands of alkaline water. Sugar Control - http://www.dherbs.com/store/sugar-Formula-p-63.html

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    Q: I just purchased the Pancreas Kit for children, for my 4 year old who was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I have been feeding her a raw diet of just vegetables. The diet includes no dairy, no grains, and fruit for a week. I also started the Pancreas kit last week too. I was wondering if there is any reason why her blood sugar levels would go up? All she is eating is veggies, and her sugar levels are at 300 most of the time. Even if she doesn't eat anything, it still goes up to 300. I also know it says you cannot tell us not to give, or not to give her insulin, or not. I am still currently giving it to her. Does the pancreas kit work just as well if the are receiving insulin or not? Or does it hinder the process?. I would really appreciate other advise you would offer. Thanks so much!

    A:

    Drugs and herbs don't mix! They cancel each other out. The blood sugar will go up and down due to the body attempting to regulate, and normalize the blood sugar levels. Perfectly normal! It's called "healing crisis. Whatever you guys choose to do, simply keep monitoring the person. Ask the person how he/she feels (very important).

    Article:
    Healing Crisis

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    Q: Thanks so much for all the wonderful info! I had a chance to look at some of your products and I like what I see. There is so much good stuff here. I just finished a 60 day sugar/fat cleanse. I basically cut out all diary, white sugar, flour, pasta, etc (I was already eating a veggie diet) I did very well with the cleanse and I want to keep it going. I lost almost 20 pounds, but I started eating a little differently, since I had some events for the past couple weeks and the weight started coming back on. I'm aware that I have a slow metabolism, but I do exercise (4 to 5x a week) and I generally eat pretty well. I have about another 40 pounds I want to loose and continue to be healthy and energetic. Also, my husband and I are also trying to have our first child. Do you have any suggestions?

    A:

    We would recommend that you give our Full Body Cleanse a try. It will help you lose additional weight and rejuvenate your body. Once completed, try the Fertility Kit, which is a 20 Day program and regimen that consists of herbs, elixirs, affirmations, inhaler, and dietary program to help naturally enhance fertility.

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    Q: I love to drink water, but I like to drink hot water you know boiling water slightly cooled. Is there a benefit, or disadvantage to this compared to drinking room temperature water? Secondly, the water I drink is boiled water. Alkaline water is not a privilege most Kenyans have. If 56% of the population is living below poverty line you do the math. So the water I drink is tap water, that I boil to make it safe for drinking. When I get to work I have Alkaline water as my work place provides me with that provision. I think this is detailed enough for you to get the picture and help. Once again (I love you) in Swahili for spreading the gospel!

    A:

    No difference at all, Beloved! Even the boiled water becomes room temperature water. You're doing fine! Thank you for your words as well! Much appreciated! Peace and Love!

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    Q: I have been off the full body cleanse for about a month, what I have noticed, when I haven't drank the amount of water needed, my anus begins to hurt as if I have heroics, I cannot wipe without having pain. I drink water, it seems all is fine. I ate fried chicken for the first time, in 3 months, and agin notice pain. So, I need the water, but what I explained, does it sounds right. I have been eating more veggies and fruit, in the last couple days, as well.

    A:

    Keep drinking plenty of water and start taking Dherbs' Intestinal Cleanser, and Bowel Motion. They will help to get rid of your hemorrhoidal condition.

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    Q: Will the unlimited fruit cause my blood sugar to raise while on the FULL BODY DETOX?

    A:

    I humbly and respectfully submit: How could I specifically know that? How could I know what YOUR body will do? Do you understand where I'm coming from? The best way to discover anything is to do it - experience it for yourself. Your question is very legitimate, but again, how could anyone know in advance what your body will do while cleansing?

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    Q: What Are Some Natural Sweet Treats (Junk Foods) I can Consume? Under free will you can consume what you like, but healthier products are best. You will find plenty of "healthier" snack, treat, and junk foods at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market, PCC Natural Food Stores, Erewhon, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, New Frontiers, etc. Just make sure to abstain from salt, sugar, and other harmful chemicals in the products you buy. We list many companies of alternative foods and products (and their website addresses) in our ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL.

    A:

    Recommended: ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL

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    Q: I eat a lot of fruits and, veggies, I don't consume a lot of meat but I'm concern about the raw veggies and fruit lately because I read and article how washing your fruit and veggies isn't helping to clean fecee and other environmental mishaps that plaque out food so what do you recommend is there a organic wash or what?

    A:

    YES! VEGETABLE & FRUIT WASHES are sold at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market.

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    Q: Hi Dherbs. I'm pregnant. I've been slacking off with my diet for years now, eating just about every bad thing but pork. I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy. Now I may have it again with my current pregnancy at 4 months. They're going to give me the 3 hr test and I know they'll try to make me take insulin. I really don't want to shoot myself with needles. It wasn't a pleasant experience last time. Anyway to make a long story short, I wanted to know if the following would be good products to work on the situation: FULL BODY DETOX SUGAR BUSTER TEA PANCREAS FORMULA Would any of these pose a problem or interact poorly with my baby? Do you suggest any other effective formula of yours to improve my glucose uptake and general health during this pregnancy?

    A:

    I highly suggest the 10-DAY ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD CLEANSE for pregnant women. This cleanse will help to address all your needs and all health concerns. You can perform it as much as you like too! It provides great nutrition for mother and developing child.

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    Q: I had a question about jaggery a natural sweetener. Do you know much about it? There is a company producing it in Kenya, because maple syrup is not available in Kenya. I do eat dates, but sometimes they are not available. Do you think this product is a good alternative?

    A:

    Greetings! If a thing is from a natural source (i.e. plant or fruit) we say GO FOR IT!!!!! Give it a try, Beloved!

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    Q: I have ordered the detox cleanse, and the weight cleanse. Both state to eat a raw diet of veggies and fruit, nuts, nut pastes??, legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea veggies??,and fresh juices. It mentions Vegan Diet. What are my options when it comes to these choices? What do I eat and how often to keep my sugar from dropping, and feeling sick? Usually mid am, and mid afternoon?

    A:

    The best way to balance blood sugar and keep your body in a fat burning zone is to eat low fat and every 3-4 hours. Also high raw and high carb. Here are some options. Just a general outline.

     

    6am 

    Muesli - fruit smoothie-green smoothie

    9am

    2-3 pieces of fruit

    12pm

    Raw wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes

    3pm

    2-3 peices of fruit

    6pm

    wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes

    9pm

    Sorbet

     

    I suggest reading "Beauty detox solution" by Snyder, "Crazy Sexy Diet" by Karr, or 80-10-10 by Graham.

     

    I also recommend to check out my health coaching program www.theveganefect.com for more info.

     

    I hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I began the ANTI-VIRAL CLEANSE AND REGIMEN approximately a week ago, it has been hard to maintain the fruit and vegan diet, but today I took the blood pills & then ate a grape fruit but after a 30 minutes or less I became sick. Is grapefruit a good morning food? Basically, why did it not stay down?

    A:

    I WOULD ABSTAIN FROM EATING GRAPEFRUIT. THE GRAPEFRUIT IS ACIDIC (THOUGH ALKALINE) BUT IT WAS NOT A GOOD MIX CONSIDERING THE INGREDIENTS OF THE BLOOD FORMULA. EAT VEGETABLES INSTEAD BEFORE TAKING THE BLOOD FORMULA.

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    Q: While doing a candida cleanse, it was told to me that I should be following a raw food diet full of fruits and vegetables. Fruits have high sugar content and can feed a candida overgrowth, as it is a well known fact that candida albicans thrive on sugar. How can I justify eating fruits high in sugar? Thank you for your comments. Ozzy

    A: Yes, when you have a candida issue it's best to avoid refined sugar. Sugar from a natural source like fruits should be consumed moderately. In your case it would be best to consume fruits mainly in the mornings for breakfast when your body maximizes on food the most, avoiding the ones that are very high in sugar.

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    Q: Thank you for always answering my questions. I have about two more. Okay, I'm currently living overseas where I'm limited on raw fresh foods (vegetables and fruits). I want to do the detox but I'm concerned that I won't have everything as far as raw food to be successful. I have access to basics (apples, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, melons, lettuce, cabbage, bean spouts, carrots, celery, peppers, green beans, peas, bagged nuts,) but nothing exotic by any means. Then I was told to safely eat some of the food in the local economy that we should wash it with a 5% bleach solution (is that safe...and if on the detox I'm thinking that would be a no go). Two questions?Given the mentioned availability of raw foods could I be able to successfully complete the detox (I don't have an issue with eating the same things over and over again) and two what can I do to clean local produce so that its safe for consumption? Apparently part of the issue is that they use human feces to fertilize. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response

    A:

    Yes, it seems you have enough raw food available to you to complete the cleanse.

    In order to clean local produce, rinse thoroughly with apple cider vinegar to "disinfect" it. If apple cider vinegar is unavailable, just use water.

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    Q: I wrote to you a couple weeks ago asking if it was normal for me to have an outbreak only a day or two into the full body cleanse kit. You wrote back and told me that an outbreak is the body healing. It is two weeks later and I am still having an outbreak! Is this a good sign? Do you think this outbreak may continue on through my anti viral kit? I have been eating mostly fruits and vegetables, however I felt like I needed more substance and I was not enjoying my food at all... so I bought organic noodles and organic tomato sauce (sea salt only, tomatoes, no sugar, you get the point). Is adding some of this into my diet going to make the kits less effective or possibly not work?

    A:

    The outbreak is a result of your body trying to eliminate the toxicity and impurities from your body. Continue to follow the guidelines of the Cleanse.

    In regards to what you ate, YES, they make the cleanse less effective, so you may not want to eat much of cooked foods. Raw foods will optimize the cleanse. If you are having trouble staying full, try more healthy fats, like avocado, coconut cream, or raw nuts and seeds.

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    Q: I just started the Full Body Cleanse today! I reviewed the recipe section for ideas but I'm either allergic to the fruit or don't care for the vegetable. Based upon the Full Cleanse process, are there any other food combination or recipes I can do? I made the veggie shake but it was 'spicy' not sure why? Is there anything else I can add? I appreciate any guidance you can provide.

    A:

    Could you explain a little further? What do you mean by allergic to the fruit? Do you have certain fruit allergies or getting a reaction to the fruit? 

    Changes in your body are going to occur. Know that your body builds up a culture of bacteria designed to digest your current diet. Your taste buds may have been hijacked by high fat, high sugar, high salt, chemically processed foods. It will take 3 days or more to begin the chance in culture. You will find as your body cleanses your taste buds will be significantly different.

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I have read about your detox system on your site and others. Here is the product that I am thinking about purchasing: Full Body Detox I have some questions... 1) Is there a diet plan or eating plan that comes with this order? and 2) I have 100 pounds to lose and am thinking about going on the Medifast plan. That is a high (vegetable) protein diet with no fruit and not a lot of vegetables allowed. Would these supplements in the detox plan help my organs that might be taxed a bit on this diet with very little vegetables and no fruit? I am skeptical about #2...I think raw fruits and vegetables are so important inour diets, yet, I do need to drop weight fast. I look forward to any thoughts that you might have.

    A:

    Yes, the Full Body Cleanse comes with a dietary regimen prescribing an all-raw foods diet (fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds). This means no meat, dairy, grains, or processed foods.