One of the challenges of being a health conscious mom is balancing wholesome foods with old favorites - like homemade strawberry jam. I don’t want to give up the tradition of making jam with my kids! As a native Michigander, I have wonderful childhood memories of picking strawberries in June and making jam with my mom and grandma. But I also want to provide healthy food for the family and I keenly remember the 4 cups of refined sugar that we poured into each batch.
Sometimes it just takes a little creativity to find better ways to make old favorites without losing the experience. So instead of cooking the berries and adding tons of sugar, I now make freezer jam using organic berries, a no-cook pectin and less than a third as much sugar.
Making freezer jam is incredibly easy and so much fun for the kids to help with. It’s experiences like these that mean so much to them. And the way we make it creates a jam that is about 70% raw and 90% organic (with MUCH less sugar too). Here’s the recipe:
Homemade Freezer Jam
- Mix each packet (or instructed amount) with 1 ½ cups of organic sugar.
- Add 4 cups of crushed organic strawberries. I have the kids crush the fruit in a large bowl using cups to mash the berries. It’s important to be thorough with this so your jam isn’t too chunky and gels better.
- Stir in the pectin/sugar mixture. It’s VERY important to stir the sugar-berry mixture for at least 3 minutes. The sugar needs to dissolve and be spread out for the jam to set.
- Ladle the mixture into your jars, twist on the lids and let them set for 30 minutes to freeze.
Voila! It was so easy and the kids loved it. The jam turned out beautifully - nice and thick and really, really flavorful. Blueberries come into season soon so we’ll be repeating the recipe with blueberries and peaches a bit later. Welcome to summer!