Healthy Strawberry Jam
This week we met our play group at a local strawberry farm for a fun morning of strawberry picking and picture-taking. I ended up getting close to four pounds of strawberries but I clearly underestimated our ability to polish off this many strawberries seeing as how it’s been two days and I am already planning another trip back. These were THE BEST strawberries I have ever had. They are sweet and juicy and beautifully ripe just as they should be.
I had never made homemade jam before but I figured by having the freshest strawberries available to me now would be the perfect time to give it a shot. I was a little intimidated at first but quickly realized this was not going to be a long and laborious process like I had thought. It’s super simple to make and I love that I was able to use all natural ingredients and not fill it with a bunch of artificial sweeteners, like many of the store-bought brands.
The key to good strawberry jam is using the freshest and sweetest strawberries you can find. The fresher the strawberries the sweeter the fruit which means less sugar that needs to be added. As you cook the fruit for some time, its sugars begin to caramelize and become sweeter, and you are left with pure strawberry goodness.
I chose to leave chunks of berries scattered throughout but if you don’t prefer it this way you can puree the strawberries after they have softened a bit then add them back into the saucepan to finish cooking. I only needed to use a little bit of honey but you may want to add more depending on how fresh your strawberries are. The jam will keep in the fridge for a week or so.
Recipe yields approximately 1 cup Recipe adapted from Texanerin Baking
approximately 6 cups really sweet fresh strawberries (rinsed, patted dry, hulled and sliced)
1/4 cup honey
zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place the strawberries in a large pot and smash with the bottom of a glass. Add the honey, lemon zest and lemon juice and heat over medium high.
Boil, stirring every now and then, until the mixture thickens. This took about 45 minutes. It could take more or less time depending on your strawberries.
To test, put some of the jam on a clean spoon and put the spoon on a plate in the freezer. Let it sit in there for five minutes then take it out. If the jam doesn’t fall easily off the spoon when you turn it to the side, it’s ready and you can take the pot off the heat. If it does pour off easily, continue cooking for another 5 minutes and try the test again.
Let cool then pour into jars and store in the fridge and for up 1 week.