Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

Some fellow moms and I took our toddlers strawberry picking at Liberty Mills Farm.  It was a lot of fun, even though we came out so muddy we had to stick the kids back in the car stripped down to their skivvies!   We ended up with a ton of strawberries which we brought home and canned all together.  This was the recipe I used, and it’s fantastic: http://sarahs-musings.blogspot.com/2009/06/honey-sweetened-strawberry-preserves.html  We didn’t follow it exactly, we skimped a little on the honey, and replaced some of the apple juice with water since the berries were so incredibly sweet.  (Side note- Use all the pectin recommended!  We also skimped on the pectin, and it was a syrupy mess.  I had to reboil it with a whole extra packet of pectin!)  My calculations are based on making a triple batch while following the recipe correctly.  Sorry I don't have pictures of the process, with 6 kids under 3 running around, it just wasn't happening!
Strawberries: $30
Jars:$15.98 for 2 dozen jars (not the cheapest around, but from a great local store, so I’m fine with it)
Honey: Scrounged from my shelf, I’m not a big honey person.  Bought new it would have been $6.47/ 32 oz ($3.64 for 18 oz)
Organic Apple Juice: $3.19/ 64 oz ($1.19 for 24 oz)
No Sugar Pectin:  $2.99 each ($8.97 for 3 packets)
Try It: 
$2.49 per 8 oz (reusable)jar or $.311 per oz
Buy It: 
$2.50 per 10 oz Polaner All Fruit or $.25 per oz
Try it.  It’s a little more expensive to make it, but I think it’s still worthwhile since the jars can be used again next year, and the strawberries are grown without pesticides or herbicides, the juice is organic, I know exactly what went into it, and the price includes a full day of entertainment for my son and me.  Also, you can decide how sweet and how chunky you like your jam!  

1 comment:

  1. Did four batches of this - ended up with the following tweaks, and incredible preserves:
    8 cups of berries, hulled, quartered and tightly packed
    8 tbsp pectin
    1/2 honey
    1/2 sugar

    Mushed the berries in the pot as the berries and juice heated up to desired consistency. Otherwise, followed recipe. Found that the sugar honey combo yielded a better taste while still not overwhelming the berry taste. Also that the full 8 cups of berries needed a little more pectin.