Tips for Health

Jam it Up!

By on July 13, 2017 in Health, Lifestyle with 0 Comments

Once upon a time, before Facebook and hipsters, the humble mason jar was an important tool used to preserve the bountiful summer harvest; partly for it’s general deliciousness, but mainly because it was cost effect. Since most people in rural areas didn’t have the money or access to large grocery stores, preserving was very necessary. We’ve already covered the art of pickling here, now it’s time to go over the basics of jamming!

  • Get all your tools ready: you will need to process the jars as you would with making pickles, so follow the instructions from that post. Any cutting boards, a ladle for filling the jars, knives and ingredients should be at the ready before you get started
  • Prep your fruit. This means any peeling, pitting or chopping. Depending on the texture you’re looking for, you can do anything from a fine mince to a rough chop to leaving the fruit whole and just smashing them a bit with a potato masher once the start to soften in the pot
  • Most jam recipes need a 1:1 ration of fruit to sugar to succeed. While this may seem excessive, remember that you’ll be consuming the jam in moderation, and that sugar plays a key role in both preserving and setting the jam to the right consistency
  • While you shouldn’t play around with the amount of sugar, feel free to experiment with things like spices, citrus zest, herbs or other flavour enhancers to make the jam your own. You can even play around with different combinations of fruits (peach raspberry? Cherry-blueberry? the options are endless)

Since making jams and jellies tends to be more of a science than an art, it’s important to research difference recipes and follow the instructions accurately to ensure proper consistency (though how you choose to influence the flavour shouldn’t affect that). Jamming is also a fantastic way to feel truly connected to your food and if you have children, a nice way to get them involved and teach them to appreciate the amount of labour that goes into crafting something that they would otherwise think takes no more work than plucking it off a store shelf.

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