First, I want to thank you everyone for the kind words and well wishes in response to the big news in my last post. I loved reading every comment! Now, on to the jam.
This post isn’t just about strawberry jam. Yes, you’ll get a recipe for strawberry jam, and homemade jam is always special. But more than the jam, this post is about the experience that came before the jam. The strawberry picking.
When you go through life as a mother, you don’t really tend to think in the moment about what’s going to be memorable. You’re not usually aware of which experiences are going to be the ones that are ingrained in your memory forever. Yet, I already know that this experience is one of my all-time favorite days with Meghan and I will always remember it.
When I told her we were going to a farm, she immediately thought we would be checking out some animals. She associates farms with animals like cows and chickens, but didn’t realize that farms are also places where food is grown. So I explained to her that we’d be picking strawberries at the farm and she got excited. Really excited.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened on this particular strawberry-picking trip, but sometimes it is in the ordinary moments that we find the most beautiful memories. I just loved seeing her discover the joy of picking and eating fresh fruit. I loved her excitement with the whole experience. I loved every minute.
We visited the farm from where we have a CSA share and receive our weekly box of produce. It was great getting to meet the farmer who grows the food we eat every week. He was so passionate about his organic growing methods–I could have talked to him about it all day. Meghan, however, was much more interested in the strawberries.
It was a hot, hot day. Despite the unforgiving sun, we picked 5 quarts of strawberries. The farmer also gave us the green light to eat as we picked. They were so, so good, it was difficult to stop eating them. There is not much better than eating a fresh strawberry straight from the patch.
At one point I looked in Meghan’s container, and she had a handful of half-eaten strawberries. She was taking a bite or two and then putting them in her container. Oops!
Do you know how much sugar is in most recipes for homemade jam? An insane amount. Seriously. I knew I wouldn’t be making traditional homemade jam.
I actually made two batches, one with no added sugar, and one with a small amount of honey. They were both good, but the one with honey was a little better. You can’t go wrong either way.Print
Low-Sugar Strawberry Jam
A fresh and delicious homemade jam
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: Makes 2 8-ounce or 4 4-ounce containers 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Cuisine: American
- 2 cups mashed strawberries (~1-1.5 quarts)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar (omit for no sugar added jam)
- 3 teaspoons “low or no sugar needed” pectin
- You want to start by sanitizing and preparing your jars. Simply follow the package instructions. (For more details, see this article which helped me.) Then, hull and mash your strawberries.
- You’ll need two cups.
- You want them to be thoroughly mashed, but having pieces of strawberries in the jam is a good thing if you ask me!
- Next, in a medium sauce pan, add the strawberries and apple juice. Gradually add in the pectin. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly. Make sure you have that mixture to a full boil, then add honey. Return the mixture to another full rolling boil and boil hard for a full minute, again stirring constantly. It’s really important to get that hard boil and keep it for a minute!
- Ladle the jam into hot jars (I had mine in a large stock pot of simmering water) and cover tightly. If you are preserving the jam, place them in a large stock pot (or canner if you have one) covered with 1-2 inches of water. Cover and bring to a steady, gentle boil. Allow to boil for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and let the jars stand an additional 5 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight to allow the jam to fully set.
- If preserved, the jam will keep for approximately 8 months. If you choose to not preserve, skip the boiling step and allow the jars to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to refrigerator. Unpreserved jam will keep for approximately 3 weeks.
- I hope you get to go strawberry picking this year. If not for the jam, for the memories. Although the jam isn’t a bad reason, either. Enjoy! 🙂
- Serving Size: 1 ounce
- Calories: 26
- Sugar: 6.3g
- Sodium: 6.6mg
- Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 6.75g
- Protein: 1g
Keywords: homemade jam