Not in Any Store Near Us

Undoubtedly our favorite thing to pick and preserve.Last year we picked enough berries to make 10 pints of freezer jam and freeze 10 quarts of whole berries for smoothies (I used them in Amelia's birthday cake, too).

We used our last jar of jam on Memorial Day weekend. We used our last bag of strawberries about a week ago.
Yesterday we picked 22 pounds of strawberries at our local U-Pick field. Since I can't remember how many berries I picked last year, I'm not sure if this is way too much or not nearly enough.

For the way they make my kitchen smell and stain the faces of my little ones...there could never be enough.

On a more pragmatic note...last year I made one batch of jam using sure-jell. The amount of sugar called for was making me a little crazy, so I went looking for another option. I found that the Ball brand Simple Creations pectin is no cook and uses only 1 cup of sugar for the 4 or 5 cups called for in sure-jell. The jam will taste more like strawberries and less like sugar with some strawberries in it (which is good, too, and has it's place). I made all of my jam with the low sugar version last year, and we all agreed...it's every bit as good and perfectly toast, yogurt, spoon in your mouth worthy.

Does anyone have good results using honey or another sweetener?

(Mr. Linky is still ready and waiting for you right over here.)
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Comments

  1. I had the same dilemma last year. I could not believe how much sugar some mixes called for! I ended up finding the exact Ball mix you used - and it's my favorite. So simple, it almost feels like cheating! And it made a better jam. The other stuff I used didn't get thick enough, or something. Happy jamming! And thanks for the comments on my blog. :)

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  2. Hi Heather,
    I make freezer jam so thanks for sharing the low sugar tip. I used to live in Oregon and took advantage of the U-pick berries around. The farmer’s market has just started in my area and that is where I will be tomorrow morning bright and early. Have a great weekend. ~Cathy~

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  3. Those are gorgeous! I envy your food processing ability. Someday maybe I will get there. But for me, must take baby steps. Just having a garden this year is a big transition.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. I just died and went to heaven! Thank you!!! :-)

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  5. they look delicious! can't wait till ours are ready!

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  6. Yumm!
    Not canned in a while myself but felt the same for the amount of sugar added to fresh fruit jams, it is nice to let the taste of the real fruit shine by itself.

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  7. I always end up making freezer jam with mine. Yes, there's a lot of sugar in it. I haven't found a perfect solution (and I'm not willing to use Splenda) so I still use the sugar OD recipe. On the other hand...it's not like we eat gobs of the jam at one sitting. I'd love to know if there's a freezer jam recipe out there that uses less sugar!

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  8. We made our first batch of freezer jam last week and I thought the same thing. We used a bit less sugar sure-gel - but it was still a ton. Thanks for the suggestion of an alternative! -S

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  9. I completely feel the same way about the amount of sugar. And never fails, I run out of sugar half way through the jam process. This year I'll try your new stuff and see how it roles. Anything that tastes more like berries seems like exactly what I want!

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  10. Thanks for the tip, we are going to pick this week and I couldn't remember the brand name I wanted to use. Less sugar is amazing!

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  11. It just tastes fresher with less sugar in it. And better for you and the little ones! Keep up the good work.

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  12. Wow! That's a lot of strawberries! I can't wait to get into the raspberry fields!

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