Peppery Strawbarb Blossom Jam Toast Topper #69

Strawberry and rhubarb jam has, I believe, become my new favourite flavour of Toast Topper. I’m not an overly sweet person when it comes to fruit (I love tart cherries and raspberries, for example), especially in the summer when it’s a billion degrees out. Luckily, our garden is bursting with rhubarb, which tempers the saccharine nature of the perfect local berries finally making it to market. 

Peppery Strawbarb Blossom Jam

Of course, it is jam we’re talking about, and when I make preserves for holiday gift giving, the sugar does play a certain role in that respect. Most pectin demands sugar to work, and while I’m always playing with low-sugar options like Pomona’s and Ball’s, but sometimes having the convenience of perfectly proportioned ingredients trumps fancy-dancy fine tooling. Since I can a lot of things at a time to conserve energy (water bath canners take forever to heat up!), by jam #4 I’m getting ready to call it a day. Not willing to toss the ingredients into the freezer for another day, thereby admitting defeat, I pulled out one of my fail-safe jamming secrets when time is short – sugar with pectin already added and mixed in. Using the bag of that set up a ton of strawberries and rhubarb, and thanks to the natural thickening properties of rhubarb, the mix gelled more than the directions say it will (meaning less sugar per serving!). 

Since it still seemed a bit too sweet for my taste, and mom loves the combination of strawberries and black pepper, I chopped up a handful of my beautiful, zippy homegrown nasturtium blossoms and tossed them in with a dash of white pepper for interest! The floral peppery-ness really amps up the fresh flavours of the berries, and is definitely something I will continue to do!

Are you a fan of savoury and sweet combinations (like pepper and strawberries)?

Peppery Strawbarb Blossom Jam
Makes 8 cups, 64 2-tbsp servings
600g (~4.2 cups) fresh or frozen whole strawberries, thawed if frozen
2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/3 cup chopped nasturtium blossoms, plus 8 whole ones
1 full bag (1 kg / 5.218 cups) Redpath’s QuickSet for Jam (or another jelling sugar, around here it’s either Redpath or Lantic)

  1. Combine the berries, rhubarb, water, lemon juice and pepper in a large pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cook, mashing berries and rhubarb to a chunky pulp, for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chopped nasturtium blossoms and Quickset and bring to a full boil.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes.
  5. Ladle into sterilized jars and top each with a whole nasturtium flower.
  6. Seal and process in a waterbath for 10 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 69.2
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.2 mg
Total Carbs: 17.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 0.1 g

Blue Raspberry Chia Jam: Toast Topper #68

Sometimes the simplest things are the most delicious. Around here, especially in the height of summer, our table sings with the bounty of both our backyard and the local farms that sell on the market days. It’s a time that flies by way too fast in my opinion, since it seems like only yesterday I was hauling my first load of rhubarb from and planting my tomato seedlings in the garden, and now we’re halfway through July!

Anyways, my latest foray into the farmer’s market netted me with two boxes of wild Ontario blueberries, which (after careful taste testing!) were carefully stashed away from prying fingers. I had picked up a bag of frozen Ontario raspberries the week before, and had been grabbing the occasional handful right out of the freezer after a few hours in the 35C heat in our backyard, and it occurred to me to combine the two fruits in a lightly sweetened, lightning-fast Toast Topper. After all, we had a fresh loaf of Pain au Levain to gild!

Blue-Raspberry Chia Jam

I’m not kidding, either, when I say this recipe is an exercise in simplicity – or frugality. It can be as easily made in the dead of winter with frozen berries as in the height of summer with fresh, and doesn’t contain any added sugar – the minimal boost in sweetness for this batch came from a boiled apple syrup I cooked down from fresh juice and tempered with added lemon juice and zest. To thicken the medley of berries, a dose of chia seeds went to work, making for a spread that is not so stiff that you have to cut through it with a knife (yech!) but thick enough not to run off your bagel in the morning. While the mixture is less alien today than a year or two ago when the chia craze first hit, I’ve still yet to find many people (outside of my Home Ec classes!) that have truly tasted it like this. Hopefully this recipe will spark another group of eager eaters!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Blue Raspberry Chia Jam
Makes 2 cups, 16 (2 tbsp) servings
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tbsp Boiled Apple Cider Syrup (I made my own but you can use this too)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp raw sugar (optional, I didn’t use any)
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp chia seeds

  1. Combine berries, syrup, zest and sugar (if using) in a medium pot and bring to a simmer, mashing the berries slightly. Cook 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and chia seeds.
  3. Process in a waterbath for 25 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 16.8
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.4 mg
Total Carbs: 3.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 0.4 g

Strawberry Papaya Jam: Toast Topper #67 #thereciperedux

There’s no getting around it – our family loves jam. Whether it’s peach, lime, persimmon or bluebarb, the plethora of Toast Topper I’ve posted (and the even greater number of general condiments) should indicate that we can’t leave a piece of bread (or waffle, or pancake…) undecorated – even filled ones like the Figgy Olive Oil and Sesame Challah – untouched. No, we need a spread to crown our carbs, but by and large we find the standard jars from the store well… standard. You just don’t find flavours like the ones I mentioned at the local grocery store here, and the jams and jellies you do find are often packed with sugar or (in the case of the so-sugar-added ones) artificial sweeteners.

That said, jam doesn’t have to be like that – nor does it need to be a super-complex, multi-pot, 47-jar canning bonanza (though I have nothing against that!). Last post, I mentioned how you needed sugar to activate the pectin in standard recipes, but luckily today there are varieties of pectin requiring less (or no) sugar at all to work, as well as a couple other options like agar, gelatin and, what I partially relied on here, chia seeds. Back last June, I made No-Cook Berry Chia Jam using the incredible gelling properties of the seeds to great effect. This time, I used them as an accessory thickener – a fail-safe, if you will – since the fresh papaya in the jam can sometimes wreak havoc with the jamming process (thanks enzymes!). With the extra help, and natural sweetness from the tropical fruit, it turns out that cooking up a healthy and delicious Toast Topper with fresh fruit and coconut water is not only easy, but fast – and you won’t miss the refined sugar either – promise!

This Recipe Redux has out gang whipping up no-brainer dishes with “7 or fewer” ingredients in honour of tax season. As a lover of spice (and flour) medleys, it was tough, but yummy experimenting!

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Strawberry Papaya Jam
Makes ~2 cups, 16 (2 tbsp) servings
7 oz chopped strawberries
7 oz chopped papaya
⅓ cup coconut water
½ tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin
¼ cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)
3 tbsp chia seeds

  1. In a pot, mash together the strawberries, papaya, coconut water, lime juice and pectin.
  2. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.
  3. Add the sugar and chia seeds and return mixture to a full rolling boil.
  4. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into jars.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 28.4
Total Fat: 0.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 4.8 mg
Total Carbs: 5.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 0.7 g

Black Currant and Wine Jelly Toast Topper #66

I’ll admit that when it comes to making jam and jelly, I’m a slave to added pectin. I know there are times when I don’t need it (Backyard Grape Jam, for instance) thanks to the natural pectin in the fruit, and if I’m making a full-sugar preserve as written (like this Blood Orange and Cranberry Marmalade) I will abstain.

The problem for me is that to activate the pectin, you need sugar. And a lot of it. Since the whole point of me making jam at home (well, one of the points) is to make a healthier Toast Topper for the pantry, adding a bucket of sugar to a recipe doesn’t really compute. That said, I’m always learning! I’ve discovered agar and gelatin do a bang-up gelling job, and recently I discovered a technique in Miyoko Schinner’s book The Homemade Vegan Pantry that relies on the power of both reduction and arrowroot starch to solidify the spread.

Black Currant and Primitivo Wine Jam

Now, this isn’t a “jelly-like” condiment like what you’d normally find on the shelf, but a slightly thicker-than-apple butter spread. Regardless of what you call it though, the combination of currant juice and “Doppio Passo” wine reduces to a semi-sweet, mellow, elegantly flavoured syrup, which I added dried currants to for contrasting texture and more of a “jam like” feel.  A bit of sweet blood orange juice helped cut down the need for extra sugar and heightened the fruity notes in both wine and juice. The recipe is still somewhat high in sugar by my standards, but the tartness of the currants and the tannins in the wine need it – you want to enjoy your healthier spread, after all!

While I didn’t can my jelly (it disappeared too fast!) the cookbook says you can waterbath can it. I’m not too sure what the standards are for starch-thickened recipes, so I suggest storing this in the fridge and making small batches as needed!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Black Currant and Wine Jelly
Makes ~3 cups, 48 (1 tbsp) servings
3 fl. oz red wine (I used Doppio Passo Botter Primitivo Salento IGT)
3 cups black currant juice
¼ cup orange juice (I used blood orange juice)
3 tbsp dried currants
¾ cup sugar
3 tbsp arrowroot starch
¼ cup cold water

  1. Cook the wine, juices, currants and sugar over medium heat until reduced by half and syrupy, about 45 minutes.
  2. Whisk together the arrowroot and water and add to the syrupy mixture.
  3. Simmer 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thick.
  4. Pour into jars and refrigerate up to 2 months.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 23.3
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.1 mg
Total Carbs: 5.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
Protein: 0.0 g

Tart Lime Jam (Toast Topper #65)

Since I made my fair share of treats centred around my favourite desserts this holiday season, I felt it was only fair to make a couple things inspired by my friends and family’s cravings too. I’ve mentioned before that my mom is a huge fan of key lime anything, from pie to ice cream. One year while we were vacationing in Florida we came across a key lime jelly that was to die for – the perfect mixture of sweet and tart, completely reminiscent of the classic pie. We bought two jars, and upon getting home they both disappeared within a month – my favourite way to savour it was spread on a cream cheesed bagel – or if I was feeling decadent, using a graham cracker as the base instead. Mom added it to everything, but I seem to recall a large amount of Saturday morning pancakes and crepes with the spread in lieu of syrup! 

This whole jam experience was over 10 years ago, and neither of us ever forgot the flavour of that jam. For mom (and, lets face it, for me too), I made my own batch of lime jam – a lower-sugar formula to allow all the bright, tangy flavours of the citrus to shine through, and allow us to smear on just that little bit more on our toast in the morning. The whole thing set up perfectly with Pomona’s Pectin (my go-to for all my jammy Toast Toppers), and canned like a dream – I decided to part with a few jars at Christmas, but the rest is ours – ready and waiting for months of enjoying! 

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays 

Tart Lime Jam

Tart Lime Jam
Makes ~ 5 1/2 cups, 88 (1 tbsp) servings
2 cups fresh squeezed lime juice with pulp
Lime zest of 4 limes
2 cups water (lime juice is too acidic to jell if you do not cut it with water)
1 tbsp calcium water (from Pomona’s Pectin)
2 tbsp light agave nectar or honey
⅔ cup Just Like Sugar (a 100% natural sweetener made with orange peel, chicory and calcium), or cup-for-cup stevia
1 ⅓ cups sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Pomona’s Pectin

  1. In a bowl, mix the Just Like Sugar and granulated sugar with pectin. Set aside.
  2. Combine lime juice, lime zest, water, calcium water and honey in a pot and mix well. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add pectin-sweetener mixture and stirring vigorously for 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
  4. Process 10 minutes in a water bath

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 14.1
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.1 mg
Total Carbs: 4.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 0.0 g

Strawberry – Mango Jam (Toast Topper #64)

With a distinct nip in the air, I am clamouring more than ever for the tastes of warmer climates. Nothing around here is growing anymore, save for a few over-wintering root crops, kale and a handful of apple trees, but I can still rely on the goodies I preserved all Spring and Summer long to brighten up my morning toast or my late night warm applesauce and granola (yum!).

This jam is one such treat – made thanks to in-season strawberries frozen at their peak and the new crop of tropical mangoes and limes coming into the markets. Rather than a straight “mango” or “strawberry” jam, I tossed in a full-on combination of exotic, yet familiar flavours like coconut extract and lime. To keep the flavours pure and true to their original ingredients, I opted for a lower-sugar style of preserving which I think really did the jam justice. It’s a versatile spread that will work not just for toast but also stirring into rice pudding (or kheer!), spreading between cake layers or dotting into thumbprint cookies.

So... guess what I did today after Pilates (and the clinic)?
The gorgeous pink jam is in front!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays and Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Strawberry – Mango Jam
Makes ~1 1/2 pints, 48 (1 tbsp) servings
1 ½ cups mango puree
1 ½ cups strawberry puree
⅓ cup water
1 tbsp lime juice

2 tsp lime zest
1 tbsp + 2 tsp no sugar needed pectin
½ cup sugar
½ tsp coconut extract

  1. Combine the puree, water, lime juice, lime zest and pectin in a saucepan, stirring to thoroughly combine.
  2. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the sugar and return mixture to a full rolling boil.
  4. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the extract.
  5. Can 10 minutes in a water bath or store in the fridge up to 2 weeks.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 12.9
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.1 mg
Total Carbs: 3.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 0.0 g

Caramel Pear Jam (Toast Topper #63)

With the cooler weather and school days approaching all too quickly, I start thinking about the warmer flavours that pepper the cuisine in the last part of the year. Fall brings all the rich, earthy notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom, the silky touches of vanilla caramel and dark butterscotch, the comforting mild sweetness of cooked apples and pears and the combinations of any or all of these that invoke the memories of evenings and lazy weekends in the family kitchen around a table of hearty food. The start of Fall for me always makes me think of my mom’s ratatouille simmering on the stove, served over brown rice the first night, then repurposed into scrambled eggs and open-face “trencher” sandwiches for many breakfasts and brunches after. It was also the time of the year where homemade meatballs and spaghetti made their re-appearance at the table, when pancakes and French toast began to take precedence over crepes and waffles on Sunday morning, and hearty loaves of crusty bread would be roughly sliced and smeared thickly with peanut butter and dark honey or golden syrup for a breakfast treat or snack after a day of apple picking.

Those food memories are fondly tucked into the back of my mind now, and while the days of inch thick peanut butter on toast dripping with syrup are more or less behind me the yearning for that decadent caramel flavour still comes around now and then. Taking those memory cues as a guide, I started to make apple and pear sauces with brown sugar and a pat of butter at the end, then eventually devised this spicy, darkly sweet jam that had the long-cooked flavours of caramel and fruit crisp but without the dairy and fat of “true” butter and far less wait time. Now, smeared over a (modest) layer of peanut (or the current household favourite, almond) butter on grainy country bread, the spread is even better than a sundae and twice as nutritious!

By the way – this jam is not a one trick toast pony! For what its worth, a spoonful or two mixed with leftover rice (my favourite right now is “wild pecan” rice) and a little cashew or almond milk on the stovetop turns into heaven in a bowl for dessert, and smeared onto pancakes or even leftover tortillas with a scattering of chopped almonds makes for a decadent breakfast. How would you enjoy a spread like this?

Caramel Pear Jam

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Caramel Pear Jam
Makes about 6 half-pint jars, 48 (2-tbsp) servings
1 (49g) package “No Sugar Needed” pectin
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
4 cups (about 8) diced peeled and cored pears
2 tbsp amber agave nectar or dark honey, warmed until liquid
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
¼ tsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp caramel flavouring , optional
¼ tsp butter flavouring, optional

  1. In a bowl, combine the fruit pectin with ¼ cup of the granulated sugar, mixing well. 
  2. Add the pectin mixture to the pears in a large pot and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat, until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil. 
  3. Stream in the agave, followed by the remaining granulated sugar, brown sugar and spices.
  4. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil. 
  5. Boil for exactly 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in caramel and butter flavourings.
  6. Process 10 minutes in a waterbath.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 52.1
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.7 mg
Total Carbs: 16.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.0 g

Gilded Bluebarb Jam (Toast Topper #62) #SundaySupper

I’ve been slow to get into the canning kitchen this year. Between all the nitty gritty details of finishing the school year and jumping right into Summer Camp counsellor duty, the weekends provided barely enough time for me to get to the gym, shop for groceries and prepare for the next week! I knew that August (which I booked off of work) would be my great “catch up” month, letting me tend the garden, clean my closets, travel out to my dad’s trailer and get preserving!

Canning in the height of Summer is a bit of a catch-22, especially this year where we’ve had some ridiculously warm weeks. I was finally driven to drag out the beast of a water bath canner after having not one, but two bags of fruit leap out of the freezer onto the floor when I went to grab some bread. I had carefully prepped and measured peaches, plumcots, strawberries and mangoes as I picked them up from farmers markets or supermarket sales, and eventually the freezer just got too full – a fact which was accompanied by a somewhat insistent nagging poking from Mother Dearest to “please do something with all that stuff in the freezer!”. Given that I had bags of local wild blueberries (scored at an excellent price from the market) that I had IQF’ed recently and a seemingly neverending supply of rhubarb in the backyard (my stepfather bought two – yes, two – new plants this year to add to the three we already had), I figured bluebarb would be my first canning foray.

Of course, I could never just make blueberry-rhubarb jam. Not the traditional way. The first thing I did was choose a no-sugar-needed pectin as my thickener, allowing me to slash the sugar and allow the true fruity flavour of the berries to come through. I had a little jar of decadent, local honey in my pantry that I had bought from the  Brickworks Farmers’ Market downtown and used that to add a flavourful, bitter-sweet note to the mixture, and completed the sweetness trifecta with a few packets of Truvia. For kicks (and because I was canning some of this for holiday gift giving), I sprinkled in some gold flakes, lending an opulence to the jars as they sat on the counter, cooling. 

Gilded Blueberry Rhubarb Jam

The two jars I didn’t process went into the fridge – where, upon being discovered by Mom and Grandma, they met an untimely demise on home baked bread. The only thing that made this better was a smear of creamy peanut butter underneath! 

This week, #SundaySupper is sharing recipes for canning, freezing and all types of preserving the goodness of our gardens and markets this Summer season. Our hosts this week are Stacy of Food Lust People Love and Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
– thanks ladies!

Check out what we’re saving up below:

Canning

 
Dehydrating

 
Fermentation

 
Freezing

 
Infusing

 
Pickling

 
Preserving in oil or butter

 
And for even more help check out  Food Preservation Tips from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement. 

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Gilded Blueberry Rhubarb Jam
Makes 7 (8-oz) jars, 56 (2-tbsp) servings
5 ½ cups (~24 oz) rhubarb, washed and chopped into ½” dice
1 cup sugar, divided
½ tsp salt
¼ cup
wildflower honey (local if you can find it)
12 packets
Truvia
1 ¼ cups water
2 ½ tbsp no-sugar needed pectin (I used
Ball RealFruit Low or No-Sugar-Needed Pectin)
2 cups (~10.5 oz) blueberries, washed and stemmed
¼ cup lime juice
½ tsp
edible gold dust or “cake glitter“, optional

  1. In a medium nonreactive bowl, combine rhubarb, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, honey and Truvia. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter overnight.
  2. In a large saucepan or pot, combine water, pectin and remaining sugar.
  3. Stir in blueberries, rhubarb mixture and its juices, lime juice and gold dust.
  4. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
  5. Can 10 minutes in a water bath or refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 23.9
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.6 mg
Total Carbs: 6.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.2 g

Purely Peach Jam (Toast Topper #61)

Arguably one of the best (and here, at least, the most anticipated) aspects of Summer life is the abundance of prime, fresh produce – especially fruit. Things like peaches just don’t taste right any other time than mid-July through August, when they’re plump, soft and simply dripping with sweet nectar. Sadly, that prime peach season is still out of reach for us, at least fresh-wise, and I want that fresh, sweet flavour every day!

Luckily, peach jam is equally delicious as long as it’s made with prime fruit (just like any preserve), and thankfully I have an ace in my back pocket – IQF peaches from a local orchard. Picked at their peak, skinned, sliced and flash frozen, they make perfect additions to oatmeal, pies, cakes, muffins, yogurt… and of course jam!

Purely Peach Jam

I didn’t want to waste that precious peach flavour and natural sweetness though, so I opted to make this Toast Topper with minimal extras. I even made the whole batch sugar free (I used Truvia and no-sugar pectin) and added some delicious unsweetened peach nectar I found on sale. A pinch of ginger and a shot of pure vanilla extract later and I had my perfect peach jam – thick, chunky and all about the fruit. My mom loved it too, but wondered how to enhance the naturally awesome flavour… leading to me slipping in a shot of Amaretto (one of her favourite liqueurs) for a hint of “peach melba” flavour without the raspberries that featured in my past melba-esque preserve. Both ways are divine, both ways more than worthy of your favourite crusty bread or dolloping into the middle of muffin batter before baking!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays and Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Purely Peach Jam
Makes ~2 ½ cups, 40 (1 tbsp) servings
2 cups diced, peeled peaches (I used locally grown IQF peaches)
⅓ cup peach nectar
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tbsp fresh ginger
1 ½ tbsp no-sugar-needed pectin (I used Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin)
6 packets Truvia (or ¼ cup sugar, or leave it out)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (adults, use 1 tbsp Amaretto liqueur for a kick!)

  1. In a saucepan, mix chopped peaches, peach juice, lemon juice and ginger.
  2. Thoroughly mix in pectin and bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring almost constantly.
  3. Add Truvia and return mixture to a full rolling boil.
  4. Boil hard 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat, cool 1 minute and stir in vanilla (or Amaretto).
  6. Can 10 minutes in a waterbath or store in the fridge up to 2 weeks.

Amount Per Serving (with Truvia)

Calories: 2.9
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.2 mg
Total Carbs: 1.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
Protein: 0.0 g

No-Cook Berry Chia Jam (Toast Topper #60)

It’s no secret that I adore making jam for my family. There’s something special about the taste of a spread made yourself from the best produce you have available that blows away anything in a jar, and thanks to all the low- or no-sugar needed pectins out there the days of making “candy in a jar” are over. I usually make small batches of preserves, which allows me to constantly switch up the flavours on our plate, but I almost always rely on pectin for thickening because I don’t add a ton of sugar.

When it came time to teaching my Home Economics gang about thickeners and making jam, though, I wanted to show them that you don’t always have to heat something to make the thickener activate! I took inspiration from Eating Bird Food and brought in the humble, yet mighty chia seed, which not only thickened the works quickly but entertained the kids for an hour as they recited the Chia Pet commercial slogan. Of course, as they dug in (spreading it on homemade biscuits) they were also getting a good dose of vitamins, minerals and fibre, with much less sugar than run of the mill stuff! That said, since I was making this with grade 1-3 children, I had to add some sugar, but I opted for the lower-glycemic coconut sugar which also added a lovely exotic note. Personally, though, I love the taste of peak season berries, so if I have them on hand I’m leaving the sweetener out or adding a bare touch of honey or agave.

Delish raspberry chia jam! @ugogurl #vegan #teaching #MLCP #homeeconomics #sweet #fruit #healthyfood #healthychoices

Shared with Waste Not Want Not Wednesday and Gluten Free Fridays

No-Cook Berry Chia Jam
Makes about 1 cup, 16 servings
1 cup mashed berries (thawed if frozen), I used raspberries
1 tbsp whole
chia seeds
1 tbsp water
1 tsp
amber agave nectar or honey
2 tbsp
coconut sugar or granulated sugar (if berries are not sweet enough for you)

  1. Mix the berries, chia seeds, water, agave and sugar (if using) in a bowl until well blended.
  2. Cover and let sit at least 15-20 minutes to thicken.
  3. Store in the fridge up to 1 week or freeze.

Amount Per Serving (with sugar)
Calories 12.9
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 1.9 mg
Potassium 13.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Sugars 0.9 g
Protein 0.3 g

Amount Per Serving (without sugar)
Calories 9.1
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 0.0 mg
Potassium 13.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 0.3 g