Chances are, you’ve had jam for breakfast sometime this week. Centuries of human advancement in food preservation techniques has lead to your beautifully roasted coffee, freshly buttered toast, and a delectable spread of sweet jam.
Sounds like a perfect start to any day doesn’t it? But did you know that a preserve can only be categorised as a ‘jam’ if the sugar content is no less than 60 percent in the United Kingdom? Additionally, some brands have artificial preservatives!
Don’t let that fact sour your mood; we will show you how you can have your proverbial toast and eat it with much less sugar and much more fun by making your very own jams at home.
1. Why All That Sugar?
The high amounts of sugar is necessary on a commercial level for a much longer shelf life. Additionally, sugar inhibits the growth of bacteria much like how salt is used to preserve certain produce.
While this is generally a good thing, high amounts of sugar is not necessary when made in a smaller scale (especially when proper sanitising procedures are followed). Homemade jams are the perfect solution for a more health conscious living.
If a cleaner lifestyle is not enough to get you to give jam making a go, consider all of the following.
2. Healthy Body
There are several health benefits when it comes to eating jams in general. For one, they come with every benefit from eating fruits! All the vitamin rich and antioxidant advantages are at your spreadable disposal.
One unique feature in the jam making process is the release of pectin, a naturally occurring starch found in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. It is used as a gelling agent and is what gives jam their jelly-like texture.
Pectin has been speculated to aid in lowering cholesterol, blood pressure levels, and reducing cancer development.
3. Healthy Earth
On top of being healthy for your body, home made jams is a fun way to reduce your carbon footprint via using reusable jars. If you are already rearing up to make your own jams, we have the perfect containers for you.
Additionally, if you are looking at other ways to reduce your carbon footprint, check this article out on sustainable grocery options.
4. Go Wild
Quick, name 5 different types of jams in 10 seconds! We bet that at least 3 of those were different types of berries. Jams can be made with ANY fruits so go ahead and be creative about it. Why not try throwing some cinnamon or nutmeg into the mix? The sky is your limit.
A quick search online will give you some interesting sources of inspiration. Here is one to try on for size.
5. Jam Packed With Fun
Let’s face it, this pandemic has unlocked the homebodies in all of us. Last year, many of us had a hand at baking sourdough and trying to make the perfect cup of dalgona coffee. What better way to pair our new baking skills with some perfect spreads?
Remember, jams are not exclusive to bread; add them to your ham, cake, and pairing them with other savoury foods!
It’s the perfect activity to do with your loved ones. Prefer to go solo? Then this is the perfect fun little gift you can give to your friends. The best part about jam making is that you do not need any sophisticated tools.
This brings us to the next segment: how do you actually get started with making your own jams?
Most of what you need can easily be found in your kitchen. Here is a quick rundown:
- Large pot (preferably Teflon lined)
- Jar funnel
- Jam container
- Large spoons and ladles
- Fruits of your choice
- Sugar (or Stevia)
That is basically all you need! If you want to make your life a lot easier, consider investing in a food mill (your forearms will thank you later).
In terms of making the jams themselves, there are an endless supply of jam recipes and steps to follow. Here is one sugar free strawberry jam ingredient we found to be rather easy to make.