Way back in the 1990s my mum started making jam at home. Part of the reason was due to the rising cost of the sugary toast-topping, and the other part was the self-reliance bit. If a person can make their own jam, after all, why make the trip into town to give companies more of our hard-earned money? Also, with 8 people in the house, a "large" jar of jam would never last more than a couple of days. Making it at home just made logical sense.
The boy is almost 18 months old now, and he's starting to enjoy a broader range of foods. That said, we're not too keen on getting him addicted to refined sugar just yet. Most supermarket jams, as everybody knows, is just packed with refined sugar. So I was quite happy while flipping through some old cookbooks to find a recipe for strawberry jam that used something different. In fact, the recipe is so simple, I wish I had found it a decade ago!
- strawberries, fresh or frozen
- coconut sugar
- lemon juice
Yep. I kid you not. That's all we'll need for this recipe. The amount is completely adjustable based on the following formula: for every 160g of strawberries you'll need 30g of coconut sugar and half a teaspoon of lemon juice.
The jar in the photo holds just over 300g of strawberries which equates to 300g of strawberries, 56g of coconut sugar, and a teaspoon (5 ml) of lemon juice.
- Put the strawberries into a large pot with a wide mouth and set the heat to medium high. Once the berries have started to show some juice, add the coconut sugar and lemon juice.
- As the berries cook, mash them with a potato masher to make them smaller. Stir frequently to prevent burning. The jam does bubble quite a bit and can splash, so be ready.
- Continue to cook for 15~20 minutes, until jam is firm and spreadable. You can take a bit of jam out and smear it on a cold plate to see if it remains firm. Keep cooking and testing until it's at the consistency you like.
- Once done, transfer the jam into sterilised jars. So long as the jam will be fully eaten in a week or two, you will probably not need to can it. One of the goals of making this jam is for "freshness", so smaller batches can be your friend here.
And that's that! Tomorrow will be the big test. Will the boy like it or not?