Sweet and Simple: How to Make Easy, Healthy Homemade Jam

Strawberry jam in the glass jar at white background.

With its vibrant colors and delightful flavors, Jam is a staple condiment in many households. While store-bought options are readily available, crafting your own homemade jam not only allows you to customize flavors but also ensures you know exactly what goes into it. With a few basic ingredients and minimal effort, you can create a delicious spread bursting with natural goodness. Here’s how to make easy, healthy homemade jam:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh berries: Choose your favorite berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or a mix.
  • 1/4 cup of honey, maple syrup, or other natural sweetener: For natural sweetness without refined sugars.
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds: These act as a natural thickener and provide additional nutritional benefits.
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice: Enhances the flavor and helps preserve the jam.

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Berries:

Strawberries for Jam
  • Wash the berries thoroughly under cold water and remove any stems or leaves.
  • If using strawberries, remove the caps and chop them into small pieces. You can leave other berries whole or roughly chop them, depending on your preference.

2. Cook the Berries:

  • Combine the berries with honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
  • Stir occasionally and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the berries start to break down and release their juices.

3. Add Chia Seeds:

  • Once the berries have softened, stir in the chia seeds and lemon juice.
  • Simmer the mixture for another 5-10 minutes or until it reaches your desired consistency. The chia seeds will absorb some of the liquid and help thicken the jam.

4. Cool and Store:

  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the jam cool for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the jam to a clean, sterilized jar and let it cool completely before sealing with a lid.
  • Store the jam in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If you prefer a longer shelf life, you can freeze it in airtight containers for up to six months.

Tips:

Blueberries-at-a-Market-With-People-in-the-Background
  • Experiment with different combinations of berries and add-ins like vanilla extract or spices for unique flavor profiles.
  • You can adjust the sweetness level to your preference by adding more or less of your sweetener.
  • You can puree the cooked berries before adding the chia seeds for a smoother texture.
  • Be careful not to overcook the jam, as it can become too thick or develop a caramelized flavor.

Making homemade jam is a rewarding culinary experience and a healthier alternative to store-bought varieties, as you can control the quality of ingredients and avoid unnecessary additives. With this simple recipe, you can enjoy the goodness of fresh berries all year round, one delicious spoonful at a time.

Anne James

Anne James has a wealth of experience in a wide array of interests and is an expert in quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, mixing drinks (bartending), and making jelly. Anne has a professional canning business, has been featured in the local newspaper as well as on the Hershey website, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is. With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass. Amazingly, she doesn’t need to reference many resources due to her vast wealth of experience. She IS the source. Anne wants nothing more than to pass on her extensive knowledge to the next generations, whether that be family or anyone visiting her website, her YouTube channel, or survivalfreedom.com.

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