A healthy food & lifestyle blog specifically catering for & dealing with the symptoms & conditions of : Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) & Intracranial Hypertension (IH).
Looking at healthy food & food alternatives- redesigning classic recipes & new recipes;
Dealing and living with chronic health conditions on a daily basis- & research about the conditions;
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Before undertaking any recipes found on this blog please look to the note in 'Cookery' !

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Christmas Gifts: Strawberry and Rosemary Jam...

For our families and close friends, this Christmas gone by, I decided to once again make home made gifts as a small gesture of love during the Holiday Season!

This year I decided on jam, and un-made baked goods in jars (recipes to follow), and I am very happy with the results that I got and the feedback from recipients... so much so that I am now in love with making things in jars!! hehe

But seriously I am very happy with how it all turned out and how it went down, and I have had requests for more jam- so watch this space. The jam is on the healthier side of your 'normal' jam.
As it has no artificial preservatives AND is great for those with insulin resistance (PCOS and endometriosis, as well as other health conditions) and is diabetic friendly, as it uses low GI cane sugar.
Which is used to provide slow and sustained release of energy (just don't eat a whole lot at once, and pace your consumption of the jam to over at least a couple of weeks).

With the use of cane sugar (and I suppose the rosemary too) the jam developed a richer, fuller flavour. Consequently making it very different from any other strawberry jam that I have tasted... I rather enjoyed it!!
Before you start the recipe I you should always sterilise your jars!!
Now I could have posted all of that information here, which would lead to a very long a drawn out post, but I decided that I would just direct you to the Kilner Jar website.
Here they have a great detailed post on how to STERILISE your jars in numerous ways.
They also have excellent posts on The Four Spoilers, a Guide to Jams and a Checklist for Jams.
On the left- strawberries hulled, lemons juiced and rosemary, all ready to be chopped;
On the right- the foam ready to be skimmed off the top.
Makes: roughly 9 cups!!
Ingredients:
1360g- (5 1/2 punnets)
strawberries, hulled and chopped
3 1/4 cups
low GI cane sugar, divided
1 1/2 tbsp fresh
rosemary leaves
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest

Directions:
  1. Place strawberries into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Using a sharp knife roughly chop half the rosemary, and finely chop the rest.
  2. Add rosemary, sugar and lemon juice to strawberries. Bring to boil, stirring often. Cook at low boil for about 25 minutes, or until jam has thickened. Use large spoon to remove any foam that surfaces as it cooks.
  3. Put plate in freezer for about 90 seconds. Spoon a teaspoon of the hot jam onto the cold plate and let it rest for 30 seconds. Tip plate to one side; jam should be a soft gel that moves slowly. If mixture is thin and runs down side of plate quickly, the jam is too soft. Return pot to heat and cook jam 5 to 10 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and repeat test.
  4. Ladle hot jam into sterilised jars (I used 230ml clip top), leaving 2-3cm headspace. Wipe rims with clean, damp rag to remove any food debris.
  5. Place the rubber seals onto the top of the jar and close the clips. Place the jar in a large pan and cover the whole jar with water. Bring to the boil for 30 minutes. Once boiled, leave the water and jars to cool completely before removing. The process of boiling the jars in water is adding extra heat to the contents, which is allowing a vacuum seal to form.
Allow your jam jars to cool for 24hrs, untouched. After the 24 hour cooling period you need to check your jars to make sure an airtight seal has formed. To check the seal, undo the clip and lift the jar by the lid only. If an airtight seal has formed the lid will not move, now fasten clip, label and store. If the lid moves, an airtight seal has not formed and you must reprocess your jars or eat the contents immediately.
Once the seals have formed, store your preserve jars in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Once the jars have been opened only store your jars in the fridge and consume the contents within 2 weeks.

For your labels, I just used simple stick on labels and created my own design for a larger almost square front label, then I used a slimmer rectangle sticker and wrote on the ingredients, the date I packed the jam and 'Store your jam in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Once the jam has been opened store your jam in the fridge and consume the contents within 2 weeks.'

So that's that!
I hope you jam turns out well, please let me know how you go and if you liked my recipe- also if you have any favourite jam recipes please share!!

xo

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