Fond memories of my childhood have a lot to deal with cooking in the kitchen with my maternal grandmother. She was a traditional German grandmother that believed each year all of us grand kids should get together to make the years’ harvest of canned items. This included many things such as homemade sauerkraut (which to this day I can still not make the same as hers… whimpers), homemade grape juice, dilly beans, sweetened fruit and of many other items not listed an assortment of jams. See how I have made this non-vegan accompaniment into a healthy vegan one below with the recipe and tons of photos.
Let me start out with stating I tried to make a video of this however my DSLR camera has been having some issues with the card. After a bit of complaining about it, I have figured out I should have been yelling at myself for not putting in the higher quality video SDHC card. Duh! Yep, that’s my life. ha-ha Thankfully I can share a lot of photos with you along the way. (Note: I first mentioned this recipe here.)
For those of you unsure of the difference between jams, preserves and jellies let me give a little background information.
- Jelly is made from fruit juice that is boiled until the juices are thickened naturally by the naturally occurring fruit pectin. It’s like a running jam. Sometimes commercial jellies do have pectin (vegan) and/or gelatin to reach a broader target market.
- Jam is made again from natural fruit but in entirety. It is created by crushing the fruit as you boil it down to make the jam. Normally a pectin is used for making jams in commercial products since it speeds up the process of thickening. Unfortunately pectin is made from animal collagen and is not vegan. I’ve made jam before with the help of the vegan substitute of a seaweed called agar agar. It is a hit or miss though when using agar agar.
- Preserves are very popular in my family but Genki Husband is not very fond of them. Preserves are similar to jam however contains larger chunks of the fruit. Basically this is the jam that is hard to spread on ones’ toast in the morning, hence, many people do not prefer this type of fruit spread. No pectin or gelatin is used to make preserves.
Warning: My photos would not upload at the normal size for some reason so I had to compress them. Sorry about the lack in quality and size.
Frozen Berry Jam Recipe
- 12 oz bag frozen organic raspberries (Or any other favorite of yours)
- 2-3 tbsp maple syrup, agave nectar, white sugar, stevia, and/or etc
- 2 tbsp chia seeds (no need to crush)
- 1 tsp orange zest (makes the flavor pop), optional
- Place the frozen berries right into a high-rimmed sauce pan on medium-heat. You can either add your sweetener now or wait a few minutes for the ice to come off the berries. Place a lid on the pan.
- Add your sweetener of choice. Give the mixture a good stir and replace the lid back on the pan. At this time you might be worried about the lack of moisture, do not fear the berries will add a large amount.
- The berries will start to make even more moisture and you will need to occasionally stir from now on as the mixture will stick to the pan. You do not have to hover though. (So go ahead and do some dishes, that’s what I did.) At this time, it is wise to start mashing the berries with a potato masher or meat tenderizer (or back of spoon) to squish the berries into a jam paste.
- Once the mixture starts to thicken, maybe 3-5 minutes you can add the chia seeds and give it a good stir. Turn the heat down to low at this time.
- Once the jam has thickened a little more, maybe another minute or two, you can remove the pan from the heat. The jam will thicken when it cools so do not worry if it is runny.
- Place the hot jam into jars or glass containers that can withstand the heat. Do not use plastic as it will melt! I like to reuse glass containers from other things such as capers or etc. It is safe to reuse jars as long as you sterilize them first (aka boil them in hot water with the lids too). I like to use mason jars but with the popularity of using them as glasses the price has gone too high. I have reused jars for years though and never had any issues. Make sure you let the jam cool for about ten minutes. Place the lids on the jars to seal while still warm.
- There you have it- homemade jam! You can either place the cooled jam in the fridge or in your pantry for the future months.
Note: Normally the cleanup process is a bit of a hassle when making jam but with recipe not containing gelatin, it is super easy. I just put my pan in the sink, filled it with water and came back about ten minutes later and cleaned it out without any issues.