From a nutritional point of view jam is a bit of a hard sell. let's face it, it is 50% free-sugar and 50% fruit that has been boiled long enough that it has lost all its vitamins.
Which leave us with a tiny bit of Potassium and Iodine... that is not enough to call it a nutrient-dense food.
But still, it is worth making your own jam for the following reasons:
it is super simple and fun to do (you can get the children involved)
your homemade jam is possibly more interesting nutritionally than the shop bought one and you know what is in it
nothing taste better that warm jam
Ingredients and equipment:
1kg sugar for jam-making
1 lemon juice
1 heavy-based pan
6 jam jar with lids
1 large pan
1. Get some strawberries - We went to our local Pick-Your-Own farm and got 2kg of juicy strawberries. It was a fun morning out and it is a bit cheaper than the shop bought.
2. Clean your strawberries and remove the stems. Weigh your fruit. For 1 kg of fruit you will need roughly 1kg of jam sugar, a speciality sugar that includes some pectine which will help the jam to set. (This time I use 1.1kg of strawberries for 1kg of sugar)
3. In a large heavy based pan, place your strawberries, the sugar and the juice of one lemon. Heat up the pan and stir. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to get a gentle simmer and remove the foam that is forming on the surface.
4. While it is cooking, prepare your jars - use old jam jars that you've thoroughly cleaned. Sterilise them, including the lid, by placing them for 5 mins in a big pan of boiling water. Drain them and keep them aside, cooling down, until the jam is ready.
5. If you have a cooking thermometer, cook your jam until it reaches 104ºC, otherwise cook for 20mins. To test if you jam is ready, drop a teaspoonful of it on cold plate and check if thick enough once cooled down.
6. Time to ladle the jam in the jars, being careful not to burn yourself. Fill up the jars, twist the lid back on and turn your jam jar upside down - it helps sealing properly the jar and your air-tight jam will keep for several months.
7. Get some good bread and dip in!
Ideas on how to use the jam:
put it in your porridge or your yogurt instead of honey
spread on toast over a layer or butter or cream cheese
use as a filling for swiss-roll cakes