Thursday, September 12, 2013

strawberry jam/preserve -low sugar,all natural Vegan recipe (gelatin free/pectin free)

Early summer,this year we went for some organic strawberry picking here in California ,and I have to say they are -up to date-"the most"delicious berries I've ever tasted.We had fun picking and munching on these bite sized ruby red beauties and brought home quite a large amount,so I went ahead and froze a good portion,and also to mention,completely forgot about them,until my husband started reminding me recently (every other day that is!)about them and how perfectly sweet they were ,just waiting in our freezer and kept frequently asking me- what am I going to do with them ?.believe me I had no interest in making jam cause that would mean  loads of sugar and over cooking the fruit ,also I don't want to use gelatin(obtained from animal by products) or pectin which needs sugar to gel properly.So I came up with somthing that really worked great .Here goes my all natural recipe :

strawberries frozen(I used extra sweet organic): 2 cups
maple syrup:2 Tbsp may have to add more according to taste or tartness of the fruit
salt:1/8 tsp
agar agar powder:1 Tbsp

Now what  is agar agar?(also known as china grass)

If you google you will find that it is a gelatinous substance obtained from various kinds of seaweed,apart from it's scientific uses it plays an important part in culinary area as a thickening agent for puddings and varieties of desserts  .It most importantly is a vegetarian substitute for "gelatin" that is obtained from various animal by products.
 The agar powder can be purchased in an asian food market for a very cheap price ,I bought mine from  a philippine grocery store for a dollar.

Method :

  • transfer the frozen strawberries into a big saucepan ,add salt
  • cook on medium low heat stirring with a wooden spoon until it starts to turn mushy ,about 5 to 6 minutes
  • add in the maple syrup ,mix well
  • mash the berries to the consistency you like using a masher ,if you prefer smooth jam over chunky,use a hand blender to blend up the berries instead.
  • add in the agar powder and mix well.
  • let this simmer for two minutes and switch the flame off
  • transfer to the jar ,and wipe off any spills,leave until this reaches room temperature 
  • close tight the lid and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours 
  • enjoy with your favorite kind of bread.
  1.  always store refrigerated 
  2. use a clean dry spoon every time 
  3. increase or decrease the amount of maple syrup according to the sweetness of the fruit or berry used
  4. try using different  fruits or berries to create your very own signature jam .
  5. can substitute honey in place of maple syrup.
Here is a quick video tutorial :

Thank you for visiting !

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