Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Blueberry Jam {Sugar Free}

So, blueberry season officially ended back in June, but I've had about 10 pounds of sweet organic blueberries from a Emery's, a local fruit farm, sitting in my freezer for two months now just waiting to be made into jam for the winter. Last weekend I finally got the chance.


You might not be able to pick blueberries anymore this season, but they will still be plentiful and fairly cheap in the grocery store for about another month, so grab a few pints of the sweet berries, pour yourself a mug of hot coffee and spend a Saturday morning in the kitchen whipping this up. It is so worth it.

Homemade jam is one of the best simple pleasures in life. It tastes amazing, is healthy, and I always feel so accomplished when I make it. I love giving jars of it to neighbors, friends and family. Best of all, it's so easy to make. 

All it takes is a little arm power to mash up the blueberries with some water and lemon juice. Once the berries are mashed, just bring it to a boil and let it cook for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. These blueberries were super sweet so I was able to make this jam sugar free. You might want to taste your berries first, though, since blueberries can be a little sour; if they are tart, I'd recommend using sugar or stevia to sweeten them up.

If you don't want to take the extra step of canning it and storing it for the next few months, you can just pour it into jars or Tupperware containers and store it in the fridge. It will keep for a few weeks. Blueberry jam thickens pretty easily, so if you are going to eat it right away, you can even omit the pectin.

Sugar Free Blueberry Jam 

Makes 4 1/2 pints

9 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
6 Tbsp. no sugar pectin (note: if you use regular pectin, you must use sugar or the jam won't set)
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cups water

Wash and sort the blueberries to remove any stems, leaves or mushy berries. In a pot, use a potato masher to mash the berries until they're only slightly chunky (putting them in the food processor will also work). Add pectin, lemon juice and water and mix well; bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Continue to cook until the berry mixture comes to a full rolling boil (the kind that can't be calmed down when stirred). Boil hard for 1 full minute.

At this point, the jam can be poured into jars and stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

If canning and storing the jam, pour it into hot, sanitized Mason jars with 1/4 inch of headroom. Wipe the necks clean, and close with sanitized lids. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove and let set on the counter until jars have completely cooled and sealed, about 12 hours. Jam will keep for about a year.

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