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Vegan Strawberry Jam

September 8, 2015

The last couple trips I made to the store, I’ve noticed all the great looking strawberries… so I thought this would be a great time to share this with you!

Get two, or three mason jars with lids that have intact seals. If you are not sure if the lids are intact, then go buy some more lids. They sell rings, and lids at the store separately if you need. You can buy new jars that already have the lids too. You will also need a long set of tongs to pull your jars out of a sterilizing water bath, if you want to sterilize. Put all your ‘tools’ aside for the next day.

In the meantime, take 2 cups of strawberries, (chop them in half or quarters, and take off the stems), and place them in a bowl.

Add half a cup of an organic vegan sugar (you could just use plain white sugar if you’re not a strict vegan). Stir the strawberries well to coat them with the sugar, then cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day pour the entire mix of strawberries in a pot, and set it on medium-low heat. (If they start cooking to fast, turn it down to low)
Add about a quarter teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, and another half cup of sugar, and stir well. (Now would be a good time to add any spices you would like to try out! Or leave it as is… just this once… then you gotta promise to try out new flavors another time!)

Allow the berries to slowly cook. This process is gonna take about an hour, so in the meantime work on your jars.

So… for people that do not have canning supplies, but do have a big pot to use…

Fill a big separate pot with water, and set it to boil. Once boiling carefully place your jars, one at a time, in the water, and allow them to sit for a few minutes to sterilize them. Pull them up, and drain them using your tongs. Repeat this process with the all the jars, and the lids. (If you have a big enough pot you can put all the jars in there at one time, but if not, stay on the safe side and do them one at a time; the lids can all go in together.) You want to kill off any bacteria in the jars, so you can store your preserves in the cabinet for future use! Once the jars are sterilized, place them aside, and don’t touch the inside of the jars, or lids. (The rings don’t matter, and don’t need to be sterilized)

Note: If you don’t want to go through this whole process because you think the jam will be gone in less than a month, then don’t sterilize the jars. Just be sure they are clean. Just know, you CANNOT store the jars in your pantry if you don’t sterilize them! The high sugar content is not an ideal environment for pathogenic micro-organisms, but you DONT want to take a chance. You have to place unsterilized jars in your fridge, and use them within a month!

(I mean, really? Home made preserves will not even last a week!)

Your strawberries are cooked through when you stir them, and they kind of fall apart a bit. I like mine kinda chunky, so I don’t let it turn all the way mushy. It all depends on how you like it! If you would like, just cook them a bit longer.

Now, in a small bowl, take two tablespoons of corn starch and mix it with two tablespoons of water; stir until corn starch is dissolved, and there are no more clumps.

Bring your berry mix to med-high heat, and when it starts bubbling pour in the cornstarch mix while stirring the berries constantly. The mix is gonna thicken up pretty fast! When it gets really thick, and you stirred it really well, turn off the heat.

Working quickly, spoon the mixture into the jars, filling them to within a half inch from the top. When jars are full, clean the rims REALLY well making sure there is no residue left. (This is a critical step if you are canning for pantry storage) Place a lid on each jar, and screw a ring onto each covered jar.

Leave the jars undisturbed on the counter, and the fun part happens! After a while you will hear popping sounds!

As a homeschool mom who LOVES science… that’s the cool part, when the jars start popping, and sealing themselves!

Once they are sealed that’s it! Enjoy the jam when you are ready! (If you sterilized, then place them in the pantry; if you did not sterilize, place them in the fridge)

Keep in mind that you can do this with just about any fruit, or berry you want! I don’t use a lot of sugar in my jams, but if you want yours sweeter, then by all means, go right ahead.

You won’t see those beautiful strawberries in the produce isle the same way again! All you will see are jars full of yummy home made preserves for your family!

I sure hope you enjoy this one… it certainly is a fav one for my hungry vultures… I mean kids!!!

Sandra

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