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It’s Berry Time: Make Homemade Strawberry Jam

You may be surprised to learn that there was a time when fresh strawberries were only available in spring and only for a short period of time.

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Yes, it’s true. This was before strawberries were flown in from around the world all year long. As a child, I remember back-breaking days in the hot Nebraska sun plucking ripe, juicy strawberries near our farmhouse. Since strawberries grow close to the ground on vines, we had to kneel down or squat to reach them. Maybe that’s why kids were assigned this task: we were closer to the ground to start with!

I have many favorite ways to eat strawberries (e.g., strawberry shortcake), but one of my favorites is a quick and easy homemade jam that contains no pectin and no preservatives. The natural pectin in the strawberries interacts with the sugar and lemon juice to thicken the jam. It doesn’t have to be canned or frozen so you don’t need any extra equipment. Simply keep it in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and enjoy on toast, pancakes, waffles, or spooned over ice cream Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam

This easy jam lets the flavor of strawberries shine through without any added pectin or preservatives—and no canning equipment. I usually make it while I’m preparing dinner so I’m able to monitor its progress. It’s an especially good way to use up strawberries that are a little past their prime, but still delicious. I use a minimal amount of sugar in my recipe, but if you like your jam sweeter use 3/4 cup sugar.

1 pound fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and diced (about 3 cups diced)
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch salt

Stir the ingredients together in a 1-quart saucepan. With a fork or potato masher, mash a few of the strawberries. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Then quickly reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture is slightly reduced and somewhat thick and syrupy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a clean glass jar with a lid. Refrigerate and use within two weeks. Makes about 1 cup.

Calories per tablespoon: 25; 0g fat, 1g fiber; 0 protein, 6g carbohydrates, 0g cholesterol, 4g sodium

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