We Be Jammin’

One of my good friends has started baking his own bread. Yes, I am a little jealous of his beautiful bread maker! Did you know they come with gluten free bread settings? This may just need to go on my Christmas list this year. In addition, some have a jam setting. One thing lead to another and bing, bang, boom! I wanted to make paleo jam. But, how does one make paleo jam without refined sugar?
I have been avoiding sugar since April and have found such an extreme sensitivity to it since. My friend had told me a few things about making jam that I tried to translate to my recipe. The jam cooks hotter than the bread cycle, it continuously stirs the jam, and it needs something citrus. Like a fairy god mother in a Disney movie, I waved my magical spoonula and off I went!
What you will need for this “Awesome Sauce” as Madison calls it:
⦁ Your favorite kind of fresh berries (I have used Strawberries, Blackberries, Peaches, and Blueberries)
⦁ Salt
⦁ Honey (Use local if you can…It is said to help with seasonal allergies and has anti-bacterial qualities.)
⦁ A Fresh Lemon (Depending on how many berries you have, you may only need half a lemon.)
You will need to make sure you have the time to stick around with this jam. It needs almost constant stirring. But, as far as labor, this is pretty easy.
Add your berries to a medium size sauce pan. Add a crack or two of sea salt. I love Pink Himalayan Salt. It is said to have one of the highest trace mineral counts. Then swirl some honey three or four times around the pan (add more or less depending on your taste). I have been using Simple Truth Organic Orange Blossom Honey. It has a smooth taste and light flavor, but remember there are good benefits to local honey if you have some on hand. Last, but not least, squeeze that lemon over the pot making sure not to let any seeds fall in. It’s a sticky mess if you do! I know from experience…
The salt helps the water come out of the berries, the honey makes it sweet, and the lemon helps with the balance and helping it last longer. I start out on a 6 on my cook top (or medium high) and let it get to a very good bubble. Don’t let it over flow the pan though. Let it do this for a few minutes then turn it down between 4 and 5 (medium) and just let it reduce away. The time varies depending on the berries. Blueberry took the least amount of time and was very smooth. The blackberries come in next and has a grainy texture but is tart and very delicious. The strawberries took the longest and let out tons of water! The peaches were chunky, sticky, but by far my favorite. When the mixture is thick and sticky and starts sticking to the pan, it is done! I let mine cool in a bowl and clean the pan immediately!
So there you go! We be jam’min in this house and I don’t mean doing a funny little jig to a funky song in my kitchen. What am I saying? I am that mom who dances and sings around her kitchen while cooking up a storm! This jam is great on bread, waffles, toast…or any other yumminess you can think up.
I’m sending you artificial sugar free deliciousness, from my common sense kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back next week to see what this funky fresh, hippie, common sense cook comes up with next.
-Ami M. Lee
The Common Sense Cook

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