There is an abundance of strawberries right now and I’ve been trying to find ways to use and preserve them. So, for the next few weeks – it’s all about strawberries.
First on my to-do list was strawberry jam. My son loves strawberry jam. When we purchase strawberry jam we choose the only organic, only fruit spread. It seemed like I should be able to figure out a strawberry jam option for him.
This turned out great with diabetic friendly sugar and agar-agar instead of pectin. Hope you enjoy as well.
Strawberry Jam Thickener
I like using agar-agar flakes in place of pectin or gelatin because I know exactly what I’m getting – seaweed. No weird bones, skin, organ tissue, or intestines and no weird smell. Obviously I’m not going vegan but some vegan items I really like. Agar-agar is one of them and it works great for strawberry jam.
Agar-agar is derived from algae or seaweed. It comes in flake, bar, or powder form and can be substituted equal parts for gelatin. I used flakes in this recipe but the powder form is nice for strawberry jam as well.
Remove the strawberry jam from the heat and allow it to cool. It will thicken as it cools so don’t add additional agar-agar to the strawberry jam.
Strawberry Jam and Vitamin C
One of the benefits of making your own strawberry jam is you can ensure the Vitamin C isn’t destroyed. If the strawberry jam is “boiled” for 15 minutes the Vitamin C is destroyed by the heat. So be careful to cook your strawberry jam for only a total of 10 minutes, to be on the safe side.
We put the strawberry jam in small jars and freeze it so we have it all winter long (see picture above). It’s a great way to save the freshness of summer! Of course, as soon as it’s made my son had to have strawberry jam on sprouted grain toast with nut butter. It really is delicious! Kids won’t miss the added sweeteners one bit.
Strawberry Jam Ingredients
- 3 pints strawberries
- 3 Tbs. coconut sugar
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1 Tbs. agar-agar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Strawberry Jam Directions
- Wash strawberries. Remove green tops. Cut into medium size pieces or halves.
- Place strawberries and coconut sugar in a pot and cover. Place over medium high heat. “Cook” for a total of 10 minutes stirring at 2 minute intervals. Start the timer as soon as there are just a few bubbles from heat in the pot.
- At 8 minutes of cook time, add agar-agar and lemon juice. Stir until completely dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for the last two minutes.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla.
- Allow to cool. Jam will thicken as it cools.
- Place in container. Refrigerate or freeze.