Madison has no shortage of farmer’s markets, CSA programs and U-pick berry farms offering locals an abundance of affordable, fresh produce. This means it’s the perfect time and place to get your JAM on! I have rounded up a few of my favorite jam recipes that are easy to make, yummy and healthy. Enjoy!
Very Berry Chia Jam
3 cups Fresh Berries
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/4 cup pure Maple Syrup or Honey
1 tsp Nutmeg
Wash (and hull if using strawberries) the fruit. Blend all of your ingredients together in a food processor or blender on variable speed being sure not to over blend. For a fun kid way to make the jam instead add all of the ingredients to a ziplock bag. Seal and let kids knead it with their hands or roll it with a rolling pin for about five minutes until well smashed and combined. Store in an airtight jar or container for up to a week in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. Perfect on pancakes!
Chunky Strawberry Peach Preserves
1 lb. strawberries (cleaned and halved)
2 peaches (peeled and cubed)
1/4 cup organic sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1/4 cup pure Honey
1/4 of a large lemon (sliced and seeds removed)
1/2-1 cup water (start w/ 1/2 cup and add more as cooking if needed)
Put all ingredients in a medium to large saucepan. Cover and heat on medium to med/high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Once bubbly and juicy uncover and continue to cook for another 15 minutes as it thickens, stirring a few times. You may want to break up some of the fruit with a wooden spoon as it thickens, depending on how chunky you want it. It will be pretty obvious when it is finished because it will be thick and not runny. Spoon into a glass jar with an airtight lid. You can store in the fridge for up to two weeks (if it doesn’t get gobbled up before than). I leave the lemon rinds in the jar because it adds extra flavor! This is a fun one for kids to help with too, they love stirring!
Cranberry Vanilla Bean Jam
7 oz. Fresh Cranberries
1 Pear, pealed and cubed
1/2 cup Water
Juice from 1 (medium) Mandarin or Clementine Orange
1 Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup pure Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat (fresh cranberries pop and hiss when they start to cook). Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid (allow a small gap for some of the steam to escape). Simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the vanilla bean. Using a potato masher or large spoon mash the mixture until you reach a jam like consistency. I like the jam a little chunky but if you prefer a smooth textured jam puree it in a food processor or blender instead of hand mashing. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to two weeks or store in the freezer for up to three months. Makes about about two 8 oz. jars of jam.