DAVENPORT- It is that time of year when fruits are affordable, delicious, and in season.
Get the most out of this summer and preserves some of those fresh and fruity flavors. The beauty of canning and preserving is being able to use what you have on hand, no overly complicated or special recipes are needed. Most importantly, the method of canning and preserving is important to learn so that you can safely preserve your favorite foods! Fruit pectin is a white powder that is responsible for giving jelly and jam there thick consistency and allow them to set. Usually fruit preserves, jams, and jellies require a sugar content of 55% or above to allow the pectin to thicken up and set. That is alot of sugar!
It is all about the pectin…
A healthy twist is put on your preserve and jelly making process by using Pamona’s Pectin, a special pectin that allow your preserve to set with much less sugar compared to using regular pectin. In addition to our special pectin we also are using coconut sugar rather than white sugar. Coconut sugar is an unrefined sugar that has a lower glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause the blood sugar spikes that regular jelly does! Pamona’s pectin is a special form of fruit pectin that is actually activated by calcium water instead of sugar, allowing us to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.
What is the difference between a preserve, a jelly, and a jam?
There are slight differences between the 3, let’s find out what they are. A preserve is made up of whole pieces of fruit that are cooked down. A jam is made from crushed or blended fruit that is cooked down. A jelly is made of fruit juice with none of the fruit fibers. Preserving your fruit is a good way to keep a lot of the nutrients in tact, making your own also allows you to reduce the sugar content of your favorite morning topping for your toast!
- 2 pounds ripe peaches peeled, de-stoned, and diced
- 2 pounds fresh cherries de-stemmed, sliced, and de-stoned
- 2 cup unrefined coconut sugar
- 3 teaspoons Pamona's Pectin
- 4 teaspoons calcium water included with Pamona's Pectin
- 1 whole vanilla bean cut in half and contents removed
De-stone and peel peaches, then chop. Cut cherries in half and de-stone. Place all fruit in a large saucepan or stock pot.
Soften very firm fruit by adding a little water and simmering on low, stirring for about 5 minutes. If your fruit is ripe you may be able to begin simmering it right away, the less water the better. We will begin to reduce this down.
Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the inside with the back of your knife, going down the length of the bean. Now, place the contents of the bean in the pot and also throw in the rest of the bean. Retrieve the long vanilla strings after finished reducing, allow to steep in your fruit solution.
Now, it is time to pour in the coconut sugar and begin to stir, until sugar is dissolved into the fruit solution. Keep an eye on your heat, you do not want the solution to begin sticking to the bottom of the pan.
After everything is incorporated pour in the calcium water and pectin into the fruit solution. Continue to let this simmer on low for up to another hour, or until desired thickness is achieved. To test your preserves place a small dab of it on a small plate and place it in your freezer. Let it sit for 5 minutes and pull it out, this will be the set consistency.
Once desired consistency is achieved transfer the preserves into freezer jars and allow them to cool down. Place lids on containers and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months!
BEFORE YOU START JAMMING
MAKE CALCIUM WATER!
1. Put 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder and 1/2 cup water in a
small, clear jar with lid. Shake well.
2. Lasts many months in refrigerator. Freeze for long-term
storage. Do not discard unless settled white powder discolors
or you see mold. Shake well before using
It 's also time to take advantage of all the fresh grown food outside and Greatest Grains will be hosting a preserving canning event Sunday, July 23 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at their store at 16th Street and Harrison.