If you're interested in making a jar of berry jam or jelly that's different from the spreads you see on the average supermarket shelves, here's how to make a healthier blueberry or strawberry jam. You can use any type of berries or cherries. If you don't show kids sugar being put into jam, cookies, cakes, or other prepared foods, they will be able to see what other alternatives work and what they taste like and why you use these ingredients usually not in most commercial processed foods bought in supermarkets.
You also can mix purple grape juice or grape juice concentrate with pomegranate juice and add two tablespoons of powdered pectin as well as fresh or frozen sliced berries--usually whole blueberries or sliced strawberries. The seeds from the blackberries, sometimes get in between your teeth.
Making jam with pectin powder instead of sugar and fruit juice
Put a cup of grape juice in a jar and add two small scoops (if the can of pectin powder includes a scoop) or two tablespoons of grapefruit pectin. You can buy grapefruit pectin or any type of fruit pectin in most health food stores. Blend the pectin powder with the fruit juice. Use a blender to dissolve the pectin powder.
You can also use fruit juice concentrate diluted with half the amount of water you'd usually dilute it with to make juice. Add two tablespoons of pomegranate juice concentrate to the grape juice or diluted grape juice concentrate. Then add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Blend or stir until the pectin is dissolved in the juice.
And add a cup of whole frozen but thawed blueberries or fresh sliced strawberries. If berries are frozen, you can thaw or warm them in a saucepan with a few spoons of juice until no longer frozen. Stir the blueberries or sliced strawberries into the juice. Add enough juice to fill a jar about 3/4ths full. Put the closed jar in the refrigerator to cool.
In a few hours the pectin will have hardened or jelled the grape juice. The addition of pomegranate juice concentrate to dark purple grape juice and the extra tablespoon or two of lemon juice gives a great taste to the jam. The whole blueberries will float in the jam as the juice hardens from the pectin, making a delicious blueberry jam spread for sandwiches.
Keep the jar in the refrigerator. It should last a few days. It's also great on pie or ice cream or used as an open-faced, no-bake pie filling. Instead of blueberries, you can vary it with cherries or any other berries.
Now you have a jar of jam that doesn't contain added sugar or other processed ingredients--just fresh berries and juices or juice concentrates and pectin. Grapefruit pectin works great. Or you can use apple pectin. It comes as a powder in containers.
Some people take a scoop of pectin to lower cholesterol. So it has health benefits. You don't have to add sugar to jam recipes using berries. Just use pomegranate juice concentrate or any other fruit juice concentrate. Pomegranate juice is healthiest. The pectin, either powdered or liquid forms will harden the jell. The added whole fruit rounds out the jam with fresh fruit or berries that doesn't have to be heated or cooked. Also helpful are the sites, Grapefruit pectin benefits, and research grapefruit pectin's health benefits at the site, Find Grapefruit Pectin at grapefruitpectin.net.
Concerning health benefits see the site, The role of grapefruit pectin in health and disease. Also, check out the study, "The effects of grapefruit pectin on patients at risk for coronary heart disease without altering diet or lifestyle," Clinical Cardiology. 1988 September; 11(9):589-94.