Organic Strawberry Vanilla Date Jam

This post is about jam, not muffins, those fickle jerks.

Well, howdy!

This post is about jam, not muffins, those fickle jerks. Click here to read about my previous muffin fiasco.

It’s nice to see that you’ve not yet melted to a puddle of sweaty mess during these past few days of scorching heat. After selling at the Dallas Farmer’s Market yesterday, and subsequently roasting my cajones off, I was determined to not leave the house today.

Ladies, there just isn’t anything remotely attractive about sweat mustaches. Oh, all the unattractive places we sweat. *sigh*

Moving along, I had some back and forth discussion with my friend regarding the alarmingly high amount of sugar required to can and preserve jams and jellies. Don’t get me wrong, as I am very much in the pro-sweetness camp, but my waistline is telling me to lay off the white stuff (sugar, I assure you).

In the rush of the past week, I had at some point picked up two pounds of organic strawberries. As you know, those ruby red jewels are priced as such. As always happens, I had eaten half of one container and the rest were somehow shoved to the way back nether-regions of the fridge. Blast it.

The following contributed to the creation of this week’s recipe:

1. After a full day in the Dallas heat, I decided to remain in an air-conditioned suburban bubble.

2. I haven’t done laundry this week and thus find myself without any clean pants.

3. I wanted to start eating healthier and see if I could come up with a jam recipe to convince my aforementioned friend that I am super-cool.

4. I had a ton of organic strawberries that had started to bruise and were just asking to be sugared, smashed, and pureed into jammy oblivion.

Without further ado…let’s talk about the good stuff.

This recipe makes two 8oz jars of jam. I follow the standard instructions which are printed on the container of Pectin I had. This is NOT a recipe that I recommend canning. However, I can tell you that I often freeze the second jar this recipe makes. Once thawed, we use it within one week. I suspect it may keep longer, but we are BIG toast fans around these parts.

This jam is delicious. I used four Medjool Dates in this recipe to add some natural sweetness and textural interest. I also subbed Coconut Sugar for traditional granulated sugar. Coconut Sugar is low-glycemic and contains various naturally occurring nutrients. Granted, added sugar is still added sugar, but I don’t get a sugar crash as I do with other sweeteners.

Pretty simple ingredients here.

Pretty simple ingredients here.

The most tedious task is chopping the berries.

The most tedious task is chopping the berries.

Followed closely by pouring the jam into your jar. This is were a wide-mouthed mason jar comes in handy.

Followed closely by pouring the jam into your jar. This is were a wide-mouthed mason jar comes in handy.

Just make sure you don't fill your jars and then realize you forgot to puree the jam!

Just make sure you don’t fill your jars and then realize you forgot to puree the jam!

ORGANIC STRAWBERRY VANILLA DATE JAM

makes two 8-oz jars of jam

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. strawberries, organic is ideal

2/3 cup Coconut Sugar

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup Pectin, such a Sure-Jell brand

4 Medjool Dates, pits removed

Directions:

1. Wash, remove stems from, and roughly chop 1 1/2 lbs. of strawberries.

2. In a medium saucepan, mix strawberries with coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and pectin. Let rest for two minutes. Mash thoroughly, releasing juices.

3. Add pitted dates to saucepan, and bring to boil over medium heat.

4. Lower heat to medium-low and let bubble for 15 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes.

5. In a food processor, pour jam into work bowl and process until smooth. (If additional smoothness is desired, press pureed jam through sieve into a bowl) Take care as jam is still hot.

6. Evenly pour jam into two clean, 8-oz. wide-mouthed glass jars. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before screwing lid onto jar and refrigerating.

Use this jam on anything from toast, pancakes, or PB&J sandwiches. Would even make a nice addition to homemade salad dressings.

Use this jam on anything from toast, pancakes, or PB&J sandwiches. Would even make a nice addition to homemade salad dressings.

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