Strawberry Delight

We’ve just returned home from a whirlwind trip to Germany (hence my hiatus from the blog).  The trip amazing and I hope to write about a few facets in the upcoming weeks.  While away, the question lingering in my head: will I make it home in time to pick strawberries?  Thanks to the long cold winter delaying the plants, I did.

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The boys received a pass this year, but our daughter joined me.  (Note to self: convince boys to come next time for faster picking.)  Despite a brutal winter and lots of recent rain, the strawberries were gorgeous.  We managed to pick a small flat before the little one lost interest.  (The flat is obviously quite heavy.  LOL)

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Once home, the berries were washed, dried, and hulled.  One tray was prepared with parchment paper for freezing whole berries to be used for smoothies.  The remaining 10 cups were crushed with a potato masher and made into jam.  To my disappointment, I couldn’t find low sugar pectin in any stores.  Low sugar pectin is all natural, but allows you to simply use less sugar when making your jam.  I did use a recipe that calls for slightly less sugar than most recipes and it set up fine.

After the jam was finished, I took the additional step of canning six half pints.  What a joy it will be to pop open the jars during the winter.  It’ll be like a little taste of summer.

My go-to resource for making and canning strawberry jam is: http://www.pickyourown.org/strawberryjam.htm

Besides the obvious uses for homemade jam, a favorite of mine is swirling a dollop into Greek yogurt.  For Weight Watchers followers, a half of cup (113g) of Fage non-fat Greek yogurt is 2P+ and a tablespoon of jam (20g) is 1P+.  Packed with 11g of protein, it’s deliciously filling summertime (and beyond!) treat.

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