Strawberry jam is one of those foods that should always be stocked in your refrigerator. After all, jam is a staple breakfast item. This homemade strawberry jam is better than any storebought jam you will ever buy from the store, and it’s the best way to use those strawberries you bought on sale.
Best of all, this strawberry jam is sugar-free, made with fresh strawberries and a hint of lime juice. This strawberry jam is perfect for spreading onto a slice of psyllium husk flaxseed bread or as a topping for vanilla pecan ricotta pancakes. However, before we get to the recipe, let’s examine the health benefits of strawberries.
Health Benefits Of Strawberries
Strawberries have several health benefits. Strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants, including flavonoids, vitamins, and glutathione.
In addition to this, past research shows strawberry extracts have the potential to protect against free radicals. Many studies correlate stress with free radicals, which can cause diseases such as cancer. However, strawberries may decrease the risk of developing cancer as well as other conditions associated with oxidative stress.
Furthermore, antioxidants can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular events by repressing LDL-cholesterol oxidation, promoting plaque stability, improving vascular endothelial function, and decreasing the tendency for thrombosis.
Moreover, strawberry extracts can suppress COX enzymes in vitro, therefore, modulating the inflammatory process. Compounds in strawberries have shown anticancer activity by inhibiting the initiation of carcinogenesis and inhibiting the development and rapid growth of tumors. Some animal studies assert diets abundant in strawberries may have potential benefits on the aging brain.
One randomized control trial evaluated the effects of strawberries on atherosclerotic markers in 27 persons with metabolic syndrome. Every day participants were given 4 cups of a beverage containing freeze-dried strawberries as well as fresh strawberries or 4 cups of water for 8 weeks.
Participants who consumed the strawberry beverage experienced a significant decrease in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and circulating levels of vascular cell adhesion. Overall, strawberry supplementation decreased atherosclerotic markers in individuals suffering from metabolic syndrome. However, more research has to be conducted to fully comprehend the effects of strawberries on atherosclerotic markers in persons with metabolic syndrome.
What Is Pectin?
This sugar-free strawberry jam contains pectin. Pectin is a naturally occurring starch extracted from the cells of plant walls.
When pectin comes into contact with acid and sugar, it thickens jams and jellies. Even though pectin is found in fruit, strawberries have relatively low amounts of pectin. Therefore, adding pectin to homemade strawberry jam creates the signature thick texture of storebought jams.
Substitutes For Pectin
Pectin can usually be found in most grocery stores. However, there are some substitutes you can use in place of pectin if you cannot find it or if you want to exclude it from this recipe.
Cornstarch and chia seeds are great substitutes for pectin. Simply add a tablespoon of cornstarch or chia seeds for every pound of strawberries. Alternatively, you can also let the jam cook for a longer time on low until it thickens. Nevertheless, this technique will result in a looser jam than the previous methods.
Tips For Making Strawberry Jam
Do not use non-enameled, cast-iron skillets or pots to make strawberry jam. This type of cookware can impart flavors into the strawberry jam.
It is normal to double or triple this recipe, especially if you’ve got a lot of strawberries on hand, but do not double this recipe. If you make a large batch of jam, the strawberries are more likely to overcook. When it comes to making jams, it is best to make them in small amounts.
While you are making the jam, mash the strawberries with a potato masher to break them down into smaller pieces and distribute them evenly throughout the jam. In addition to this, stir the strawberry jam often with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula once it comes to a boil.
As the jam cooks, it can burn and stick to the bottom of the pot. Stirring the jam prevents it from burning. If you intend to freeze this strawberry jam, leave 1-2 inches of space at the top of the jar as the jam will expand during the freezing process.
Can I Use Frozen Strawberries To Make Jam?
Frozen strawberries are perfect for making strawberry jam. I have used frozen strawberries to make jam, and it came out perfectly. The only difference is the strawberries took a little longer to break down, but it was equally delicious as jam made with fresh strawberries.