Fast & Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam

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Fast & Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam

From the Money Saving Recipes Series

Fast & Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam

I love to make fast & easy homemade strawberry jam.  My kids eat a ton of it with their PB&Js that I pack in their school lunchboxes weekly and it takes almost no time at all to make.  It’s also a bit more economical and I know that I didn’t add anything else but fruit and sugar to the jar.

I don’t actually can these as I only make one or two jars at a time but you can certainly make larger batches of it and store it away.  I admit that I just plain suck at canning and I have tried so very hard to try and master it but I am a lost cause.

I once grew an entire garden of cucumbers and dill and attempted to make pickles only to realize that I really needed to purchase a pressure cooker because no matter how many times I boiled those damn jars, they just would not seal.  I had to throw out my entire batch for fear of botulism.

So now I stick to what I do best, which is to make smaller amounts, eat it faster than it would spoil and forget about my pipe dream of canning.  I like this recipe because I can use up my strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, apricots and cherries with this same exact method and sugar to fruit ratio of 50:50.

Ingredients

1 lb. fresh strawberries, washed, stems removed and cut in half

1 cup granulated sugar

1 clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid

Place the strawberries and sugar in a heavy saucepan and use a potato masher to break up the strawberries into smaller pieces.  I prefer to leave some chunkier pieces in the jam but you can mash it as small or leave it as large as you like.

Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then lower the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.  Be sure and scrape the sides of the saucepan when stirring to keep sugar crystals from forming a ring on the sides.

Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool for 45 minutes to one hour.  Do not cover with a lid or you will have a watered down strawberry liquid instead of a tasty jam.

Once the jam has cooled, spoon into a clean glass jar and cover with a tight fitting lid.  It will keep in the refrigerator for one week.  Keep in mind that we did not add preservatives so eat it quickly.  It doesn’t last the entire week in my house so I never have to worry about it going bad!

Fast & Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam on bread

I hope you will try this recipe and see how easy it is to make this at home.  I typically use an old jelly or jam jar from a store bought brand that I washed and saved.  This recipe is a great way to use up berries that are about to spoil.  If your strawberries got a little mushy then simply cut off the bad parts and use the rest that’s still good.

You can do the same with all of the fruit I listed above for this recipe.  You might be really surprised at how good almost rotten fruit can taste when you turn it into jam!  Keep in mind….I said ALMOST rotten!  Haha!

Practical Couponing for Busy People Method Hack:  If you spot your favorite fruits on sale or clearance at the store why not grab some extra and turn it into jam?  It makes for a wonderful basket gift item and it is extra special when it’s homemade from you!

You can use frozen or fresh fruits for this recipe, just be sure the frozen fruit is actually just the fruit that has been frozen and not partially processed with sugar or preservatives.  Take the time to tie a ribbon around the lid and add a decorative tag for that last little personal touch.

If you make the fruit jam for yourself then you get the twofold benefit of eating the fresh fruit and eating the jam with your toast or English Muffin while still being frugal because you bought it while it was on sale!

One last tip:  If you bought the fresh fruit but don’t have the time to make the jam, freeze it in a single layer on a sheet pan in your freezer.  Keep all of the fruit from touching and separate so they won’t form one big frozen ball of mush.  Once they are frozen solid transfer them to a zippered freezer bag and label the date.

Pull it out to defrost for jam later when you have more time or use it for fruit smoothies and milk shakes.  You can store it in the freezer for one month and for six months if you use a Food Saver Vacuum Sealer System.

The next time you are shopping at the store and see strawberries on sale, grab an extra and make this Fast & Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam.  Want another recipe using fresh berries?  Make my easy Berry Fruit Salad Dessert, it’s pretty, tasty and healthy too!

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