Thursday, July 18, 2013

How To Make Very Low Sugar Organic Peach Jam With A Touch Of Stevia

Organic Peach Jam - only 13 calories per tablespoon!

See more healthy jam recipes in my ebook:
 Health Begins in the Kitchen

Peaches are in Season - Time to Make Jam
I no longer have a peach tree but luckily the roadside stands and farmers' markets are loaded with fresh, ripe peaches. They have found their way into my smoothies, raw breakfast salads, raw crisps, cooked crisps, and salads. But looking ahead to when they will no longer be available, I need to make some delicious jam.

It's Fruit Jam, Not Candy!
As my longtime blog followers know, I'm a big fan of Pomona's Universal Pectin because it allows me to make jam with little or no sugar. Most pectin products require tons of sugar in order to activate the jelling process resulting in jam tasting more like candy than a fruit spread. But Pomona's Universal Pectin is extracted from citrus peel and is activated by calcium, NOT sugar. The result is that you can make jam or jelly with a little sugar, no sugar, concentrated apple or grape juice, agave nectar, honey, or no calorie sweeteners like stevia. I love this product so much that I have dedicated an entire chapter in my ebook, Health Begins in the KItchen: Delicious and Easy Vegan Recipes and Seasonal Food Plan, to making jam with Pomona's Universal Pectin. You can buy this pectin product at your local health food store or, if they don't have it, you can purchase it online from Pomona's website or Amazon.

Each box comes with calcium powder and pectin.

Select Organic Peaches
According to the Environmental Working Group, certain fruits and vegetables contain more pesticides than others and each year they list the "Dirty Dozen Plus". So when you buy fruits and vegetables that are on the "Dirty Dozen Plus" list, you should buy organic produce when possible. In 2013, the list includes peaches. The total list is as follows:
* Apples
* Celery
* Cherry Tomatoes
* Cucumbers
* Grapes
* Hot Peppers
* Imported Nectarines
* Peaches
* Potatoes
* Spinach
* Sweet Bell Peppers
* Kale/Collard Greens +
* Summer Squash +

Making VERY Low Sugar Jam
For low sugar jam, I generally use 1 1/2 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of mashed fruit. To cut the sugar down even further in this recipe, I use only 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of stevia powder (or the equivalent of 1/2 cup of sugar). The resulting jam is only 13 calories per tablespoon! 

Please note, this recipe is for sugar plus stevia. Or, you can omit the stevia and use 1 or 1 1/2 cups of sugar. But do not omit the sugar as It is an entirely different process to make jam with only stevia. The technique for making sugar-free jam with stevia is mentioned in the directions that come with each box of Pomona's Universal Pectin. I also give detailed instructions and several example recipes for stevia-sweetened jam in my book.

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Very Low Sugar Organic Peach Jam
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes about 144 tablespoons or 9 cups]

For the calcium water:
1/2 teaspoon Pomona's calcium powder
1/2 cup water

For the jam:
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon gluten-free stevia powder (equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar), or to taste
2 tablespoons Pomona pectin powder
About 6 pounds of peaches
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons calcium water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime  juice

Make the calcium water by mixing the white calcium powder and the water in a small jar with a lid. Set aside.

Make the jam: Wash the jars in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and let them stand in hot water. 
Wash the lids and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and place in a pot of simmering water, simmering for at least 10 minutes. Remove as needed.

Fill a large canning pot with water and bring to a boil.

Mix the sugar, stevia and pectin powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

Sugar, stevia, and pectin powder.

Prepare the peaches. Score each peach with a little X.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Drop in the peaches, a few at a time, for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a colander. When cool enough to touch, remove the skin from the peaches. Place the skinned peaches on a cutting board.

Place peaches briefly in boiling water.

Remove skin.

Cut the peaches in half, remove pits, and then dice. Place diced peaches in a bowl and mash with a potato masher.

Mash peaches

Measure 8 cups of mashed peaches and put them in a pot with the lemon or lime juice. 
Shake the calcium water to combine and add 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons into the pot of mashed peaches and stir well. (Save the remaining calcium water in the refrigerator.)

Shake calcium water well. 

Bring the peach mixture to a boil. Add the pectin-sugar-stevia mixture to the pot and stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until the pectin mixture dissolves. Return to a boil and then turn off the heat.

Immediately fill each jar with jam to 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe the jar rims clean, screw on the 2-piece lids and submerge filled jars in the canning pot of boiling water to cover. 
Cover and boil for 10 minutes. If you are above sea level, add 1 minute more for every 1,000 feet above sea level.

Always use a jar lifter when placing jars in or removing jars from the canning pot full of boiling water.

Remove the jars from the water using a jar lifter and place upright on a rack or towel spaced several inches apart from each other. As they cool, the seals and lids will be sucked down. Let the popping begin!

You'll hear the lids pop as the jam cools.

Label with the contents and the date. Store in a cool pantry. Once opened, the jam lasts about 3 weeks. 

Per tablespoon: 13 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g omega-3 and 16 g omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 0.3 g dietary fiber and 0 g sodium.


Unknown said...

Stevia is not an 'artificial' sugar. It derives from a plant from South America.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Absolutely correct Edwin. I meant to say, "sugar-free" or "no calorie" sweeteners. It is completely natural and safe. I've even grown stevia in my garden.