>> Saturday, August 6, 2011
I don't usually purchase jelly, jams or berry preserves from the store. It's too easy to make at home. Plus, I know what goes into it that way and can control the sugar content (since I am Type 1 diabetic...and hate sugar-free options)!
Here's a recent batch of Berry Preserves that I made. I used 8lbs of strawberries, 4 pints of blueberries and even added 3 kiwi as well (they were on sale and I figured they would add some good vitamins and nutrients!). I cleaned, stemmed and chopped the strawberries. I just washed the blueberries and I peeled and chopped the kiwi. I added it all into a big pot and added about 3 cups of sugar (you can add more or less to taste...remember, you can always add more so start out on the lesser side). You can also add lemon juice, but I didn't have any the day I made the preserves and it's fine without it. Let it simmer on medium heat for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally. This will cause the berries to break down and also will steam off some of the water to give you a thicker consistency. There's no exact timing on this, so just take out a spoonful of preserves every five minutes or so and check the consistency after it cools down for a couple minutes.
Once it reached a consistency I thought would be good for PB & J sandwiches and a taste that had enough sugar, but wasn't sugar-overload, I poured it into recycled glass containers. Basically, any glass container that I had on hand. Empty spaghetti sauce jars, pickle jars, canning jars, etc. Here's what I got:
Then you just put the lids on and stick them into the freezer and they will keep for up to 2 years. They also make a great housewarming or hostess gift. Just add a cute label and pretty ribbon!
The best part about this recipe? You can do it with any type of berry! I've made it with strawberries only, cherries only, blueberries only and strawberries mixed with cherries. You could also add blackberries or raspberries. Just start saving some jars and when you find a good sale on berries, stock up and make it!