One big part of food storage is learning to preserve foods on your own. It's strawberry season here in the South, and last week I took my daughters with me to a u-pick farm. We picked 20 lbs!
Instead of using a conventional freezer jam recipe, though (you know, the recipe on the pectin box), I decided to try a new (to me) recipe that uses agave or honey instead of sugar. I was kind of nervous because the pectin box says "Do NOT use sugar substitutes like honey", but I am assuming they say that because, if you use honey with their recipe, it will not set up correctly. But, I used a different recipe altogether so it was okay.
(We've made strawberry jam here on the blog before. Here is the regular freezer jam method that uses sugar, and here is the more traditional, non-freezer strawberry jam method).
The recipe is below. I didn't take step-by-step pictures but it is pretty straightforward. I made 4 batches, and used just over half of my berries. Sadly, I don't know exactly where this recipe is from (my mother-in-law sent it to me), but if anyone knows, please tell me so I can credit them!
Honey Strawberry Freezer Jam
Makes about six 8-10 oz. jars
4 pints of strawberries (about three pounds of berries)
1 cup of apple juice
1/2 cup of water
1 package of No Sugar Needed Pectin
1 T lemon juice
1 cup of honey/agave
1. Clean and stem berries. Mash one layer of berries at a time
in a large bowl until all berries are mashed.
2. In a small saucepan, whisk together apple juice, water, and
pectin. Bring to a hard boil and boil for one minute.
3. Add honey/agave and lemon juice to berries and stir well. Add in
hot pectin mixture and stir well again to make sure everything is
4. Ladle into clean jars (glass is fine) and screw on lids. Let
sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to set up and then transfer to
the freezer to store.
(I let mine sit on the counter for several hours while they set up, then transferred them to the freezer.)
The jam was delicious and I think it's just as good (if not better!) than the jams that are full of sugar. It's definitely worth a try! I used agave for 2 full batches, and then honey for two other batches (though I think one batch had a mixture of the two). All taste great!