It is that time of year when the pick your own strawberries are starting to ripen. I don’t do many pick your own fruits or vegetables anymore because I have found that you can buy them at the Farmer’s market for about the same price but when friends called yesterday and said they were going to pick strawberries, I couldn’t resist. I probably paid the same price as for the pre picked ones but it was fun picking and joking with friends and I got to sample a few along the way.
It didn’t really take very long to pick a box as the plants were literally dripping with red ripe berries. I ended up spending $17 on strawberries and it took me about 45 minutes to pick them. I ended up with about 2 gallons of sliced strawberries. So what do you do with 2 gallons of strawberries? I got them with the intention of making jam and it turns out that I am actually going to have enough left to freeze about half.
SugarFree Strawberry Jam Recipe
This is the recipe from the Sure Jell No Sugar box:
- 3 pints of strawberries
- 1 box of Sure Jell No Sugar Added
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup splenda
Preparation is key in canning anything. Make sure your jars are hot and sterile. Soak your lids in boiling water while preparing and make sure you have all your ingredients measured and ready to go. You need to stir the jam constantly so will not have time to measure ingredients.
Prepare strawberries by washing and de-stemming. I sliced mine as well.
Slice or not, you then mash them until they are about 3 cups with some chunks of fruit remaining.
Put the crushed strawberries in a 3 quart pan. Add sure jell and 3/4 cup of water.
Cook on high heat until they come to a full rolling boil that does not stop when you stir. Continue to boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Skim any foam that formed on the top and ladle into hot, clean jars. Fill to 1/4 to 1/8 inch from top.
When you are finished filling the jars, wipe the rims with a wet paper towel to remove any jam that might be there. Put hot lids on jars and screw down with rings. Let rest until the ‘tops pop’ and the jars are cool. This completes the sealing process.
Voila! That’s all there is to it. It took me about an hour to make 4 pints of sugar free jam and 8 pints of regular jam. I used about half of the strawberries so the fruit cost of the jam was about $8. I used 4 cups of sugar in the regular jam recipe which costs about $1. 1/2 cup of splenda which might cost 50 cents and $5 for the Sure Jell. It works out to about $1.21 per pint. I honestly don’t buy jam or jelly much but I know the cost comparison is favorable and I have the added benefit of knowing exactly what is in it.