Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Sugar Free Blueberry 'Jam'

I have a sweet tooth. Admission number one. I also have a body with a tendency to hold onto weight. Admission number two. The two things do NOT go together!

I have a background in medical sciences before I decided to make my way in life writing sewing patterns and with the degrees in biology, comes a special interest (and a masters degree) in food science. So let me clamber up onto my soap box and declare that I am not impressed by our attempts to reduce sugar by replacing it with other things which may not be any better for us in the long run. I don't pander to my taste buds. I am trying to reduce my need for sugar and that means to leave it out and to leave all sorts of other things out which mimic it.

Rant almost over I promise! But before we get onto the business of this week's post, I just want to say that 'natural' doesn't actually matter when it comes to sweeteners. honey, maple syrup or whatever else is all recognised and processed by your body the same way. Most honey has NO special health benefits!
I have recently had an enormous success with 25 kg (around 50 pounds) weight loss on the ketogenic diet - it is beyond the scope of this blog to go into that too much but if you Google it.....

But I still have a sweet tooth. Sorry. I need something to round off a meal and I don't want to add a sweetener - sugar is a no-no on this diet and the other 'artificial' options don't impress me much. I am very aware that fruit has sugar in it and that you will have to know your own carbohydrate tolerance limits if trying this but if you are not doing a strict diet but still want some thing healthy and delicious, make this five minute, TWO ingredient jam! That's right folks - two ingredients!
It looks like jam and behaves like jam and it is really delicious.

Okay, I have waxed lyrical ranted enough now and I expect that you would like to know how to go about harnessing this miracle for yourself?

You will need-
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon gelatin

Grab a nice jar too 

and a microwave proof jug. Oh, and a really weird piece of kit called a 'muddler' which is used in the cocktail industry for extracting the juicy goodness of fruit. 

I bought mine here. If you haven't got one of these, anything that has a bit of a flat base and will stamp on the fruit like a winemaker will do the trick. Don't reach for the blender though. Jam is not puree. it should have juice plus bits of fruit in it and the colour should be deep and rich.

Here's how to go about it.....
Put your fruit into the microwave proof jug

Microwave on high for three minutes until the berries release their juice

'Muddle' to crush the fruit completely

Add the teaspoon of gelatin and the stir it in well. Microwave for another minute on high and then pour into the jar

That's actually it! Now sugar is a preservative too and it is part of the reason that jam doesn't go mouldy very quickly. This 'jam' doesn't have that so it does need to live in the fridge and it will keep about a week to ten days.

It is gorgeous on Keto style breads 

and I love it on whipped cream. Swirl it into the cream and it is just sweet enough. About a tablespoon is right for me and it doesn't harm my progress.

If you do not have a microwave, you can also make it on the stove top. Simple simmer until the juice in the berries is released and
then add the gelatin and keep going for about another minute. Try not to stew the fruit and change its flavour using this method.

If you want a slightly runnier result, use less gelatin. If you want it thicker, you need slightly more. If you are vegetarian or vegan, use whatever substitute that you normally prefer. After a night in the fridge, you will be rewarded with the most delicate tasting jam and I have fooled children with this so I am arguing from an expert point of view here!

Get less sugar in your life and enjoy the real taste of food.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope that you find this delicious - if it isn't sweet enough, go cold turkey on sugar and try it again in a few weeks. You will be so surprised at the difference.

See you soon!
Love and hugs