Lower Sugar Lemonade Jelly

Sunshine in a mason jar.

The tartness of a cold glass of lemonade, in jelly form. If you love lemon curd, you will love this lighter texture spread!

Lower Sugar Lemonade Jelly

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (8 to 10 large heavy lemons)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tsp calcium water*
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp Pomona’s Pectin

Directions:

Add 6 12-ounce mason canning into a water bath canner. Fill jars with water and the pot about halfway. Bring to a boil.

Add the bands and new lids to a small saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a simmer, turn off.

Measure the sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into the sugar. Set aside.

Bring the lemon juice, water and calcium water to a boil in a large stainless steel or non reactive pot.

Add pectin-sugar mix, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.

Stir well and return to a full boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

Drain canning jars, place on a clean kitchen towel. Sterilize ladle and funnel.

Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean with a new damp paper towel. Place a drained lid on each jar, screw band on finger tight.

Place filled jars in canning pot, lower rack in. Make sure the jars are covered with water. Bring to a boil, and maintain boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level).

Remove jars from water. Let jars cool on a clean kitchen towel. Remove bands and wash, check seals on jars; lids should be sucked down.

Consume within 1 year, once opened eat within 3 weeks. Jelly should sit for a few days/week before eating, as Pomona jelly/jam can take a bit longer to fully set up.

Note:

You can use whatever size mason jars you have on hand. I had about 4 cups jam to can.

*To make the calcium water, follow the directions in the Pomona package. It is the smaller of the two packets in the box. It keep nearly forever once mixed with water in your refrigerator.

~Sarah

Lower Sugar Cinnamon Blueberry Jam

There is nothing quite like homemade jam. Nothing from a store will ever be as good. And the bonus is….you can create a jam that has considerably less sugar than normal. You can go as low as ¾ cup of sugar, but I find 2 cups to be about perfect (if making jam with other pectin brands, it often calls for as much as 7 cups sugar for the same size batch!). You can use 1 cup honey instead of the sugar, if desired. And another bonus? You can use thawed frozen blueberries. I pick and freeze our berries, and make jam in the late fall when I won’t feel overwhelmed by all the heat in the kitchen.

Lower Sugar Cinnamon Blueberry Jam

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups mashed blueberries, measured after (about 6 to 8 cups before)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large heavy lemon)
  • 2 tsp calcium water*
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp Pomona’s Pectin

Directions:

Add 7 12-ounce mason canning into a water bath canner. Fill jars with water and the pot about halfway. Bring to a boil.

Add the bands and new lids to a small saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a simmer, turn off.

Measure the sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into the sugar. Set aside.

Bring the mashed blueberries, cinnamon, lemon juice and calcium water to a boil in a large stainless steel or non reactive pot.

Add pectin-sugar mix, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.

Stir well and return to a full boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

Drain canning jars, place on a clean kitchen towel. Sterilize ladle and funnel.

Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean with a new damp paper towel. Place a drained lid on each jar, screw band on finger tight.

Place filled jars in canning pot, lower rack in. Make sure the jars are covered with water. Bring to a boil, and maintain boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level).

Remove jars from water. Let jars cool on a clean kitchen towel. Remove bands and wash, check seals on jars; lids should be sucked down.

Consume within 1 year, once opened eat within 3 weeks. Jelly should sit for a few days/week before eating, as Pomona jelly/jam can take a bit longer to fully set up.

Note:

You can use whatever size mason jars you have on hand. I had about 5 cups jam to can. Your amount may vary on how much your mixture cooks down while simmering and how juicy the berries are. You may get more/less.

*To make the calcium water, follow the directions in the Pomona package. It is the smaller of the two packets in the box. It keep nearly forever once mixed with water in your refrigerator.

~Sarah

Cold Pack Canned Blueberries

This recipe is open ended to how many blueberries you have on hand. The syrup makes enough for 6 pints. Cold packed blueberries means you can can quickly, but also the berries don’t get “cooked” and shrink before you can. I find this recipe suits larger blueberries, such as Chandler (the huge ones bigger than a nickel in size).

Cold Pack Canned Blueberries

Ingredients:

  • ¾ to 1 pound fresh blueberries per pint jar, washed and drained gently on paper towels*
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5¼ cups water

Directions:

Wash canning jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel.

Fill canning pot halfway with water, add in jars and submerge. Bring to a boil, then let simmer.

Make syrup by combining sugar and water in a tall saucepan, bring to a boil, either use immediately or keep warm on medium-low.

Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel.

Ladle ½ cup hot syrup into the bars, using a sterilized canning funnel. Add in berries, packing in gently to settle. Add more hot syrup as needed, then run a sterilized chopstick (or a plastic air bubble remover) around the inside of the jar. Top off with more syrup as needed. Leave a ½” headspace.

Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.

Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more (Keep a small pot of hot water on hand). Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process pint jars for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.

Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), wipe down jars if sticky at all, note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.

Notes:

The syrup makes about 6½ cups, and is considered a “light syrup”. When canning fruit and berries, you will need ½ to ¾ cup per pint jar. Leftover syrup can be cooled, and store in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge to sweeten with for weeks. Makes enough syrup for 6 pints.

*Add ½ cup apple cider vinegar to your rinse water, soak blueberries, then drain the berries and let dry on paper towels.

Mushroom & Oat Ground ‘Beef’

While our home isn’t vegan, and I have no desire to be again (I was a long time vegan for years), I do enjoy cooking plant based nearly daily. We don’t consume a lot of meat, but I had noticed we were eating more of late. I wanted to back down from that, and get back to where beef is a treat, not a daily dinner focus. A long time ago I was happy to use meat substitutes, in recent years I don’t use them. They are highly processed and full of questionable ingredients. Many which Alistaire is allergic to, such as soy, pea protein and wheat. Add in that these products are expensive to buy, and often leave me with stomach discomfort, it is easy to see why I would buy a $7 brick of grass fed beef instead.

I had seen Vegan Oat and Mushroom Ground Beef on Power Hungry’s blog and decided to try it when mushrooms were on sale recently. I changed the recipe a bit over a few tries, to dial in flavor, texture, and personal preference. The original recipe calls for nutritional yeast, which gives a savory, meaty flavor but it gives me niacin flush if I consume it (many commercial broths contain it as well), so I removed that. I tried the flax sub she mentions, but the texture was too slimy. In a second batch I dialed it in, and this is our version. I have made patties, ground ‘beef’, and oat loaf with it so far. Of the three, the ground ‘beef’ is my favorite. Gluten-free as a bonus.

Take the time to finely chop the mushrooms and onion. This make children more likely to eat it, but also keeps everything the same size, for better texture.

And last, the price really makes it worth the effort. I paid less than $5 to make 3.5 pounds, where as grass fed ground beef is $7 for one pound here on average.

Mushroom & Oat Ground ‘Beef’

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 cups water
  • 16 ounces button mushrooms
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive or avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp fried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3½ cups rolled oats, gluten-free if needed, divided

Directions:

Process the mushrooms in a food chopper/processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large saucepan. Repeat with the onion.

Add in the water, oil, aminos, herbs, and salt.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add half the oats into a blender or dry grinder container and process into little bits.

Add it and the remaining whole oats into a large heat safe mixing bowl.

Pour the mushroom mixture over the oats, stir well, making sure there are no pockets of dry oats left.

Let cool a bit, stirring periodically.

Weigh out into 3 portions (about 1.2 pounds) each. Package and chill for 2 days, or spread in freezer bags and freeze for later use (just thaw in refrigerator).

Makes about 3.5 pounds of ‘beef’.

Cooking tips

Patties/burgers:

Divide a package into 4 to 6 patties. Place on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400°, bake for 25 to 35 minutes. I finished our patties in a skillet on the stove, in a bit of avocado oil, to give the burgers a crispy texture.

Meatloaf:

Line a 9×5″ bread pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375°. Spread 2 portions mixture in pan, pack into corner. Bake for 45 minutes, take out and spread ketchup on top like frosting. Return to oven, bake for 20 minutes longer. Remove from pan, using paper to lift up. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Ground ‘beef’:

Add oil to skillet, heat over medium-high. Add in a portion, saute until golden, scrambling often with a spatula. Serve sprinkled on top of meals, don’t mix into sauces as it will get soft.

~Sarah

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

These hearty spiced pumpkin oat muffins are vegan/plant based/gluten-free. They are not overly sweet, so if you have a sweet tooth, you may want to add in a ¼ cup brown sugar.

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup milk (used unsweetened oat milk)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 Tbsp water (or 2 large eggs)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups finely ground oat flour (measure after grinding), gluten-free if needed
  • 1¼ cups rolled oats, gluten-free if needed
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°, line a 12 count muffin tin with liners.

Whisk pumpkin through vanilla together in a large mixing bowl.

Combine oat flour through salt in a small mixing bowl, add to wet ingredients and stir until fully mixed.

Dish into the liners, equally dividing. The cups will be full (it is ok if mounded).

Bake for 30 minutes, or until done on top.

Let cool in tin for 10 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack.

Storage:

Store tightly sealed once cooled for up to a week. For long-term storage, freeze for up to 2 months.

Makes 12 muffins.

~Sarah