How To… make any jam.

This post is part of the Nutritional Health Series, check the tag for the other posts!

Jam is a great way to make use of large amounts of fruit or slightly damaged or defrosted fruit. Many people don’t think they have the time for jam, but really, it’s fast, simple and will save you a lot of money on wasted fruit and buying jams!

1: The basics.

Jams come in three distinct forms. A jelly, made from only the juice. A jam, made from crushed fruit and juice. And a compote, a jelly with whole fruit preserved in it. They are all made largely from fruit and sugar, but sometimes use gelling agents like pectin or gelatine to help them along.

2: Fruit.

You need fruit for a jam or jelly. At least 500g or 1lb of fruit is needed to make a large portion of jam, but with the microwave method you can make smaller batches! Fruit juice is also an option.

In some jams, like marmalade, you use the rinds of the fruit as well as the flesh and juice.

3: Sugar.

The most efficient sugars for jam are crystal sugars, like white sugar, demarera sugar or brown cane sugar. But soft sugars like honey, palm sugar or maple syrup can work too, with a bit more patience.

The perfect ratio for jam is between 50/50 and 1/3 sugar to 2/3 fruit.

4: Gelling.

If you’re really not sure your jam will set, consider using a gelling agent.

  • Pectin is a natural fruit gelling agent you can use to firm up a jam.
  • Gelatine comes from animal bones and collagen, but may make your jam too solid.
  • Packaged jelly is easier to use for a bit of flavoured firmness.
  • Agar is a seaweed product that is used instead of gelatine in veg*n dishes.

5: In a pot.

The traditional way. You put your fruit in a pot and simmer until it begins to break down and release fluids. Then you add the sugar slowly, stirring the whole time. Reduce the jam and let it cool.

6: Microwave.

Small batches of jam can be made in the microwave. Just crush the fruit and sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl, cook for a minute at a time and stir in between until it becomes viscous.

7: Raw.

If you combine gelatinous fruit, like bananas, persimmons or lychee, with your sweet fruit and sugar of choice, you can make a tasty raw jam. Just blend 1/3 gelatinous fruit with 1/3 fruit pulp (mash the sweet fruit and squeeze the juice out) and 1/3 your sugar of choice. A viscous sugar like palm sugar, maple syrup or honey works best.

8: Jars.

Traditional jams can be preserved in a jar. Be sure to soak the jar in boiling water first and fill and seal it while it’s still hot. If you have a canning station, this may be the best option, but otherwise hot jam into a hot jar and seal works fine. My jams last a whole year like this without going off.

9: Fridge.

Microwave and raw jams are best kept more aerated in a bowl with a lid in the fridge. They keep 5-10 days, less if less sugar is involved.

And that’s how to make any jam you fancy. Almost all fruits can be jammed, but gelatinous fruits, apples, pears and berries will jam easier due to their high pectin content!

What’s your favourite jam or preserve?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

Advertisements

WWW. Blueberry Banana Pudding.

We’ve had other things, but for some reason I haven’t noted any of the stir-fries down, so they’re lost.

Here is a recipe for a protein-packed, carby pudding that lets me break my limits for carbs and dairy before lunch. :p

Blueberry Banana Pudding Recipe

Ingredients:

-1 cup plain flour

-1 cup skimmed milk powder

-300g extra heavy cream

-4 eggs

-4 bananas

-1/2 cup blueberries

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-knife

-greased or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mix the dry ingredients.

2: Incorporate the eggs and cream.

3: Slice the bananas.

4: Lightly fold in the fruit.

5: Pour the mix into the tray.

6: Bake at 200C until it rises and is brown at the sides.

7: Serve with cream or ice-cream.

Blueberry Banana Pudding Recipe 2

WWW. BBQ “Fried” Chicken and Pumpkin Banana Cake.

Another skipped week for WWW and FitFriday. Oh well, if I’m going to be lazy with something it may as well be writing and not something with “work” in it, like work, housework or my actual workouts.

Anyway, back on track this week with the best recipes of the week: baked “fried” chicken and a pumpkin and banana cake.

Banana Pumpkin Cake 2

Recipe 1: Pumpkin Banana Cake.

Ingredients:

[Serves 8.]

-6 bananas

-400g pumpkin

-300g flour and raising agents

-1/2 cup chopped brazils

-8 whole brazils

-50g butter

-1 egg

-5tsp cinnamon

-1tsp nutmeg

-1tsp ginger

-1/4 tsp cloves

Utensils:

-mixing bowl

-blender

-greased or nonstick cake pan

Recipe:

1: Blend the bananas, pumpkin and butter in a bowl. You may need to cook or freeze and defrost the pumpkin first to soften it, depending on the variety. Ours was frozen from Autumn and needed using up badly.

2: Stir in the egg and spices until the consistency is smooth again.

3: Add the chopped brazils and stir through. Pour into the tray.

4: Carefully press the eight brazils into the cake mass at an even distance from each other. They need to be quite deep but not buried!

5: Bake at 200C until a knife comes out clear. How long will depend on your tray and oven, but probably no more than 45 minutes.

6: Serve with spiced cream, icing, butter or peanut butter.

Banana Pumpkin Cake.

Recipe 2: Baked BBQ “Fried” Chicken.

Ingredients:

[Serves 4.]

-8 chicken pieces

-1/2 cup eggs

-1/2 cup BBQ sauce

-200g flour

-3tbsp paprika

-1tbsp onion granules

-2tbsp salt

Utensils:

-two wide-edged mixing bowls

-fork

-greased or nonstick flat tray or grill

Recipe:

1: Mix the BBQ and eggs in one bowl.

2: Mix the flour and spices in another.

3: Dry each piece of chicken carefully.

4: Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mix first before rolling it in the flour. Set aside.

5: Once they’re all dipped, go through them again to give them a second coating. Place on the baking tray.

6: Bake at 200C for 35min, or until the skin is crispy. The chicken fat should fry the skin on its own for you.

Our first batch turned out a little floury, but it was so good we forgot to take a picture of the second batch!

BBQ Fried Chicken

And those were our two favourite recipes for the week!

What have you been cooking and/or eating lately?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

WWW. Lentil Chicken and Protein Cookies.

This week’s recipes are lentil chicken and some protein cookies.

I made the lentil chicken firstly to test whether I can digest red lentils efficiently and secondly because both of us are eating lower carb meals and more stir-fries at the moment, so rice was out of the question and plain veg was getting a little dull. Lentils are a good middle ground.

I made the protein cookies because Jon’s been having a few sugary snacks on the job and he wanted to replace them with something more wholesome.

Lentil Chicken Stir-Fry.

stir fry

Actually made in a wok, though not essential.

wok

Ingredients:

-1 cup dried lentils

-1.5kg assorted veg (cabbage, carrots, onions, bean sprouts in any combination)

-the meat from 1/2 a chicken

-spring onions, some cucumber and sweet peppers for garnish

-1/2 a habanero chili

-2tbsp salt

-1tbsp pepper

-2tbsp onion powder

-olive oil

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-a large (1l) jar or pot

-a large wok or frying pan

Lentil prep:

1: Rinse in boiling water.

2: Soak in th jar for 24h.

Recipe:

1: Chop the chicken and all vegetables besides the spring onion and sweet pepper.

2: Coat the base of the wok with olive oil. Add the vegetables, chicken and lentils.

3: Sear the mix at a high temperature. Keep stirring.

4: Turn the temperature down and add the seasonings.

5: Cook until all combined.

6: Serve with diced sweet pepper, cucumber and spring onion.

Protein Cookies.

Ingredients:

-4 small bananas

-1 heaped tbsp peanut butter

-1 heaped tbsp almond butter

-2 eggs

-1.5 cups oats

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-greased or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mash the bananas and eggs together.

2: Slowly combine the nut butters.

3: Once smooth, add the oats.

4: Pour out onto the tray as a single lump or as separate cookie pieces.

5: Bake at 150C for 20min.

WWW. THREE Banana Recipes and Chicken-Stuffed Veg.

Three? Yes, three! I found around 2kg of bananas for 80p, but they were already brown and we all know that brown bananas means baking!

Also, due to time and work issues, we’re returning to the “tradition” of a simple roast dinner on a Tuesday, improved upon for Wednesday.

Without further ado, here are my three banana recipes, all quickly mixed and easily baked!

20141008_131640

Recipe 1: Chunky Banana Bread.

I’ve been getting a little bored of my more smooth breads and tried making one that, rather than having much added to it, was simply chock full of banana chunks. It’s heavenly.

Ingredients:

-4 soft bananas

-350g flour and raising agents

-water as needed

-pinch of salt

Utensils:

-mixing bowl, spoon and fork

-greased or nonstick loaf tin

Recipe:

1: Mash the bananas.

2: Mash in the flour.

3: Stir in the water until the mix is pourable.

4: Pour into the tray and bake at 200C for 45min.

Recipe 2: Peanut Butter Banana Biscuits.

Four ingredients. Vegan. Delicious.

Ingredients:

-3 soft bananas

-300-400g peanut butter

-100g almond butter

-2tbsp plain flour

Utensils:

-mixing bowl, fork

-greased or nonstick baking tray

-spoon

Recipe:

1: Mash the bananas.

2: Mix in the butters.

3: Stir in the flour until stiff.

4: Spoon onto the tray.

5: Bake at 200C for 40min.

20141008_131620

Recipe 3: Banana Cream Puff Tart.

Ingredients:

-3 soft bananas

-3 whole eggs

-400ml double cream

-2tbsp flour

Utensils:

-mixing bowl, fork

-greased baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mash the bananas.

2: Mix in the eggs.

3: Add the cream and flour, stir until smooth.

4: Pour into the tray.

5: Bake until it rises. Leave in the oven for a further 15min.

6: Remove and cool.

20141008_131625

And finally our lunch. Chicken-Stuffed Vegetables with Gravy.

20141008_130428

Recipe 1: Gravy.

Ingredients:

-100-150g chicken scraps

-200ml chicken jelly and fat

-2tsp paprika

-2tsp pepper

-hot water

-flour as needed (I recommend rice flour)

Utensils:

-jug

-blender

Recipe:

1: Tear up the chicken scraps. Place them in the jug with the jelly and fat.

2: Pour boiling water to cover. Add pepper and paprika.

3: Blend all together.

4: Slowly incorporate flour whilst blending until it’s thick.

Recipe 2: Stuffed Vegetables.

Ingredients:

-2 peppers

-bottom of a marrow

-1 cooked chicken breast and 1 leg, or 2 breasts

-roast potatoes

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Halve the peppers and the marrow bottom. Clean out the seeds.

2: Fill with roast potatoes and chicken.

3: Bake at 180C until the chicken and potatoes are crisp and the marrow and peppers are soft.

4: Sprinkle with salt and serve with gravy.

WWW. Meatloaf and Banana Pancakes.

This week’s lunch was made in a bit of a rush. I forgot to get enough bacon, so I had to hurry to the shops to get another pack. Still, all turned out well.

 

Recipe 1: Meatloaf and Veggie Chips.

Ingredients:

Meatloaf serves 6, chips serve 2.

-300g/10.6oz parboiled potatoes

-300g/10.6oz mince

-6-8 rashers of bacon

-2tsp salt

-1tsp paprika

-2 large parsnips

-1 small sweet potato

-2tbsp olive oil

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-mixing bowl and potato masher

-1 deep cake tray

-1 flat oven tray

Recipe:

1: Peel/wash and slice the parsnips and sweet potato.

2: Put in the flat tray, toss in olive oil and place in the oven at 200C/390F for 15min.

3: Mash the potato, mince, salt and paprika together.

4: Lay the bacon strips along the base of the deep tray.

5: Pour the mince and potato mix into the bacon. Fold over any loose ends of bacon.

6: Place in the oven alongside the chips. Lower to 160C/70F. Cook for 30min, or until the chips are brown and the loaf is cooked through.

7: Serve with goat’s cheese or mustard (or both!).

20120105_211331

Recipe 2: Paleo Pancakes.

A really simple recipe that I love but Jon isn’t sure of.

Ingredients:

Serves 4.

-3-4 small bananas

-2-3 large eggs

-2tsp cinnamon

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and blender

-frying pan (nonstick or greased)

Recipe:

1: Blend the eggs and bananas together.

2: Fry either as small pancakes or one huge one.

3: Serve with cream and berries.

20120105_213229

WWW. Lamb Bake and Banana Cake.

Ooh, rhymes. Lovely meter too.

Anyhow, first post since Jon came down with the plague bronchitis and nearly died needed much care and attention. I have another for tomorrow, a FitFriday worth mentioning and a book extract for Saturday. Yay for return of writing!

Today Jon came home for lunch and this is what we had.

Both need to be prepared in advance. I did Stage 1 on Tuesday and Stage 2 on Wednesday, but you can just leave 2-5h between the two if you like.

Recipe 1: Spicy Lamb and Potato Bake.

Ingredients:

-4 lamb chops

-400g potato (I made more, but that was so I could make good use of it for a breakfast tortilla de patatas)

-2 small onions

-4 small carrots

For the marinade:

-6-10tsp hot sauce (tabasco or green habanero sauces are good)

-1tsp Worcester sauce

-2tbsp honey

-2tbsp herbs

-1tsp ginger

-1tsp salt

-1/2tsp paprika

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-cup and teaspoon

-baking tray

Recipe:

Stage 1.

1: Mix the marinade ingredients in a cup.

2: Add warm water to dissolve them.

3: Slice the potatoes into 1cm thick rounds. Layer along the base of the tray.

4: Place the lamb on top of the potatoes.

5: Pour the marinade over. Use any thicker parts at the bottom to coat the lamb.

6: Add water until everything is just covered.

7: Leave to rest.

Stage 2.

8: Chop the carrots into sticks and the onions into quarters.

9: Submerge the carrots in the marinade and place the onion quarters on top.

10 Bake at 160C for 120min.

11: Bake at 200C for 30-60min.

20140514_195541

Recipe 2: Brandy and Banana Cake.

Ingredients:

-5 ripe or very ripe bananas

-300-400g flour (self-raising or plus suitable raising agents)

-200g raisins

-150ml rich brandy

-100ml double cream

-1tsp ginger

-1tsp cinnamon

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and spoon

-baking tray (greased or nonstick)

Recipe:

Stage 1.

1: Mash the bananas into a bowl.

2: Add the raisins and spices and the cream. Mash more.

3: Mix in the flour and raising agents.

4: Slowly stir-in the brandy.

5: Leave in the fridge to raise.

Stage 2.

6: Pour into the baking tray. Spread evenly and smooth the top.

7: Bake at 160C for 2h.

20140514_125904

8: Serve with thick cream or ice-cream.

20140514_130918