How to Make Freezer Jam : Raw Strawberry Banana Freezer Jam Recipe
It is like cooked jam, except instead of being cooked and processed to a shelf-stable state, freezer jam is raw and stored in the freezer. It is SO incredibly easy, a two-year old could do it! I think the end product tastes a million times better, the fruit flavors are more fresh and vibrant and as a bonus it requires much less sugar.
I started to make my own jam this summer because almost every standard jam/jelly on the market contains high amounts of high fructose corn syrup as well as being highly processed through heating and canning. Organic jams are uber-expensive and use lots of sugar, albeit organic sugar, to sweeten which still has been highly processed and refined. I canned jam earlier this summer, it was fun and easy. A wave of satisfaction sweeps over me while looking over all my jewel-colored jars of blueberry, rhubarb, and plum jam in my pantry. Canning is fun but– let’s be honest – canning takes time and canning is hot, hot, hot which is an extra challenge with two little ones. So, I am putting down my canning jar tongs (until the weather cools) and picking up my wooden spoon and potato masher to make raw freezer jam. Who’s with me?!?
The only drawback to freezer jam is the jars need to be stored in the freezer instead of on a shelf like conventional jams and jellies. get ready to clear out a small corner of your freezer, because I’m almost positive you will prefer the taste freezer jam to conventional canned jams hands down.
Another aspect of homemaking jams (and other household items) is YOU control what goes into it. In addition, I will admit it MUCH less expensive to make homemade ORGANIC jams than buying the commercial organic jam from Whole Foods or even Target. My last batch each 1/2 pint cost approximately $2 each. I dare you to find 8oz of ORGANIC strawberry jam for less than $2! Saving money is not the only reason we eat homemade freezer jam, I make it because I love to involve my family and our community in the food we eat and in addition reduce our garbage waste by reusing our glass jars. I feel, we have more respect for our food and are far less likely to waste it if we MAKE IT. And boy is it true! We scrape every last morsel of jam out of the jars before they are washed up for the next batch.
To make ANY basic fruit freezer jam this is ALL you need:
- 4 cups of crushed fruit (except peaches they require extra steps listed on your package)
- 1 1/2 c sweetener of choice (we use sugar but Splenda is also an option, but not mine. I bet stevia would work too…but remember many non-sugar sweeteners are sweeter than sugar so add accordingly)
- Freezer jam pectin (the price ranges from $1.99-$3.99 per package) I found the best price locally for freezer jam pectin at Egg-Plant Urban Farm Supply in Saint Paul $1.99/package and the WORST price at Fratallone’s Ace Hardware $3.99/package) also check on Amazon.com.
- 5 -8 half pint jars or any clean freezer safe container. Ball makes freezer jam plastic jars but these are NOT necessary!)
- Masher or food processor
Here is Guy’s Favorite Jam (this season)
Guy’s Organic Strawberry- Banana Freezer Jam
3 lbs fresh organic strawberries
3 organic bananas (the riper the better)
1 1/2 c organic vegan sugar (Vegan sugar? Find out more here.)
1 package freezer pectin (I know this isn’t organic bla bla bla…so shoot me!)
- Wash and hull strawberries and peel bananas and mash ’em up. (I mash the strawberries whole because I like my jam to have chunks of fruit.)
- In a separate bowl add freezer pectin to sugar and mix.
- Add the sugar and pectin mixture to fruit and stir for 3 min. (This is where the two-year-old comes in handy!)
- Ladle into clean jars leaving 1/2 inch head room for expansion. (Straight sided glass jars work best or reuse lidded plastic yogurt containers, etc. Ball dose make plastic freezer jars, but they are not necessary.)
- Viola you are DONE! Couldn’t be easier to make homemade organic jam!
We love this jam in PB and J’s, stirred into yogurt, in smoothies, pretty much on anything jam would be in or on! I have even caught Guy eating it STRAIGHT out of the jar! Naughty Naughty! 🙂
Still confused about freezer jam? Here is an online tutorial, just ignore their marketing tactics of the Ball plastic freezer jam jars. You don’t need them!
Freezer jam is pretty much fool-proof. Play around. For recipe inspiration, here is a great place to start. The next recipe I plan to tackle is Pineapple Upside Down Cake Jam! Sound amazing? I know! I’ll post the recipe once I work out all the kinks.