I learned through Dr. Greger that berries lose their antioxidant value significantly through cooking. For example, fresh or frozen strawberries have two times the number of antioxidants than those in traditional jam. It's a shame, because we have actual proof that strawberries can slow down and in some cases reverse esophageal cancer. JUST berries! Who knows what they could do for other cancers? That's a power I do not want to dilute! (If you want to hear more about that, you'll have to check out this video by Dr. Greger.)
So how do I preserve the berries' antioxidants but still get the jam I love? Freezer jam, right? But most jam recipes require you to use a lot of sugar in order to ensure it will jell (some have as high of a ratio as 1 to 1). We all know sugar to be cancer promoting and is something we should eat in moderation. Well, thanks to Pomona's pectin we can enjoy jam with all the antioxidants but without a ton of excess sugar. Pomona's works best in low sugar jam recipes. The more sugar in the mixture the LESS likely it will jell! How encouraging! Besides, berries are basically sugar themselves just with all the protective fiber and nutrients intact. They should be the star.
I ordered a 1/2 pound bag of it. I think the bag is going to last me for a REALLY long time based on how much I used and how much jam I made. I'm talking at least 5 years worth (if not more) and it keeps indefinitely. (The lesson here is do NOT be discouraged by the price!)
To get started, I didn't have to cook the berries at all. I just washed them and mashed them. That's it. Then I boiled some water per the recipe. I put the boiling water in a blender with some pectin and whizzed it until it dissolved. I added the pectin to the fruit and sugar mixture. Then I added some calcium water (all easy to make and details come with Pomona's pectin.) Voila! Done. It's thick right then and there. I scooped the jam into my jars with 1/2" of expansion space. It was that simple.
Full disclosure though, the first batch I made, I used a ratio of 4 cups of berries and 2 cups of sugar, the upper limit on the amount of sugar that could be used per Pomona's Recipe. To be honest, it was a little runny. It was also very sweet. I was able to save it by making and adding in some additional pectin. No big deal in the end but I decided to have another go of it.
The second time I used a ratio of 4 cups of berries to 1 cup of sugar. The result was out of this world. It was sweet but not so sweet that the flavor of the berries didn't pop through... but it wasn't bland either. It jelled really well so there was no need for additional pectin. I couldn't wait to enjoy it so I ate toast for lunch. It was the best I've ever had.
I can't say enough about Pomona's nor about freezer jam.
Thank you, Pomona's! and Ali for the encouragement!