Monday, July 11, 2016

blueberry jam // preserving summer

Blueberry Jam // Preserving at Home
The first preserving session of the season happened this past weekend and it was awesome. We have this little blueberry stand down the road from us, Murphy's Blueberries and we stock up anytime we see pints of blueberries displayed in the little blue cart on the side of the road. Mrs. Murphy is exactly how I pictured her to be, the cutest little old lady that sports a house dress and apron who goes to Church on Sunday's. with Mr. Murphy. They have the best blueberries and raspberries in town, and now that Justin and I are settled into our new home I actually have time for preserving this year! 

There is nothing better than opening up a jar of homemade jam in the dead of winter. 

Blueberry Jam // Preserving at Home
Making your own jam is super simple - I prefer the no pectin method, the final jam is more natural in texture with bits of whole fruit in the jam. 

Just 3 simple ingredients - blueberries, lemon + sugar.

There is such a short window of time to enjoy fruits and veggies at their peak - canning + preserving is the perfect way to enjoy the taste of seasons gone by whenever you get the urge for summer blueberries or late august tomatoes.

Blueberry Jam // Preserving at Home
I've made jam with many different styles of sugar // granulated sugar, coconut sugar and this last batch was made with Sucanat Cane Sugar from NOW Real Food

Each sugar transforms the jam in a different way. Granulated Sugar brings out the pureness of the fruit, a cleaner tasting jam so to speak. The Coconut Sugar creates caramel undertones throughout the jams which is my absolute favorite sugar to use when making peach jam. Sucanat Sugar lends slight caramel undertones with that clean taste- it is a cross between granulated and coconut sugar.
Blueberry Jam // Preserving at Home
Blueberry Jam // Preserving at Home
The hardest part of making a batch of jam is stirring the pot continuously for 25 - 30 minutes // just throw on some tunes and get to stirring. You will want to cook it until it reduces to about half the amount as to when you began.

Blueberry Jam // Preserving at Home
Blueberry Jam // Preserving at Home
Blueberry Jam
makes (7) 8oz jam jars

you will need

10 cups blueberries - washed + rinsed
4 1/2 cups sugar of choice
juice of 2 large lemons
zest of 1 lemon

* sterilized lids, bands & jars

Rinse and wash your blueberries and measure out 10 cups

Using a  large stock pot add blueberries, sugar, lemon juice & lemon zest to the pan and mix.

Bring berry mixture to a boil and stir continuously (think stirring like risotto stirring) for about 25-30 minutes, keep at a low boil throughout the entire cooking process. The mixture should reduce to about half of what you started with.

In order to see if your jam has reached the "gel" stage, toss a small plate in the freezer, when you are ready to test the jam, pour a small amount (teaspoon size) onto the plate and place back into the freezer for 1 minute. Take back out and run your finger down the center, if the jam crinkles it is ready, if not cook for five minutes and test again.

Once your jam is ready ladle / spoon into sterilized jars leaving about a 1/4 - 1/2 inch of head space (space between the top of jar and jam). 

Cover with lids and bands and process in a water bath (boiling water) for 10 - 15 minutes, letting the jars rest in the hot water for an additional 5 minutes after processing.

Remove jars from the water bath and let sit on counter to cool and set- check jars after about 20-30 minutes to ensure they have processed. To check the seal push down on the top of the lid, if there is no give or popping sound it worked! If there is give and the center clicks when you push down you must store the jam in the fridge (only the ones that did not process). Sometimes it takes jars a bit of time to seal, you can also place them upside down to help the sealing process.

Store in a cool dark place until ready to enjoy all winter long!

*To sterilize the jars, bands & lids, after washing with warm soapy water place the lids and bands in a small pot of boiling water, turn down to a low simmer until you are ready to use. In a separate canning pot add the washed jars to the boiling water ensuring each jar is submerged in the water and bring to a boil. Keep at a low simmer until ready to use. Alternately you can run the jars and lids through the sanitation / sterilization mode of your dishwasher. 

*I was provided this product for review as a participant in the NOW Influencer Program #NOWWellness however all thoughts and opinions are my own



  1. Blueberry jam is my FAVORITE! It's so sweet and delicious!

  2. I love all jams that are sweet. I am wondering, is lemon juice or acid is a necessary to make jam. Anyway, I always try to add more sugar to make the jams sweet. I think I like to try coconut sugar, sound great to make jam with it. :)

    1. The lemon peel helps the jam set (it is a natural pectin) and the lemon juice adds a nit of acid which is important when you are canning for preserving on the shelf over the winter. It is a small amount and does not affect the sweetness of the Jam at all. You definitely should try the coocnut sugar, it is one of my favorites!

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