How to Create Your Own Jams and Nut Butters

Sunrise Senior Living  |  August 17, 2016
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Spreads like jam and nut butter are excellent to have around the house for all sorts of occasions.

Creating homemade goodies like jam and nut butter isn't just a way to ensure your pantry is full of tasty treats. This can represent a fun and exciting new hobby. Tinker with recipes and flavors, and create a few jars to give to friends and family. Crafting a homemade spread or preserve is also useful whenever entertaining guests.

Here are some intriguing jam and nut butter recipes to try yourself:

Classic Strawberry Jam
A simple and timeless topping, strawberry jam is easy to enjoy at home. All Recipes  recommends using this on your morning toast, as part of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or as an evening snack with crackers. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Mason jars with lids

Directions:

Start by sterilizing your jars. Wash with dish soap under scalding water. Rinse and let sit in a deep pot full of hot water. Boil the pot full of jars, covered for 15 minutes. Set aside to dry.

In a large mixing bowl, crush strawberries. In a saucepan, mix mashed berries, sugar and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture reaches 220 F. Meanwhile, return deep pot to heat and boil water.

Transfer to sterile jars, leaving about a 1/2 inch of space. Seal tightly and place in boiling water for another 15 minutes. Refrigerate to cool before enjoying.

Almond Butter with Cinnamon and Honey
Nuts of all sorts are an excellent choice because they represent a way to incorporate protein, fiber and healthy fat to any senior diet. Making homemade nut butter is a fun afternoon activity and yields a delicious spread to add to all sorts of meals.

Almonds are especially heart healthy, and this recipe from the Kitchn adds a bit of sweetness and spice. This is perfect for English muffins in the morning or can be added to many different types of dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups raw almonds
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

Spread almonds out evenly on a baking sheet and toast for 12 to 15 minutes at 325 F. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

Pour almonds into a blender or food processor and blend for 2 minutes. Add oil and salt, and process for another 6 to 9 minutes. Mix in honey and cinnamon and continue processing for another minute. Taste and add more salt, honey or cinnamon as desired. An extra tablespoon of oil will make your finished nut butter looser. 

Transfer to a sterilized airtight container or jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. 

Habanero Pepper Jam
Not every type of jam or jelly is sweet, and All Recipes' habanero pepper jelly will satisfy even the biggest spicy food fan. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 15 minced habanero peppers
  • 2 pouches liquid pectin (3 oz each)
  • Mason jars


Directions:

Begin by sterilizing the jars and setting aside to cool. Next, add vinegar and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Stir in shredded carrot and chopped bell pepper. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce head, simmering for 5 minutes. 

Add the minced habanero peppers and simmer for 5 minutes more before adding the pectin. Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Discard any foam that forms.

Carefully transfer jelly to sterilized jars, leaving about a 1/2 inch at the top. Process the jars in boiling water for at least 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.