Winter Jam With No Added Sugar
I cannot believe we are already December 28th, that Christmas was last weekend and the new year is just coming at the end of this week. I am already nostalgic of the month of December. I wanted to find a way to capture the holiday spirit somewhere. What better than bottling it? In a jar? Literally? So, I made some jams using both dry and fresh winter seasonal fruits. It is a sweet, joyful jam with festive flavors, that is packed with goodness and totally added sugar free! Needless to say, it’s vegan and gluten free.
60 gr dates pitted, finely chopped
20 gr cranberries, finely chopped
70g dried apricots, finely chopped
50 dried figs, finely chopped
50 gr raisins
50 gr hazelnut pulp or roasted hazelnuts roughly crushed
30g almonds roughly chopped
1 pear, skinned and finely chopped
The juice of one orange
The juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 tea spoon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon agar-agar
2 table spoon spicy apple sauce, leftover from mulled apple cider (optional)
The day before, put in a bowl the finely chopped dates pitted cranberries, apricots, figs and raisins. Add the almonds and hazelnut pulp, leftover from making nut milk. If you do not have any pulp, crushed roasted hazelnuts are fine and add the pear and the juices (orange and lemon). If you have any, add the leftover spicy apple sauce from the mulled apple cider. It will make it extra festive. Then, add all the remaining ingredients, except for the agar-agar and mix really well.
Cover it and let it rest at least one full day. When you will open it, it will smell divine. The dried fruits and nuts would have also softens, making them easy to cook.
Cook your jam in a pot at low heat for a half an hour. In the meantime, boil the jars you will using to store the jam. That will sterilize them.
Add the teaspoon of agar-agar, and increase the heat (for the agar –agar to activate, the mix has to be at 80°C for more than 30 s).
While the jam is still hot, transfer it to jars. Close the jars really well and let them cool down upside down for at least an hour before putting them away.
We love it with vegan ‘cheese’ as well as spread on freshly baked bread. It also makes made for fantastic gifts for loved ones.