Whether it’s to preserve fruits at the height of the season or simply to satisfy a craving, making your own homemade jams and jellies is easy, economical — and delicious.
Natural nut butter and chia jam spread
If nut butters and fruit spreads are your jam, then you must check out Jessica Gavin’s instructions for natural nut butter and chia jam spread. Follow the link for instructions on how to make the healthiest, freshest tasting nut butters. Pick your favorite nut, raw or roasted, and blend for creamy homemade nut butters. For the fruit lovers, choose the preferred fruit, a sweetener and chia seeds, blend it together and voila! It’s done! Of course it wouldn’t be a Jessica Gavin recipe without a science tip: the chia seeds substitute for pectin, the typical thickener in jelly, thickening the fruit puree into a spread. Chia seeds won’t set the jelly like pectin, but will thicken it. This is a breakfast treat ready in minutes.
Easy apple butter
For a downhome taste, you must make this easy apple butter from Divas Can Cook. For the uninitiated, apple butter does not actually have butter in it. It’s more of a thick applesauce that spreads like butter: four pounds of apples are slowly cooked down to make a spreadable, thick apple jam. You can make the apple butter as sweet as you’d like, adding brown or white sugar to taste — but it should be sweet since it is a topping. You can serve this over toast, yogurt or as a topping for ice cream. Come fall this recipe for easy apple butter has to be on your list.
Kaya (Malaysian coconut egg jam)
If you are looking for something extraordinary, give this coconut egg jam from Rasa Malaysia a try. Kaya means rich, which is what it is: kaya is a popular Southeast Asian jam made from coconut, eggs and sugar. Eggs (five!) are whisked vigorously with sugar, coconut cream and coconut milk. The mixture is then cooked in a sauce pan with a bouquet of pandan leaves. The pandan leaves have a rosy, vanilla-like and almondy flavor when boiled and add incredible flavors to jam. When cooked, the strained mixture is blended to form a creamy, sweet jam. Rasa Malaysia’s recipe adds in a touch of caramel at the end for some extra oomph. This addition sweetens the jam and gives the confiture a delightful golden-brown color. This custard-like jam is delicious over pancakes, bagels or just toast. Give something new a try this season!
Strawberry orange chia jam
Chia seeds are a powerful little seed. The seed is packed with fiber, protein and helpful Omega-3s. Chia seeds have quickly gained popularity as the go-to health-food addition to salads, oatmeals and smoothies. They provide a natural crunch, as well adding thickness and body when added to liquid. In this recipe for strawberry orange chia jam from The Kentucky Gent, chia seeds act as a thickener for strawberries and orange juice. Furthermore, this healthy fruit spread is sweetened with agave nectar instead of refined sugar. Not only healthy, this recipe is easy. Simply cook the strawberries down until liquid, then blend with orange juice and agave nectar. Chia seeds are added last and in about five minutes the jam has thickened, almost like magic. Give this sweet, juicy and simple jam a try.
Monkey butter jam
If you love bananas and coconut, you simply must have this monkey butter jam. This recipe comes to us from This Grandma is Fun, and this recipe is so, so fun! Cook perfectly ripe bananas (no brown spots) crushed pineapple, sugar and ground coconut. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has evaporated and a thick, jam-like consistency remains. No need to mash the bananas — they will smoosh with the cooking and stirring. When it’s done, spoon the mixture into clean jars. This is a sweet jam, perfect for morning toast, pancakes or even over yogurt with granola. It’s exceptional as a topping for ice cream, kind of like banana splits meets bananas foster. However you serve it, this monkey butter is so delicious it won’t last long.
Jalapeno pepper jam
Sweet and spicy lovers look no further than this jalapeño pepper jam from Jamie Cooks It Up. To start, four cups of bell peppers and spicy jalapeños are chopped finely. Make sure you use rubber gloves to prepare your jalapeños, as the juice can get under your fingernails and burn for the whole day. The heat of jalapeños is in the seeds, so leave as many as you want in. The peppers are cooked in a saucepan with a package of pectin and a cup of apple cider vinegar. Once the concoction is boiling, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. When cooled, the jam ready to be eaten. Serve with cream cheese and crackers for a delicious appetizer or with cooked poultry or pork for dinner. This jalapeño pepper jam is versatile and tasty, satisfying all the sweet and spicy needs you have.
Raspberry peach jam
There is something so delightfully pleasing about raspberries and peaches. The beautiful red-gold color just begs to be enjoyed. With this raspberry peach jam from Garnish and Glaze you have a topping that you can spread on biscuits — or eat with a spoon. Not only is this jam delicious, but it is also easy. The process starts with peeled peaches and raspberries blended or mashed, then add a packet of pectin and allow to set for 30 minutes. Add corn syrup and granulated sugar, then simmered over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer the jam to clean containers. One of the best parts about this recipe is you can make up several jars of this jam and store them in the freezer for up to a year. The perfect way to preserve the summer fruit gems.
Watermelon and jelly? Not a combination one hears very often! However, we think this watermelon jelly from Love and Olive Oil will make you a believer. Sometimes we have an abundance of watermelon left over from those summer barbecues. If the family is suddenly sick of watermelon, what do you do with the excess? Well Love and Olive Oil turned her surplus into jelly. Based on a recipe on mint jelly, this watermelon jelly is sweet and beautiful. Watermelon is blended and then strained through a fine mesh sieve to start. Combine the watermelon with lemon juice and sugar, heat to a nice rolling boil, then add the pectin. The result is a sweet, tasty jelly that would be interesting on goat cheese and crackers, with feta and mint in a salad, or perhaps in a sweet roll or sponge cake. Unusual? Certainly. Delicious? Absolutely.
Apple pie jelly
This next recipe takes the comforting, spicy and sweet flavor of apple pies and mixes it with jelly. The Country Cook really gets our senses in a frenzy with her apple pie jelly. Starting with the Ball jar for apple jelly, add cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg and butter. The best part of this recipe is how easy it is. Using apple juice instead of cooking, mashing and straining apples shortens the time commitment. Combine the apple juice with the pectin and butter and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and boil until completely dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer the jelly to clean jars and follow water bath processing directions if so inclined. If you love apple pie, you have to try this apple pie jelly. It makes a tasty ice cream topping — but is just as amazing over toast.
Homemade plum jelly
Plum juice has a lot of health benefits: it aids in digestion, reduces inflammation and helps with chronic illnesses such as arthritis and heart disease. Plums and prunes (dried plums) are high in fiber, vitamins and potassium. With all the amazing benefits of plums, we hope you’ll give this homemade plum jelly a try. From Mainly Homemade, this plum jelly is carefully crafted with simple and results in a delicious and sweet fruit spread. Perfect for toast, bagels, yogurt or even ice cream, plum jelly is a treat. Serve at Thanksgiving as an alternative to cranberry jelly! We think the health benefits of plums warrant a go at this homemade plum jelly.
For beginner jelly makers, look no further than soda jelly from Canning Homemade. Yes this sounds bizarre, but is actually quite tasty. Using any soda you want, you can can make soda jelly quickly and easily. You will need a 12-oz bottle of soda, three cups of sugar and a packet of pectin. That’s it! Boil the soda with the sugar, then add the pectin and bring to a rolling boil. Pour into clean jars and follow water processing procedures for a shelf-stable and creative gift. This is a fun jelly to give as gifts and it tastes as good as it looks. Use orange soda, root beer, Dr. Pepper, grape soda, Mountain Dew — whatever floats your boat. The jelly retains the color of the soda, adding to the delight. This simple and yummy jelly is a great starting point for the beginner canner
Blackberry lavender jelly
For a summer treat, try this blackberry lavender jelly from Jillian in Italy. Lavender can be off-putting in some recipes, particularly if it’s overdone, however the balance in this blackberry recipe gets the taste just right. The plump, tart, juicy blackberries are balanced in this recipe with orange juice, sugar and apple. The citrus and apple flavors help balance out the tartness, while neutralizing the woody lavender. The result is a sweet slight-lavender jelly that will entice all your senses. We are sure this jelly will be a hit with the family; you should probably make a double batch! A delicious way to use up the beautiful summer fruits, we hope you’ll give this blackberry lavender jelly a try.