I know I'm not the only one who has this problem. The one where you go out into a field and pick bushels of gorgeous, wholesome strawberries....and then come home and realize that to make them into jam you have to use buckets of evil, white sugar.
This is the problem Marisa McClellan conquers in her latest "Food In Jars" book Naturally Sweet Food In Jars, which focuses on canning with natural sweeteners like honey, maple, and coconut sugar.
First things first, if you loved the other "Food In Jars" books, or are a fan of the blog, just go ahead and pop this one into your Amazon shopping cart right now, because you'll love it, too. If features manageable portions, modern recipes--basically all of Marisa's typical canning voodoo magic.
Except it's actually better, because she's perfected these recipes without the use of granulated sugar. So not only are these preserves a little better for you, they're actually just better. The use of complementary sweeteners makes the flavors more subtle, and really lets you taste the fruit instead of just "sweet". (I'm dying for stonefruit season to start so that I can make the "Roasted Apricot Jam" with honey and vanilla. Dying.)
While it was hard to limit myself, for testing purposes, I made a batch of "Caramelized Red Onion Jam" (makes me weak in the knees on saltines with a little sharp cheddar) and a half-batch of--wait for it--"Strawberry Cocoa Jam".
My only regret is that I halved the batch of strawberry cocoa, which was downright dumb. Thankfully, strawberry season isn't over yet, so there's still time to correct my error!
Want to win a copy of Naturally Sweet Food In Jars? You're in luck--Marisa was sweet and sent me one to giveaway. To win, leave a comment below telling me your favorite thing to preserve. I'll pick a winner next Tuesday night.
[Marisa sent me one copy of "Naturally Sweet" to giveaway. I've had my own copy pre-ordered since it became available for pre-order, so...you know, I like these books.]