Are you a jam lover? What if I told you that some amazing tasting jam could be whipped up in your kitchen in as little as – twenty minutes, would you be keen to give it a go? Ah, but you may say, for such a low cost item do I want to get myself into a jam? Ha ha, this is especially if you are a busy mom, career woman, full time home maker or a combination of all.
Well, if store bought jam is the only type you have tried – you are really missing out! I found that out recently only when I became brave enough to start making my own. The cool thing about this quick blueberry kaffir lime jam is – it’s my version of 101 into jam making, minus the harder bits on canning and preservation. This version is low in sugar too – the catch – don’t make too much unless you eat this every day – the shelf life is about 3 weeks in the fridge given it’s not a full sugar canned preserve. (Leave it in your fridge longer than that and expect to see the surface mould over – yucks! Yes, I’m talking to you having experienced this first hand).
Blueberries on the stove, with melted coconut sugar and raw sugar. Add water enough to cover the surface and set fire on medium, bring to a simmer and keep stirring till the blueberries meld into the liquid.
I picked blueberries for their anthocyanins – a type of flavonoid that gives the fruit its characteristic pretty purple blue hued colour and also numerous health and beauty benefits. Increasing consumption of foods like blueberries decreases your risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease, whilst promoting a healthy complexion (it’s been shown to help with eczema) and hair. In several studies, blueberries has in new research, been shown to fight and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Coconut sugar – this is sugar that comes from the sap of the cut flowers of the coconut palm and it has some trace minerals and vitamins. I use coconut sugar as it has a much lower glycemic index than table sugar. Foods high on the glycemic index cause your blood sugar to spike, which can cause your insulin levels to soar in a short period of time, and this can have serious consequences for diabetics. Coconut sugar is still glucose based sugar, so use your own palate and judgement on how sweet you want your jam to be.
The zero sugar alternative – If you are avoiding sugar entirely – you could use a small amount of stevia (a sweetener or sugar substitute extracted from the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, stevia has up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar, with a negative/zero effect on blood glucose) – this is highly recommended for diabetics or individuals on carbohydrate-controlled diets. If using stevia instead of sugar, do note that the shelf life of your quick jam will be reduced to consumption within a week as sugar acts as a natural preservative.
Whole kaffir limes and kaffir lime zest
Kaffir lime juice and rind – Dark green fruit with a distinct nipple on the stem end. Thick rind, knobby and wrinkled, leaves and rind possess a haunting bouquet unlike any other citrus variety. Nutritional benefits include improving digestion, detoxifying the blood, lowering inflammation and promoting skin health. Enuff said, I love the aroma – its mesmirizing and really unique you got to try it to believe me.
Where to buy kaffir limes? Interestingly, I’ve often found kaffir limes in the fresh cut flower section at the local wet markets. You may also see these ugly beauties at the fresh vegetable section in the supermarket. If you are unable to get these, fresh green thai limes can be used as a substitute.
Jammy, glossy goodness all in 20 minutes! Add in kaffir lime juice and kaffir lime rind at this point. Turn of the heat. Optional-add a pinch of xanthan gum to set the jam further, mix well.
Your jam is ready when there is a glossy, sticky sheen to it see the spatula for a good gauge. It should be slightly runny and once in the fridge it will set further. (You may also add a little xanthan gum if you like a jam that is less runny). Store your jams in a clean glass jar (I like straight edge jars from ball jars, microwave these for 20 seconds and then pour in your hot jam), and it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks – toss it out if the taste changes, it’s so easy to make a new batch!
Quick homemade blueberry and kaffir lime jam
Makes approx 3 (4 ounce ball jars)
Shelf life 3 weeks in refrigerator
2 punnets/250g fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 tablespoon of kaffir lime juice
½ teaspoon of kaffir lime rind (finely grated)
Water to just cover blueberries
Optional gelling agent – a pinch of xanthan gum
Container – 3 pieces of 4 ounce ball jars or any clean glass jar
In a small heavy bottomed pot, (I like the cast iron enamelled ones best for cooking jams), pour out your blueberries.
Add your coconut sugar, raw sugar and a little water just enough to cover the blueberries.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a medium simmer.
Jams need to be stirred and watched so don’t take your eyes off your pot.
About twenty minutes into the time of cooking, test your jam to see if some of it is sticky and coating over your spatula at this point add in your kaffir lime juice and kaffir lime rind. Stir through turn off the heat.
Optional – If your jam is too runny do add a pinch of xanthan gum, stir through well.
Prepare your glass jars – I like ball (4 ounce) jars, heat 3 of them in the microwave for 20 seconds. And pour in your jam whilst the jars are still hot, cool your jam jars with hot jam completely before you fridge them. Enjoy!
Keep stirring your jams through out the twenty minutes.
Taste towards the end to see if jam is acidic or sweet enough for you adjust accordingly. Add more sugar if you like it sweeter or more kaffir lime juice if you want it more tart.
If you have no kaffir limes, use thai green limes instead.
For diabetics or those who want zero sugar jams consider using stevia as an alternative.