Remember last week when we picked chokecherries? I ended Wildcrafting Wednesday’s post by saying we had a gallon of chokecherry juice in the refrigerator ready to become jelly! And now, it is! Here’s what we did.
When I first started making jam and jelly 8ish years ago, I hated the sugar… There is SO much sugar that goes into making them. And my body and sugar just don’t get along well. So, I found another way! HONEY, and Pamona’s Pectin. Since beginning Trim Healthy Mama, I have had to let go of my beloved honey in several areas. I use it still here and there, but I’d like some jelly that I can count on later that doesn’t have honey either. So, I experimented this week! That’s in this post too.
The first batch we made, I followed the Pamona’s directions to a T because it’s been 5 years since I made chokecherry jelly. I followed the directions for Sour Blackberry and Currants.
When you buy it, there are 2 packets. One is calcium to make calcium water. The other is pectin. It tells you the ratios of water to calcium and the ratios of honey/sugar to pectin in the instructions as well.
We heated the juice, added the calcium water and lemon juice as directed and incorporated the pectin into the honey. Then added it to the juice as well.
Don’t skip mixing the pectin with the honey! I did that once years ago. It doesn’t go well.
Reheat, then put it in your hot jelly jars! I timed things so that my jars were just finished in the dishwasher when I would need them. This way A) they’re clean, and B) they are hot so they won’t break when I pour hot liquid in them.
Never forget to clean your rim! This ensures your lid gets a good seal. If your jars don’t seal, you need to put them in the fridge and plan to use them in the next couple of weeks. I use Tattler reusable lids. This dramatically reduces the price of this process. It’s a bit more up front, but it is so nice years later when you don’t need to buy new metal lids again. And again. And again.
Place your lids and rings on, and take your jar careully to a towel on a level surface where they can cool undisturbed for at least 24 hours. They will seal in this location and set up nicely.
Now, for my experiment! I used Truvia for a batch just to see if it would work. They actually have set up better than the honey batch did so far! And, they are completely Trim Health Mama a-okay!
I stuck to the Pamona’s instructions again but instead of the called for amount of honey, I used 48 packets of Truvia. This means that Cody’s diabetic grandpa could enjoy this jelly without concern as well as any Trim Healthy Mama’s and Papa’s that come around ;).
This was a bit trickier to add to the hot juice solution. It wanted to clump badly because the pectin didn’t have the honey to bind to. I did mix it with the Truvia ahead of time and I know that helped with the clumping. You just have do get your whisk out and get vigorous!
After it is incorporated and comes back up to a boil, it’s normal canning process. Add to jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace, place hot lid and ring on, and set on a towel to cool and gel over the next 24+ hours.
If you missed Wildcrafting Wednesday’s post about Chokecherries, go check it out here! It covers all the wonderful benefits that chokecherries have. The antioxidants… and why you want to have some Chokecherry Jelly in your pantry!
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- making Apple Juice
- how I avoided Postpartum Depression with my last infant after 4 previous rounds
- more necessary Fall Wildcrafting
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