Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Food: Pomona's Universal Pectin

When it was apparent that our apricot tree was going to have an abundant crop this year, I prepared to make some jam. I had plenty of bottles, lids, and rings, but I needed some pectin. Up to now my favorite has been Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin Light. It uses less sugar, but the amount of sugar is still quite high--about 3/4 cup sugar per 1 cup apricots.

Since I've been trying to eat healthier this year, I decided to do a little more investigating and came across Pomona's Universal Pectin. It's available from Azure Standard and Amazon
(and probably from many other stores, but I live over an hour from a grocery store so have limited choices).

If you've made jam, you probably know how the main brands (Ball, Sure-Jell), tell you how to follow the recipe to a T. No substitutions, changes, nada. When you read the Pomona's instructions, you get a totally different feeling. They tell you you're welcome to develop your own recipes and give you some helpful hints. They even tell you how to use other sweeteners like honey, maple sugar, juice concentrate, sucanat, xylitol and stevia.

I wasn't feeling quite brave enough to make my own recipe, but I was willing to follow one of theirs. They have three main categories: Cooked recipes with low sugar or honey, No-cook freezer recipes, and cooked "all fruit" recipes. I've tried the cooked recipes with honey and the cooked "all fruit" recipes, with concentrated apple juice sweetening the jam. Both have turned out great, and neither have any white sugar added. Yippee!

The reason that Pomona's can get away with no white sugar is that it is citrus based. The pectin is extracted from the peel of a lime, lemon, or orange. It activates with calcium water (which you mix up with the included packet).

The jam that we made tastes fruitier with the Pomona pectin, which makes sense because there really is more fruit in it. I highly recommend this pectin, and find that not only is it healthier, it's also cheaper, because one box makes more jam than the other brands of pectin. What a win-win. This is the only pectin I'm going to be using from now on. And with two big boxes of fruit arriving later this month, I'll be ready!

p.s. For more of my adventures in new, healthy foods, click here.

This post includes an affiliate link to Amazon. Should you click on this link and decide to purchase anything, I will receive a small commission  and you will have my sincere thanks for supporting Desert Survivor! 

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