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Snackshot of the Day: Vanilla Strawberry Jam

Snackshot of the Day: Vanilla Strawberry Jam

Photos of all things food and drink from The Daily Meal

Strawberry vanilla jam spread on a piece of lemon pound cake.

The Daily Meal's editors, contributors, and readers dig into some pretty great restaurants, festivals, and meals. There's not always enough time to give a full review of a restaurant or describe in depth why a place, its food, and the people who prepare it are noteworthy, so Snackshot of the Day does what photographs do best, rely on the image to do most of the talking.

Today's Snackshot is of homemade strawberry vanilla jam. Fresh berries are going to start popping up at local farmers' markets soon, and with fruit, comes jam. Be careful when making jam, as all your jars and equipment must be completely sanitized. The results are endless, though. Use multiple types of fruit, and try adding flavors like vanilla, clove, or a curry powder for a little kick.

Read more about The Daily Meal's Snackshot feature. To submit a photo, email jbruce[at], subject: "Snackshots." Follow The Daily Meal's photo editor Jane Bruce on Twitter.

3-Ingredient Strawberry Jam

It's hard to believe this homemade strawberry jam contains only three ingredients: fresh strawberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. There's no need to add pectin to this jam just cook it to the correct temperature, and test it for consistency.

It's a small batch, perfect for spreading on biscuits, toast, or English muffins. Or warm it and drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, or ice cream!

Wash jars or containers in hot, soapy water, and rinse them before filling. Since you'll be refrigerating and using the jam right away, there's no need to process it in a boiling water bath canner. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends using refrigerator or freezer jams within about three weeks. To keep it as long as possible, don't let it stand at room temperature—use it and return it to the refrigerator right away. Check for signs of spoilage after a few weeks.

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Total Time: 24 hours


1 quart strawberries (approximately 4 cups, chopped)
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
1 lemon, juiced


Wash, hull, and roughly chop berries. Toss with 1 cup sugar and vanilla beans and seeds in a large bowl. Cover and chill for at least 2 to 3 hours or up to 72 hours.

When you’re ready to make the jam, prepare canner and wash/sterilize 3 half-pint mason (or equivalent) jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use. Warm lids in hot (not boiling) water to sterilize and soften seal.

Pour the berries and all liquid into a large saucepan along with remaining sugar, discarding vanilla beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until the jam reaches 220 degrees F, stirring regularly. Add the lemon juice in the final 5 minutes of cooking.

You can test the gel of the jam by placing a spoonful on a chilled plate. Return to the freezer for 1 to 2 minutes, then check for doneness. If you want a firmer gel, cook for a few minutes longer.

When jam has reached the desired consistency, remove from heat and skim off foam. Ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads. Screw on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.

All images and text © Lindsay Landis / Love & Olive Oil

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The best strawberry recipes bursting with summer flavor

1. Strawberry shortcake

What would a strawberry recipe roundup be without shortcake? The one featured in the video above is gluten-free, lactose-free, grain-free, and refined-sugar-free. The shortcake itself is made with a blend of almond flour and coconut flour while the topping mixes the luscious strawberries with coconut milk, coconut sugar, lemon, and mint.

2. Strawberry and quinoa parfait

This parfait is really just a clever way to have dessert for breakfast. It’s just as sweet but nutrient-rich enough to power your morning. It’s full of fiber-rich ingredients like quinoa, pistachios, raisins, and, of course, strawberries. The quinoa and nuts also provide good protein, too. A pretty sweet way to start off your day, right?

3. Strawberry banana smoothie

Photo: All The Healthy Things

Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to use your strawberries and they help sweeten up a blender full of greens, too. In this recipe by registered dietitian and All The Healthy Things blogger Ashlea Carver Adams, RD, combines the berry with banana, almond milk, honey, vanilla, and Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt is key for giving the smoothie a creamy consistency and also providing enough protein to make it an adequate breakfast.

4. Strawberry paletas

Photo: Dora’s Table

This strawberry paletas recipe, from Dora’s Table creator Dora Stone, is sure to be a hit with both kids and adults. While the recipe does call for sugar, you don’t need much the strawberries themselves are sweet enough. Adding fresh lemon juice into the mix adds a layer of tartness that pairs perfectly with the berries.

5. Spinach salad with strawberries, avocado, and poppyseed dressing

Photo: Gimme Some Oven

Strawberries make a beautiful addition to many different salad recipes, particularly when spinach is involved. What makes this recipe, from Gimme Some Oven creator Ali Martin, is the creamy poppyseed dressing. Made with a mixture of avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and poppy seeds, it’s so good you’ll be dipping your berries right into it while prepping the rest of the dish.

6. Strawberry basil chicken

Photo: Wholesomelicious

Another savory recipes with strawberries comes from Wholesomelicious creator Amy Rains. Fresh strawberries and a handful of basil really make this chicken breast unlike any you’ve ever tasted. A little balsamic vinegar and garlic goes a long way, too. The whole thing takes just 20 minutes to make..

7. Fruit oatmeal bars

Photo: Well Plated by Erin

Make a batch of these strawberry oatmeal bars and you’ll have a fiber-rich snack on hand for the rest of the week. Created by Well Plated creator Erin Clark, the recipe includes a delicious vanilla glaze.

8. Five-minute frozen yogurt

Photo: Just a Taste

While many strawberry ice cream and yogurt recipes are loaded with sugar, Just a Taste creator Kelly Senyei has perfected a recipe using honey and lemon juice for sweetness. The only other ingredient you need is yogurt. Blend everything together and it’s ready to eat.

9. Two-ingredient jam

Photo: Melissa K. Noris

Savor the taste of summer long past Labor Day by making strawberry jam. Melissa Noris makes hers with just two ingredients: strawberries and lemon juice. Follow her instructions and you have a low-sugar jam to spread on English muffins or toast.

10. Gluten-free strawberry cake bars

Photo: Food Faith Fitness

In this recipe from Food Faith Fitness creator and nutrition coach Taylor Kiser, the strawberries are transformed into a light and airy “whipped” filling that serves as the middle for cake bars.

For more healthy recipes and cooking ideas from our community, join Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.

Tips & Tricks To Make The Most Amazing Strawberry Jam

Are you looking for tips and tricks for making the best homemade strawberry jam? Learn how to make this easy small batch strawberry jam recipe without pectin and get my thoughts on uses and variations.

Gone are the days when canning was a hot, all day chore that many women suffered through. Most everything you could want is at the grocery store or the farmer&rsquos market.

Even though I could pick up some organic strawberry jam at the farmer&rsquos market, I find that making my own tastes better. I don&rsquot know if it is from the satisfaction of making it myself or because it really is fresher from my pantry.

A lot of people think that making jam is laborious and tedious, but it really isn&rsquot. With a few ingredients you can make your own fresh jam to go on scones, biscuits or toast. We love adding it to unsweetened organic yogurt too.

This is especially wonderful if you don&rsquot live somewhere that you can buy fresh jam . With just a little patience, great tips and my recipe, you can make a jam that the whole family will love! Plus, you just may feel connected to family members of a bygone era when canning was necessary to life.

No Pectin Strawberry Jam

I wanted to share with you my favorite strawberry jam that&rsquos the perfect companion to my breakfast toast (and my dessert ice cream!). The jam is smooth, spreads beautifully, tastes sweet and I find myself sometimes just craving a spoon of it!

other jam recipes, instead we&rsquore using lemon juice. I prefer making jam without pectin. This method will leave you with a delicious jam that you can eat straight from the refrigerator, can or freeze for later usage.

The 3 ingredients you need is:

Boil. Add the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a medium sized pot. Don&rsquot use a small saucepan, it will boil over. Heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a full rolling boil. Stir the jam very often for a full 20 minutes while it&rsquos boiling. If you want to get exact you&rsquoll want the temperature to be 220 degrees while boiling.

Jam is Ready. Place the jam in mason jars and put in refrigerator if you&rsquore going to eat it immediately (or within the month). It will turn into a thicker jam consistency overnight.

Canning/Freezing. To can, transfer the jam to sterile jars, leaving about 1/2 inch on top and seal the jars in a water bath. To freeze, place jam in freezer bags after cooking and place in freezer.

I hope you like this easy to make Strawberry Jam without pectin! Make sure to serve over a warm piece of toast (here&rsquos my homemade white bread recipe!) &ndash that&rsquos my favorite way!

Jello Freezer Jam

  • 10 cups strawberries, washed and crushed
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large (6 oz) or 4 small (3 oz) boxes strawberry Jell-O

Step 1: In your largest pot, combine strawberries and sugar. Let stand for 1 hour. Heat to boiling, then simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 2: Use a potato masher to crush the strawberries.

Step 4: Stir in the Jell-O. Fill clean containers with jam. I didn’t have a canning jar filler, so I used a big plastic cup with a hole in the bottom.I put my jam in mason jars even though I didn’t actually can the jam. You can also store the jam in plastic food containers or even plastic freezer bags.

Step 5: Freeze the jam. Thaw in fridge before serving on toast, waffles, sandwiches or even ice cream. This jam is good in the freezer for 3-6 months, but you’ll be lucky if it lasts that long. Our family devoured it!

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Strawberry Jam

To me, the official start of summer is when local strawberries hit the farmers market stalls. There’s really nothing like the taste of those sweet berries, still warm from the sun, after a long winter. Which is why I tend to go a little crazy when they arrive, buying as many boxes as I can carry home each time I wander through the market until my fridge is loaded. Once I’ve eaten as many as I possibly can — served over my morning yogurt, baked into treats, and piled onto shortcake — it’s time to make jam.

Strawberry jam is the ultimate way to preserve the berries so that they can be enjoyed long after the short season has passed. While making it is actually quite straightforward, it’s important to avoid a few common mistakes in order to achieve success.

1. Doubling the batch.

If you’re overrun with sweet strawberries, it’s pretty tempting to just grab a bigger pot and double or triple the recipe you’re following. Marisa McClellan, of the blog Food in Jars and cookbook of the same name, warns against this. “Increasing the amount of jam in the pot might seem more efficient, but it’s actually going to slow you down. The better bet is to do two batches side by side,” she says.

Follow this tip: Instead of doubling or tripling the recipe to make one giant batch of jam, make two single batches side by side.

2. Reducing the sugar.

“Conventional jam recipes require a lot of sugar, and that sugar isn’t just there to serve as a sweetener.” says McClellan. The sugar binds to the water in the fruit, which otherwise would prevent the jam from thickening. The sugar essentially prevents this water from getting in the way, so what you’re left with is a nicely set jam rather than a thin and runny one.

Follow this tip: Don’t try to reduce the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. If you do want to make a strawberry jam with less sweetener, seek out a recipe that is specifically called out as such, which has been formulated to work with less sugar.

3. Not adding lemon.

Lemon is important for a couple of reasons in strawberry jam. First, it’s acidic, and acid helps balance the sugar in the jam so that it’s not too sweet. Second, it’s naturally high in pectin. If you’re not using boxed pectin, lemons give the strawberries a boost since they are low in pectin, and pectin is crucial if you want your jam to thicken and gel.

Follow this tip: Squeeze a thick lemon wedge or two into the pot. If you’re not using commercial pectin, drop the squeezed wedges right in — just be sure to fish them out before transferring your jam to jars.

4. Completely fearing commercial pectin.

While commercial pectin is sometimes looked down upon by some homemade jam enthusiasts, it’s not evil. As mentioned, strawberries are naturally low in pectin, which means jam made with the fruit won’t naturally thicken and set without adding it in. This can be done by tossing in a handful of lemon wedges or green apple slices, which are both naturally high in pectin, but it’s also OK to reach for boxed pectin, if preferred. Without pectin, strawberry jam needs to be cooked much longer to start jelling, if it actually ever does. That means you’ll not only overcook the fruit but you’ll loose that beautiful, bright berry color.

Follow this tip: Don’t completely write off strawberry jam recipes that call for commercial pectin. It’s more important that you use a recipe that works for you. Just be sure to reach for the specific pectin that’s called for in the recipe, as different varieties call for different amounts of sugar and cooking methods.

5. Not cooking long enough.

While it’s important not to overcook your jam, which leads to the loss of that fresh strawberry flavor, you also don’t want to undercook it. “Often, strawberry jam recipes only have you cook the fruit for a few minutes. While this does lead to an extra fresh-tasting preserve, it can also cause the fruit pulp to separate from the jelly as the jam cools. To prevent this separation, cook the fruit a few minutes longer, and use a potato masher to crush the berries as they cook. This will help release any trapped air from the fruit flesh, and will result in jam that stays integrated,” says McClellan.

Follow this tip: Cook the jam a few minutes longer than the recipe calls for and mash the strawberries a little with a potato masher while they cook so that the fruit stays evenly distributed throughout the jam once it cools.

Senior Contributing Food Editor

Sheela is the Senior Contributing Food Editor at Kitchn and the author of Mediterranean Every Day: Simple, Inspired Recipes for Feel-Good Food. She received her master's degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and is also a Registered Dietitian.

Wash the strawberries in cold water and drain thoroughly. Hull them and discard the caps.

Combine the berries with the sugar in a large stainless steel or enamel-lined pan and let sit for 3 to 4 hours.

In a medium saucepot, bring the strawberries to a boil slowly, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice.

Cook rapidly over medium heat until the strawberry mixture is clear and the syrup is thickened, or about 15 minutes.

Ladle or funnel the strawberry preserves into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.

How to Test for Jelling Point of Jams, Jellies, and Preserves

  • Temperature: If you use a candy thermometer, cook the preserves to 220 F or 8 degrees above the boiling point. For each 1,000 feet of altitude above sea level, subtract 2 degrees.
  • Freezer Test: Put a few small plates in the freezer. Near the end of the cooking time, begin to test. Drop a dab of jam on an ice-cold plate. Put it back in the freezer for 2 minutes. If the preserves wrinkle a bit when gently pushed with your finger, it is done. If it is still runny and your finger runs through it, continue cooking and test again in a few minutes.
  • Cold Spoon Test: Put a few metal spoons in the refrigerator. Dip a cold spoon into the boiling jelly and lift it. Let it run off the spoon. When two drops converge and "sheet" off the spoon, the preserves are done.
  • One pint of fresh strawberries weighs approximately 12 ounces. A 1-pound container, once the strawberries are hulled, will weigh about 12 to 14 ounces.
  • If the strawberry preserves set up properly, and you follow safe canning practices, the jars will keep for up to a year in a cool, dark place like your pantry.
  • If you're not sure if your preserves are properly canned, store them in the fridge and enjoy them within a month.
  • Be patient if the strawberry mixture is not reaching the gel point it can take longer depending on altitude, the size of the batch, the pan size, and your stovetop. The proper temperature can't be reached until enough water has been evaporated, so if the berries have a high water content, this process will take longer. Warming the sugar beforehand can help speed things up.

What Is the Difference Between Strawberry Jam and Strawberry Preserves?

Jam and preserves are made in very similar ways and have a similar flavor, but there is one major difference. Preserves tend to be made with whole fruit, so the spread has bigger chunks of fruit than a jam, which is often made of mashed fruit for a smoother texture.

This Perfect Strawberry Preserves Recipe Tastes Even Better Than Your Granny's

We have just discovered our dream job (aside from being food editors, of course) and it bears the title of "Preservationist" at the renowned Blackberry Farm. The title preservationist sounds a bit stuffy and boring, as though it were wrapped up deep in history or science (which is why our executive editor has always wanted to be called a "Jamstress"), but it's not that all -- at least not in the conventional sense.

No, the preservationist at Blackberry Farm -- who, by the way, is Shannon Walker --spends his day making preserves, jams, jellies, pickles and whatever else he can dream up with the bounty of fresh produce that's available to him from the fertile region of Southern Appalachia Tennessee. And, he makes the best strawberry preserves we have had the good fortune to taste. Maybe even the best strawberry preserves ever made. Maybe. (We haven't tasted them all, so it's hard to say.)

One bite of his preserves transports you straight to the strawberry fields. You taste strawberry -- not just sweetness -- and you can almost taste the sunshine that helped give those strawberries their bright red hue and its wine-deep red color. And the texture of the berries is kept intact, with whole berry-sized chunks studded throughout. After you've tasted these preserves, all others are ruined for you. They just can't compare. (Consider yourself warned.)

We knew we had to get our hands on the recipe, and that we did. But first, we had the chance to talk to Walker, a.k.a. the luckiest man in the country, to ask him about his canning philosophy, his work life and how on earth he landed such a great gig. Here's what he had to say, in his charming Southern accent:

How did you get interested in food?
I give my granny a lot of credit because she made fantastic food growing up that I really enjoyed. She lived just up the road from me, right here in Walland, TN. Both sides of my family go back here several generations in what is now the national park, and I have a lot of pride in the region. I want to preserve not just fruits and vegetables, but also that culture that I got a glimpse into with my grandparents and other folks from that generation.

How did you get hooked up with Blackberry Farm?
I always knew about the farm because we have family property that adjoins it. I went to college at Savannah School Of Art And Design and studied photography. I was a commercial photographer in Knoxville and in the late '90s everything started going digital. I knew it was time to reevaluate my career. Getting into food just made sense for me. I decided to come up to Blackberry Farm and see if they'd hire me as a prep cook or something. They passed on me a couple of times so I joined a local culinary arts program that was just getting started. Once I was in the program, [Blackberry Farm] decided to go ahead and hire me. And the rest was history.

What's your philosophy when it comes to canning and preserving?
What I try to keep in mind is to adhere to something that is regionally inspired through ingredients and to have as few ingredients in the product as I can. Like in the strawberry preserves for example, it's just strawberries, cane sugar and lemon juice. I don't use pectin. Our first ingredient is always the fruit and then sugar is second. It helps us contain consistency from batch to batch, but it also means that when you open the jar you smell the fruit, and you taste the fruit once you eat it, and that's very important to us -- to maintain the vitality of the fruit.

Something I think about in the winter time when I open a jar of strawberry preserves, or peach preserves, is how wonderful they are because of the aroma. I imagine back to a time, maybe 150 years ago, when someone was living a pretty rough existence up in these mountains. [I imagine] it's winter time and maybe they open a jar of blackberry jam and it transports them back to summertime when things were a little better than a bleak winter here in the Smokies. I think about those things.

What's the best part of your job? (We had to ask.)
The creativity side of things. I've always loved where science and art come together, with photography, and with food, I guess those kinds of things just keep me going -- where those two worlds meet.

Without further ado, here is the recipe for the best strawberry preserves we've ever tasted. If you're not up to the task of making your own batch, or can't get your hands on great strawberries, you can order the preserves on their website to be delivered right to your door.

Homemade Strawberry Preserves
Courtesy of Shannon Walker, Preservationist at Blackberry Farm

NOTE: The strawberries that Blackberry Farm uses (from the local farmers) are something really special. These are not the same type of strawberries you find at the grocery store. To really make great preserves, and to make one as good as theirs, check out your local you-pick strawberry farms or the farmers market when possible. Look for small to medium sized strawberries -- the recipe uses them full-sized and it is so good this way -- that are bright red and have a strong aroma.

Strawberries, cleaned & hulled
Cane sugar
Lemon juice

Weigh your strawberries, take half the weight of the strawberries and use as your sugar measurement. Use as many ounces of lemon juice as you used pounds of sugar. For example, for 10 lbs strawberries, use 5 lbs sugar, and 5 oz. lemon juice.

Add all the ingredients to a pot and allow to boil until product has risen and fallen. Use a metal spoon to test for doneness if preserve mixture drips off in a sheet, then it’s ready to jar.

Ladle preserves to a sterilized jars, and seal with sterilized lids. Add jarred preserves to warm water and cover two inches over lid. Bring product to boil and process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let them sit for 5 additional minutes, remove and allow to cool for 24 hours. Store in a cool dark and dry place.

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Perfect strawberry jam

Felicity's perfect strawberry jam. Photograph: Felicity Cloake for the Guardian

Great strawberry jam is surprisingly quick and easy to make especially if a spurt of enthusiasm at the pick-your-own has left you with a glut, or you spot some overripe fruit going cheap at the market – it's the flavour of summer all year round. All you need are good berries, and a little patience. And, of course, a good scone recipe.

2kg small ripe strawberries
1.7kg jam sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

1. Hull the strawberries and discard any rotten ones. Set aside about 10 of the smallest berries, and then mash the rest up into a rough pulp. Put into a wide, thick-bottomed pan, add the sugar and the lemon juice, and bring to the boil. Add the remaining strawberries to the pan, and put a saucer in the freezer.

2. Boil the jam for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly checking the setting point every minute or so during the last 5 minutes. To do this, take the cold saucer out of the freezer, put a little jam on it, and put it back in to cool for a minute. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, then it's done. Strawberry jam is unlikely to set very solid though, so don't expect the same results as you would with a marmalade.

3. Take off the heat and skim off the pink scum. Pour into sterilised jars and cover with a disc of waxed paper, seal and store.

How do you deploy strawberry jam, and what else do the gardeners among you do with gluts of summer fruit?

Watch the video: Kurzvideo: Samtige Erdbeer-Marmelade mit Vanille u0026 Sekt mit dem Thermomix