Nine More Months: Fun Food Makeovers: Strawberry Jam/Jelly

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fun Food Makeovers: Strawberry Jam/Jelly

With the kids home constantly for  the Summer, I thought it would be a great time to experiment on them in the kitchen with them. One thing I am striving for is to find healthier foods that they'll eat. Usually it's not an issue with my 6 year old, Mason. My 3 year old, Jackson, on the other hand, can not be fooled with healthy substitutions.

Sugar sugar sugar. It's in everything we eat! As I move towards less and less processed food, I am trying to find ways to revamp some of the kids' favorites. One thing they both love are their PB&J sandwiches. Even the no-sugar-added-organic-wild-picked-naturally-canned -whatever kinds of jellies and jams still have a pretty good amount of sugar in them. Researching recipes, it seems that sugar, whether it be the white stuff, or honey, or something similar, is pretty crucial in actually preserving the jam. I decided to try something different. A small batch of raw strawberry jam. Something we would use up rather quickly, but was simple enough to make again each week. 

It was super easy to make. I took the small container of strawberries from our CSA box. Hulled and roughly chopped they were about 1 1/2 cups. I put them in the Magic Bullet with a sprinkle of stevia, blended until there were only a few small pieces left, then mixed in 1 Tablespoon of ground chia seeds. Next I put the mixture into a small container and popped it in the fridge. After about 20 minutes it had a nice jelly consistency. I made a PB&J sandwich and gave each of the kids half of it, letting them know that it was homemade jelly. My younger one is always weary of my concoctions, but thankfully he tried it. They were well-received! I tried a little of it on one of my favorite snacks, toast with almond butter. Yum!

Definitely a successful food makeover! But I decided not to stop there. What else could this be used for? How about yogurt? My kids absolutely love yogurt, but sometimes the sugar in there is just too much for me to feel good about giving it to them. Even a "healthy" low fat greek yogurt with strawberries has a whopping 19 grams of sugar for a 6-ounce serving. 

I thought my strawberry "jam" would be the perfect yogurt stir-in without adding any sugar! All I had at home was fat free plain greek yogurt. A 4-ounce serving has 65 calories and 4.5 grams of sugar. I stirred in a Tablespoon of the strawberry jam and fed it to my 6 year old. 

He loved it! According to him it tasted like a strawberry milkshake. The strawberry mixture adds less than 20 calories and less than a gram of natural sugar. My 3 year old, upon hearing it tasted like a milkshake, was eager to try it too. Unfortunately he wasn't a fan. I wasn't in love with it either, but I think this could be easily fixed by using a base yogurt that isn't as bitter as fat free greek yogurt. 

All in all, today's experiment was a pretty good success. I'll be crossing strawberry jelly off of our grocery list for good, and flavored yogurts too! 

If you have any food makeovers you'd like to share, please feel free to link up!


Lyd Rich said...

Smart smart smart! :)

Kayla @ TheEclecticElement said...

You are quite the smart lady! I personally would love to try that strawberry jam recipe because it sounds (and looks) delicious :)

Kudos to you for your experimental wins!

Susan Rolfes said...

Try using regular fat free yogurt instead of greek for the kids. It's less strong.

Laura Beth said...

Love this! This is definitely a must try for the summer!