How to make mulberry jam with just one hour to pick them and another to cook the jelly.
There are numerous things that I love about mulberries. Firstly, they are absolutely loaded with the good stuff, as are most dark berries.
C, iron, antioxidants, flavonoids, phytosterols, you name it,
mulberries are rich in the goodies. Then there are B vitamins like folic
acid and K. Just accept it, mulberries are a very healthy fruit. And so, what are phytosterols? See lower down for the answer.
Secondly, they are very easy to grow in a temperate climate. They bear prolifically within a few years, requiring zero attention.
Thirdly, not unimportant at Chiropractic Help, they are very easy to
pick. No bending is required as the fruit hangs abundantly in bunches that you can
scoop off very quickly and easily. Still, before ever venturing into the garden, just like before a football match, I recommend the lower back exercises mentioned below; think of them as a warm up.
I guess virtually all berries taste divine.
But mulberries are definitely one of my favourites.
Sweet, faintly piquant and juicy, learning to make mulberry jam so we can enjoy the fruit year round is high on our agenda.
It took me probably nearly an hour to pick this bucket of mulberries. Of course, I probably ate half a pound too; nine in all.
We used to wash them, but they lose a lot of flavour; and to destalk each mulberry takes too long. Keep it simple, eh. It makes not the slightest difference to the taste, the looks or the nutrition.
How to make mulberry jam fits perfectly with our general slogan; slow food made fast.
Here's an aside. How often do we not attempt something because of the schlepp, or how long it takes. How to make mulberry jam with stalks, or none at all because it just takes too long is the question?
The overall aim of bottling, preserving and making jams and jellies is to make a particularly loved fruit available year round. Whilst undoubtedly not as healthy and delicious as straight from the tree, mulberry jam is one of our family's favourites.
It means that we have mulberries available for a lot longer than the six week season of mellow fruitfulness.
How to make mulberry jam and in just two hours to make 11 bottles of the most delicious nutritious preserve.
You do need big, deep pots. Here she who must be obeyed is using two; the stainless steel with five pounds of mulberries, and the enamel with four pounds.
I've tasted mulberry jam before that's so insipid. It's freshly squeezed lemon juice that makes the difference. Don't have a lemon tree? That should certainly come before a mulberry tree. Growing lemon trees ...
Add the juice of one lemon to each of pots of mulberries and bring to the boil on medium-high heat.
Once it's boiling, measure your sugar and add.
The boss likes a wooden spoon. Stir steadily until all the sugar is dissolved, otherwise it may burn.
Oh, I nearly forgot. She liquidised the mulberries in this pot with a hand blender. She likes it blended, I like the whole mulberries!
I know of no health benefit from sugar, except it's taste; humans have an exceptionally sweet tooth. I do too. And I could list about ten negatives.
But one needs to look at the overall context of the whole meal. More lower down... for the moment, let's just say, no sugar, no jams or jellies. I personally won't use chemically sweetened food, but even they won't work in How to make mulberry jam.
Rule of thumb: 3 1/2 lbs mulberries - 3 lbs sugar.
So, for our 9 pounds of fruit, we would add 8 pounds of sugar.
Further, our 11 bottles of jam would then contain 8/11 lb sugar each.
1 lb sugar ~ 100 tsp. So, 8/11 x 100 ~ 70 tsp sugar in each jar.
On each slice of bread, I use about 1 TBSP. At 32 TBSP per pound of jam, each helping would contain roughly 2 tsp of sugar.
The downside of sugar it's relatively high GI: it is turned rapidly into blood sugar, resulting in a insulin rush, stressing the pancreas and the sugar is then stored as fat. It's not as high as white bread, white rice and potatoes, mind you.
But the GI is determined by the overall content of the meal. Provided there is fat and protein in the meal the GI of your two teaspoons of sugar on wholewheat bread and butter would be just fine. Carbohydrate Count Chart and Glycemic Index ... if still concerned, add a slice of cheese to the sandwich, and even a leaf of lettuce.
Boil off the excess water
Now for the tricky bit. Be warned, my wife's not given to swearing, but over the years, now and then the air has been blue at this stage! You want to boil it hard to drive off the excess water, with the bubbles near the top of the pot, but look the other way for just three seconds... and you're doomed!
Periodically I note she scoops a little scum off the top.
This stage takes nearly an hour. Towards the end the jam gets thicker and darker as it nears the gel point. I notice much watching how it drips off the wooden spoon - till it "looks right"!
To confirm that she's reached the gel point, now she pours a couple drops onto a plate, and puts it in the deep freeze for two or three minutes.
This is now the second tricky part. Stop too soon, and your How to make mulberry jam will be less than a great success. Very runny. Too runny, like eating watermelon, drips running down to your elbows, only these drops stain. Big time.
There's a continual watching of the drips, and whether the jam drops from the freezer form a gel as she pushes her finger into the jelly.
Bottle too soon, and next morning the air's blue again. All the jam must be poured back into the pots and reheated again. How to make mulberry jam is such fun!
How to make mullberry jam, any jam for that matter, needs one specialised piece of equipment: a funnel with a wide mouth. You can't see it here but this funnel has a mouth of 25mm (one inch) in diameter. It makes the pouring stage much simpler.
My mum had it specially made from stainless steel some forty years ago. Jup, I remember moving the funnel from bottle to bottle for her in days of yore.
A bit of sneaky-sneaky on the side whilst the boss is not looking; the teacher knows how to give a rap on the knuckles. Nothing like a bit of hot mulberry jam on ice cream. Stolen mulberries are the sweetest, eh!
Here's an interesting aside for you. If your kid is a rat like I've just been and fully deserves a
rap, would you rather, in a society where corporal punishment is akin
to child abuse, that his teacher has to resort to a tirade of verbal abuse to keep him in order? Or a sharp rap on the knuckles, and all is forgiven and forgotten? As a society we still seem unable to distinguish the fine line between a spanking and a savage beating.
Now we have a twenty minute wait for the jam to cool a little, otherwise you may have shattered bottles. Notice how she places the bottles near the pots whilst how to make mulberry jam is on the boil, just to get them warm.
Super clean and dry glass bottles are the order of the day.
Time for a simple supper of avocado on homemade
bread, and delicious ice cream and hot mulberry jam sauce. Whilst I wouldn't
call ice cream a healthy food, the fat and protein reduces the glycemic
index. Break down now and again, eh. Better still break down and buy one of those simple appliances; they're not expensive. Then you make your own without all the junk that food manufacturers put into their product.
And now to the bottling.
Of course, all year long, glass bottles are collected, carefully washed and totally dried, and stored away for the day when I'm sent berrying and now it's time to learn how to make mulberry jam. At our age we make sure that we can both do everything. Healthy retirement sentiments should be a the heart of every couple approaching sixty. That's assuming you want to live long in the land and enjoy your grandchildren growing up. The internet banking, paying the water account, making bread and now jam. One of these days one or other of us will have to do everything.
I wonder which of us it will be. Will she have to find a new chiropractor for her sacroiliac joint treatment or will I have to find someone to work out exactly how much sugar to add? Chiropractic and mathematics we don't try to teach each other. The remainder theorem and calculus are quite beyond me.
More likely, with the worst road accident stats in the whole world in South Africa we'll go out together. Read my September 2013 blog; Drama on Town Hill spells out the pain of a nation that refuses to obey the law. Surprisingly the United States is not far behind in the death and deformity on the roads stakes. Chiropractors are kept busy; read about it at whiplash chiropractic.
Yield of how to make mulberry jam? Nine pounds of fruit yielded eleven one pound bottles of mulberry jam. Of course, the sugar weighs in too; the downside of any preserve.
A short word on the neurosis of food. Whilst there are a few individuals who are strongly allergic to certain foods, and even one peanut can kill for example, for the majority of us be very careful if you start to refuse invitations to dinner because the food might have this or that. You're on the verge of a mental illness far more dangerous than two teaspoons of sugar in a tablespoon of mulberry jam. Read more about the health nut neurosis.
Yesterday I went out to dinner and was offered a slice of a very scrumptious looking tart; the hostess refused to divulge the ingredients until after we had sampled her wares. I even had a second slice; but would I accept it again? Definitely not. Here are the ingredients in Cremora. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil coconut, canola, and palm kernel, corn syrup solids, sugar,
sodium caseinate, a milk derivative, dipotassium phosphate,
monoglycerides, natural flavor, salt, silicon dioxide, sodium
tripolyphosphate, vitamin E acetate, datem, lutein, artificial color,
soy lecithin. May contain soy products. Nestle even makes the claim to produce only healthy food on its website. I enough of a health nut not to eat that again.
Now don't forget to make up some labels, otherwise you'll have a pantry full of jams and jellies and marmalades of no known vintage.
There is a certain discipline that goes along with how to make mulberry jam, and any cooking for that matter.
The boss doesn't seem to bother with candlewax or bits of greaseproof paper on top, and we don't seem to have a problem with fungus. Perhaps it's the lemon juice.
And now, for the next year, we'll have mulberry jam preserve to go on our panera bread; not every day of course. We love raw honey, our authentic hummus recipe, cherry guava jelly or just avocado on bread.
We're very strict: none of that margarine that's just a dangerous (and awful tasting) hydrogenated food; actually, I can't call margarine a food, more like plastic. Olive oil and butter in moderation because those who eat regularly from our Healthy Living Tips have no fear of the dreaded cholesterol.
This panera bread menu recipe is full of the right goodies; it takes me five minutes every other morning to prepare.
Healthy living tips is about those foods that will enable you to realistic approach eighty with confidence rather than fear, and without having to take a bucketload of pills every day.
Let your food be your medicine.
Is it really that difficult to enjoy an apple several times a week, or have eggs Florentine on Sunday morning? Would you find grinding flax seed in a coffee blender for its omega-3 overwhelmingly frustrating? It takes me ten seconds.
Autoimmune diseases are seeing a growth spurt in epidemic proportions; ever wonder why?
How to make mulberry jam is one of the small things the boss does every year to make certain we have deeply coloured fruit available for all twelve months.
What are phytosterols is one of the most important pages at Chiropractic Help; they have everything to do with the vitality of the arteries that supply your lumbar spine for example. If they are inflamed and clogged with cholesterol your back is much less likely to heal no matter what the surgeon or chiropractor does.
As that remarkable heart surgeon, Dr Dwight Lundell, reminds us; return to the food that your grandmother served, not what your mother put in front of you. Foods to reduce inflammation he calls it. At our what are phytosterols page your can find out more about those anti inflammatory foods that will lessen the pain in your muscles and joints.
How to make mulberry jam is just one way we ensure we have phytosterols year round.
Lower back exercises are for everyone; they are to the lumbar spine what brushing and flossing do to the teeth. Prevention is always better than a cure.
One of the reasons I love mulberry jam is that I don't have to do a lot of bending, as in reaping strawberries. Nevertheless, I do these lower back exercises every single day; very faithfully since a serious slipped disc causing femoral nerve damage. It was only because of the highly skilled treatment of my chiropractor that I escaped the knife.
Yes, chiropractors need treatment too. Especially if they do a lot of bending and twisting, fortunately not something needed if you are concerned about how to make mulberry jam.