Balance With Self · Goodies · My Life · vegan · vegetarian

Exciting News + Healthy Strawberry Jam

Hi My Dancing Raindrops!

It’s so nice to see the rain outside. We don’t get a lot of rain where I live in Texas, so I always get excited when I hear the raindrops dashing across my window is music to my ears. ❤

I have some exciting news this week!

* GIRL TALK ALERT! If you’re a guy or are uncomfortable with that kind of stuff, skip down below the dotted line to taste some strawberry deliciousness. 🙂 *

Over the past few years, I’ve had some imbalances in my T.O.M. cycle. (If you want to know more about my story with this, you can check out some of my pasts posts – they can fill in the details of my journey.) In short, after numerous doctor visits and no answers, my endocrinologist decided for me simply to wait for my T.O.M. to come on its own, since I didn’t have any other health effects as a result. I know having a regular cycle is important to many health systems in my body, so I wanted to have it back. During these past two semesters up at college, it was nonexistent as well, and even though I wasn’t out of the ordinary, it was still distressing. Since I’ve been home, I’ve tried to relax. My life has been too full of stress for as long as I can remember, and I wanted to take a rest for a little while. This week, something miraculous happened. My T.O.M. (time of month) came and stayed with me these past five days! I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had a full cycle that long all on my own (without B.C. pills).

Even though going through this has been hard, it’s also been a blessing in my life. Through my semesters up at college, my life was non-stop, and not having it gave me one less thing to worry about throughout my day. Thinking about my experience these past years, I think my stress levels have had a large impact on my cycle. When I think about the body and why it would do this in response to stress, it amazes me with how the body senses things and reacts accordingly. It knew I was under a lot of pressure, so it tried to lighten the burden. This has given me time to experience just a fraction of the feelings a women who can’t bear children might feel. I’m excited to go back to college in January and take Anatomy and Physiology II, Nutrient Metabolism, and perhaps Women’s Health (I really hope I can get in!). I might not have my T.O.M. on a regular basis again when I go back up to college in January, but I’m comforted to know that when I’m home it comes back.

………………………………………………………………………….

It was Strawberry Week at my house today, so I made some Strawberry Jam!

I didn’t want to use any artificial sugars, but I also wanted this to be something my mom (who’s diabetic) could enjoy too. So, while having fun in the kitchen and throwing things together I came up with this simple recipe that results in only 10 calories per tablespoon! I had my family members try a spoonful of it to let me know if I needed to add more sugar or not, but they said it was delicious! My sister begged for the bowl and spatula after I was done to lick them clean! If I get that kind of reaction, I KNOW it’s good.

Here’s how I made it!


*Note: When I took these pictures I was two batches of my strawberry jam, so it will show an amount double of what the directions will make.*


Wash, remove the stems, and slice up the strawberries, adding them to a food blender or food processor.


Process on high just until the strawberries are broken down, leaving crushed pieces throughout.


(I like my jams thicker – more like preserves.)


Pour the crushed strawberries into a large bowl.


Add the no-cook fruit pectin. (I use the Simply Creations Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin.)


Add the sugar and stir it together, making sure the pectin is evenly distributed.


Pour into glass jars and let sit for 30 minutes until thickened. (If the jam isn’t as thick as you like, try adding another packet of fruit pectin. Then let it sit for another 30 minutes before freezing.) Secure lids, keep a couple of jars out for the fridge, and store the rest in the freezer until ready for more.


My family’s favorite way to eat this strawberry jam is to spread it on top of a couple toasted slices of my homemade bread with a little smart balance light buttery spread. Or, on occasion, I’ll catch them sticking their spoon in for the twentieth time. 😛

Healthy Strawberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 4 pints strawberries, washed and stems removed
  • 1 packet* no-cook fruit pectin
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions

Wash, remove the stems, and slice up the strawberries, adding them to a food blender or food processor. Process on high just until the strawberries are broken down, leaving crushed pieces throughout. (I like my jams thicker – more like preserves.) Pour the crushed strawberries into a large bowl.

Add the no-cook fruit pectin. (I use the Simply Creations Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin.) Add the sugar and stir it together, making sure the pectin is evenly distributed. Pour into glass jars and let sit for 30 minutes until thickened. Secure lids, keep a couple of jars out for the fridge, and store the rest in the freezer until ready for more. Makes approximately 2 quarts, or about 8 cups worth of jam.

My family’s favorite way to eat this strawberry jam is to spread it on top of a couple toasted slices of my homemade bread with a little smart balance light buttery spread. Or, on occasion I’ll catch them sticking their spoon in for the twentieth time. 😛

*Note: If the jam isn’t as thick as you like, you may want to add another packet of fruit pectin. If so, let it sit for another 30 minutes before freezing. Also, add only enough sugar to sweeten it to your tastes. Some batches of strawberries are riper and sweeter than others, so you may or may not need as much depending on the season. With the amount listed above, each tablespoon of jam has only about 10 calories. If you use frozen strawberries, use about 3 12-oz bags of defrosted strawberries. Make the same way as illustrated above.

Print This!

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does! ❤

with lot of hugs,

Kathleen

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Exciting News + Healthy Strawberry Jam

  1. That is absolutely wonderful news about your T.O.M cycle, and I am so happy for you that it came naturally and stayed for five days. I can imagine that you must have been quite worried; I have been dealing with issues similar to yours as well, and am very anxious about it. I am not sure if it is stress-related or caused by something else related to my prior orthorexia, but I’ve only gotten it once this year (for the first time). Not to sound desperate or whining; I just thought I would share my experience, and let you that I am very excited for you in that regard! That jam recipe looks delicious–I have never made homemade jam, but I will have to put it on my bucket list:) Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Awwweee, thanks, Kendra. You are so sweet. 🙂 I know how you feel. I’ve found there are many different causes for the lack of T.O.M., which could be stressed related as well. Exercise and diet also have an effect on it, in addition to emotional stress. Usually it comes down to stress, which can effect the hormones associated with a T.O.M. I’m not an expert on it at all, but that’s what I’ve learned through my experiences. Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope you figure out what is going on! ❤

  2. So glad TOM came to visit and stayed! That’s great news! Stress really does a number on the body and makes it difficult for things to work the way they should. I hope it continues properly! 🙂

    Also, your jam looks yummy! I just made strawberry butter that was most definitely NOT healthy, but so delicious, haha!

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s