1. Fruit spreads 101
Jam is made from mashed or puréed fruit while jelly is made from juice. As for marmalade, it’s usually made from citrus. Think of it as jelly’s sharper cousin: peel, pulp and zest add a kick to the smooth spread.
2. Smarter choice
Smarter choice While one tablespoon of peanut or almond butter has about 90 calories and butter and olive oil up to 120 calories, jam is comparatively svelte at just 50 or so calories per tablespoon.
3. Steeped in history
Most historians agree that fruit preserves were first made in the Middle East, where sugar cane grew naturally. Crusaders are often credited for bringing jam to Europe, where it became a delicious way to end royal feasts—and a favourite of Louis XIV.
4. Works in a pinch
Trying to make raspberry vinaigrette but ran out of raspberries? Adding a twist to ham or pork? Need a quick dessert glaze? Jam to the rescue.
5. Shelf life
The more sugar your preserve contains, the longer it will last in the fridge. That puts jellies in first place, jams in second and fruit butters last (they’re usually just reduced fruit, containing no added sugar and no butter, despite the name). A typical jar of strawberry jam, say, should last up to a year after it’s opened.
6. Unsung heroes shine
When was the last time you ate raw cranberries, currants, quince or rhubarb? Probably never. Although they’re not the tastiest, these amazing fruits make incredible jam.
7. The Power of pectin
The characteristic thickness of jam—and the ease with which it spreads—comes from pectin, a structural fibre found in fruit that is released and activated by the added sugar and the cooking process. (Jam must reach 220°F/105°C in order to set.)
8. Fast freezer method
Daunted by the idea of making your own jam? Try our No-Cook Strawberry Jam that you can whip up in minutes. Visit ricardocuisine.com
9. Strawberry on top
It can help you eat more protein and calcium. Really? Really! Jam pairs well with plain dairy foods like ricotta cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese, making these protein-rich foods that much more palatable.
10. Raising the jar
Don’t forget to save those empty pots! They’re perfect for packing your own homemade preserves or for serving desserts in pretty individual portions, like our Berry and Pistachio Crumble with Whipped Cream.