Homemade Strawberry Jam with Organic Cane Sugar

I had never been strawberry picking and this year I was determined to change that.  Especially when I found out that a local farm that sells Christmas trees in the winter and Pumpkins in the fall also does pick-your-own strawberries!! It is only about 5 minutes from my house so a few weekends ago, I dragged my husband along and it was so fun! Until we finished picking and got to the register only to find out that they only took cash or check! What?!  After searching our wallets and the car to make sure there weren’t any loose bills or checks we had forgotten about, we had to drive home to get our check book then back again.  Thank goodness we live so close!  There was another family who had to leave their strawberries there too while they went to an ATM so I didn’t feel completely silly.  Oh well, lesson learned.  
After all the trouble we went through to get our hand picked strawberries, I was determined to make something delicious!  We started with a batch of homemade strawberry ice cream using our Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment we got for our wedding.  It was amazing!  Next up on the list was this delicious Strawberry Jam with Organic Cane Sugar.  So, what makes Organic Cane Sugar better than your ordinary white refined sugar? And isn’t any added sugar bad?  Of course you should avoid added sugar as much as you can, but if you are going to use sugar as a sweetener, organic cane sugar definitely has some major benefits over regular white refined sugar.  The major benefit is that sugar cane is less processed, so it retains nutrients present in cane juice, including different amino acids, minerals and vitamins.  Additionally, it lacks the chemical traces that white table sugar contains from undergoing the refining process.  You can read more about this here.  
So, this stuff was realllllly good.  And pretty darn easy for my first attempt at making homemade jam.  The only ingredients were strawberries, Real Fruit Instant Pection by Ball, and organic cane sugar. After just a few minutes of prep, the jam only took 30 minutes to set before it was ready for some whole wheat toast or some greek yogurt.  So good!   
Makes 2 (8 oz) jars of jam
– 1 2/3 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
– 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
– 2 tbsp Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin   (Buy it here)
1. Place hulled and sliced strawberries in a medium bowl and crush.  I used a potato masher.  How much you crush depends on how “chunky” you like your jam.  I like mine with some actual chunks of strawberries.
2. Combine the sugar and pectin in a large bowl.
3. Add the crushed strawberries and stir for 3 minutes.
4. Pour or spoon the name mixture into clean jars and let stand for 30 minutes.  
5.  Enjoy your jam within 3 weeks if in the fridge or within a year if you decide to freeze it! 

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