For my last day on my counseling shift, my classmates and I decided to thank our supervisor by bringing in breakfast. My supervisor was amazing. He regularly brought in chocolate to share, imparted great words of wisdom on us and always made sure we knew what we did well on each shift. He’s the type of person/educator that helps you see where you can improve in the kindest way possible. Breakfast was our way of thanking him, and honestly, the least we could do.
He absolutely loved it.
My contribution to the feast was gluten free/vegan Irish Soda Bread and home made strawberry preserves. I intended to serve store bought blackberry preserves, but when I went to the grocery store and saw that the organic strawberries were on sale, I thought it might be fun to treat my classmates to a home made version.
Having never made jam or preserves before, it was sort of an experiment. I had been toying with the idea for a while, but it always seemed like a lot of work, a lot of sugar, and a lot of ingredients/supplies that I don’t have on hand.
My experiment was a success, with 3 simple ingredients.
Pre’s Strawberry Preserves
- 1 pound of organic strawberries, hulled
- 1/2 cup of Wholesome Sweeteners, Organic Blue Agave
- 1 squirt of lemon juice (roughly a teaspoon)
Before starting, place three or four spoons in your freezer. They will help you determine if your preserves have reached the desired consistency.
- Place the strawberries in a heavy bottomed steel pot and mash with a potato masher.
- Add the agave nectar and lemon juice to the strawberries and combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, turn the heat down to maintain a rolling bowl and stir regularly to prevent the strawberries from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- When the mixture starts to thicken, dip a frozen spoon in the pot and let it sit for a minute. Run your finger through the preserves to separate them. If they do not run back together, the preserves are done. If they do run together, boil a little longer and check again in a few minutes.
- Fill two 1-cup mason jars with preserves and allow to cool.
- Cap tightly, label with the date and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Agave is a fantastic substitute for sugar because it is 25% sweeter, so you end up using less. Most recipes for preserves call for a 2:1 or even a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar, I used less in this recipe because of the sweetness of the agave.
This is a simple way to to enjoy clean, fresh, preservative free strawberries. It was delightful with the soda bread. The perfect way to end the quarter!