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Pectin, the help your jams need

Jams are widely used sweets and more and more “sugar-free” options are available on the market.

What these claims really mean is that ordinary sugar or sucrose is not added, but artificial sweeteners and very often fructose are added instead.

Do not abuse any compote even if it is with fructose.

The jam will always have sugar because it is made from fruit, there is the possibility of adding little or no sugar/sweetener to this fruit.

The function of sugar is to preserve the fruit and give it consistency, therefore, to replace it, this must be taken into account.

Pectin is an ally when making jams to which you want to add little or no sugar.

What is pectin?

Pectin is a polysaccharide present in the cell wall of plants.

We can say that it is a fiber and exists in greater quantity in apples, plums, oranges and other citrus fruits.

It has a bitter taste and is used by the industry as a thickener and stabilizer. The use in jams is very frequent.

While fiber plays an important role in the intestines: it controls the absorption of carbohydrates and cholesterol and feeds the beneficial intestinal flora.

Pectin, in contact with an acidic environment, forms a structure that gives jams or other foods a thick consistency.

Therefore, the best fruits to make jam will be acidic and with pectin in their constitution:

Sour apple (eg Reineta), red fruits (currant, blueberry), grape, sour cherry and sour orange.

In other fruits it may be necessary to add acid (lemon juice for example).

In jams, fruits should be used at their maximum ripeness, when their nutritional content is highest and their taste is sweetest.

A jam to which no sugar is added, if it has enough pectin and the right acidity, will have a pleasant consistency, but it will always last less time than a jam with sugar.

Keep them in a cool and dry place.

Pectin can be purchased directly or made at home.

Pectin from oranges:

  • Peel oranges, removing the white skin (this is where the pectin is). You can use a knife to remove the white part from the inside of the thick peel and from the top of the orange segments, or use a potato peeler gently to achieve the same effect;
  • Grind the white skin in a blender. For each glass of pectin add 3 glasses of water;
  • Boil for 20 minutes;
  • Strain and enjoy the juice that is extracted pectin;
  • To make jam: 60 to 80 ml of pectin for 500 ml of fruit pulp.

Compote and jelly are distinguished by the consistency of the fruit, which in the jam is crushed and in the jelly small pieces appear.

Jam Suggestion: Berry juice + pomegranate juice + chunks of blueberries or strawberries + pectin.

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