In my search for food items that are Candida friendly, jam, jelly or fruit preserves have not been easy to find. I have found (very rarely) some that are made with Stevia, but its a small jar and very expensive. So if you want to have jam or jelly on your yogurt, toast, or pancakes the best way is to make your own! Strawberries are one of the few fruits that are OK on a Candida diet because they are lower in fructose than other fruits.
“Strawberries are a great choice for this diet, as they are sweet yet relatively low in sugar. According to the Fruit Pages website, which contains nutritional information on most fruits, 100 g of strawberries contain about 5 g of sugar. This is less than half the amount found in a typical apple, making them a more appropriate choice for the Candida Diet.” – Livestrong.com
One of the things I love about living in Oregon is that there are tons of u-pick farms throughout the spring, summer, and fall. So since its now peak Strawberry time here, I went with some friends and picked some amazing strawberries! The nice thing about picking them fresh is that you can get the ripe ones so you won’t have to add much sweetener to your jam. The downside to this is that you need to make your jam within 24 hrs. of picking, so be prepared to get to jam as soon as you get done picking. Another great option if you don’t have a u-pick farm or unable to get out to one is farmers markets this time of year. They are a little more expensive this way, but you can buy flats that usually have just been picked.
Below is a link to a recipe that I followed. I made a couple of changes though. I added a little bit of coconut sugar (I noticed in the comments that several people did this as well) just to sweeten it some more. Don’t over do it, so make sure you taste as you go. Another thing to watch out for is that some of the pectin’s you buy at the store (especially the ones marketing to freezer jam) have added sugar! Read that package carefully! I bought mine from my local food co-op that didn’t have any added sweetener, but this means you have to heat your freezer jam as per the directions below. You can also buy in bulk, but make sure you consult with someone at your store about how to use pectin in bulk, since it might need calcium to jelly.
Also, please, do not use plastic containers to store your jam in! Plastic leaches, especially when it comes into contact with anything acidic, and you don’t want to feed your family toast with plastiscines (we’re going for toast with jam). Use straight sided glass jars (even old peanut butter jars with their original lid work great!) so they don’t swell and burst in the freezer. In the end you’ll have heavenly jam for months to come! Enjoy!