Jams are a household staple and a key player in the classic American PB&J sandwich. Yet, despite the attention its PB&J partner in crime peanut butter has had, jams and jellies have remained a bit of an afterthought, not receiving much attention from consumers or brands. We’re breaking down what a jam actually is and a few fun (or not so fun?!) facts about them.
Facts About Jams, Jellies & PreservesTraditional Jams are 55%+ Sugar
For a jam to be called a ‘jam’ it has to contain at least 55% sugar. Yep, that’s right. The rest of it is made up of fruit, pectin & preservatives.The difference between jams, jellies & preserves is the form of fruit that is used to make them
Jams are made of pureed fruit, jellies are made of fruit juice, preserves have pieces of fruit and fruit spread is used to refer to products that don’t have over 55% sugar.Pectin is a carbohydrate found mostly in fruits
While a naturally occurring ingredient in fruit, commercially made pectins are generally added to jams to increase thickness. The pectin requires sugar and acid to bring the gel to the jam.Sugar acts as a preservative
The sugar in jam has two purposes - to set the jam alongside the pectin as noted above, and to preserve it so it can last in your fridge (for what feels like years sometimes).Chia Seeds can create a jam texture
Chia seeds soak up liquid from fruits and can give you a jam-like texture. Save the extra sugar, and get fiber and protein instead! If you’re making it at home, keep it in the fridge and remember it won’t last as long without the added sugar and preservatives.
Jams can be a great way to add a fruity, nutritional boost to your dishes, whether it’s that pb&j, a piece of toast, oatmeal, yogurt, baking or more. Just make sure you check out what’s in it! There are some great options that will keep both you and the kids happy. We love Chia Smash, a superfood jam made with real ingredients and no added sugar. Check it out!
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