During summer, when there is an abundance of stone fruit and berries, many people are tempted to preserve them but are put off by conventional techniques that require a lot of added sugar. Some people can’t have a lot of sugar for health reasons, and others are trying to cut back. The good news is, there are options for preserving fruit without piling in the white stuff.
Good quality, fully ripe fruit will have natural sugars in them and also deliver the best flavour. The fruit can be treated with an antioxidant like ascorbic acid, which will help the fruit to retain its colour. Fruit can be packed via hot and cold methods, however, hot packing is the better method for developing the best flavour, and for extracting natural liquid from the fruit.
Sweeteners are another possibility. Splenda has been recommended as suitable as it is heat stable. However, some say that it changes the taste, or leaves an aftertaste, so sweeteners might be better added when about to eat the preserved fruit. Corn syrup is another sugar substitute that can be used to replace up to half of the sugar when making jam.
Role in the process
Sugar performs roles apart from making preserves sweeter. Sugar assists with helping the fruit to retain its original colour and texture. Sugar syrup can also be poured over fruit to keep it firm and putting sugar in jam and fruity spreads help it gel and form pectin. To learn more about the role of pectin in making jam, see this report from The Guardian.
The sugar is also one of the reasons jam is a stable product that doesn’t need refrigeration – at least until it is opened. Glass door refrigeration is a great idea in a kitchen where you need cold storage that also gives visibility. If you want to learn more about glass door refrigeration, it would be worthwhile to consult a website that features a varied range of options such as https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/glass-door-refrigeration.
Preserving your own fruit is a lovely way of ensuring you have delicious treats while being able to control how much sugar you consume. Sometimes the fruit is naturally sweet enough anyway, and combining it with a dollop of yoghurt tastes great and is good for you too.