Friday, May 17, 2013

Stevia Freezer Jam

This post is completely off-topic for this blog, but I couldn't keep from sharing this wonderful low-carb recipe for freezer jam which my mom and I discovered today. I recently bought the book "Trim Healthy Mama" by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett at the recommendation of a friend. To read a detailed review of this book, I suggest reading Gwen's review of it. Trim Healthy Mama (aka THM) is packed to the brim with valuable, life-changing information. Seriously, this book is worth its weight in gold (and it's heavy!) Essentially, the most important fact is summed up in one sentence:

"Never include large amounts of both fats and carbs in the same meal unless you are trying to gain or maintain weight." - Trim Healthy Mama, page 64

But like I said, read Gwen's review to learn more. I'm just here to give you my recipe for delicious low-carb freezer jam made with stevia. I didn't find much to go by online, except for this post at Fragile Fantasies which involves cooking the fruit for a few minutes, something we were trying to avoid. We wanted our strawberries as fresh as possible-- plus, some stevia is known for developing that bitter after-taste during cooking. We didn't want to take that chance. So, instead of using Ball's special low-sugar pectin, we just used the regular ol' instant pectin.
But anyway, let's jump right in!

For five 8 oz jars of jam, you're going to need:

Wash, hull, and dice the strawberries into a large bowl (we tripled the recipe to make a large batch).

Use a potato masher (we're using the nifty little Pampered Chef "Mix 'N Chop" tool) to mash the strawberries down to your desired consistency. Add the packet of Instant Fruit Pectin and as much or as little stevia as you would like. We used one teaspoon of SweetLeaf liquid stevia per 4 cups. You could use Truvia or any other powdered stevia, but you're on your own for those measurements. Just go slow, taste it, and add more as needed.

Now give your arms a bit of a work out and stir, stir, stir that jam for 3 minutes. It should thicken up as you're stirring, but it won't set fully until 30 minutes later. Fill your jars (you don't have to wait for it to set), and voila-- delicious, yummy strawberry jam without any guilt at all!

This will keep 3 months in the fridge, 1 year in the freezer!

You could pair this with a bowl of 0% Greek yogurt for a refreshing FP (Fuel Pull) snack if you are on the THM plan.

 Or a slice of warm, toasted Ezekiel bread with Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese topped with sweet strawberry goodness for an E breakfast. One of life's best things. Seriously.

Yummy (Slimming!) Peanut Butter Cup Iced Coffee

Another THM recipe! Sorry ;-) I'm really enjoying trying new recipes though, and it's so much fun to take pictures and share them with the world :)

I got this recipe from Nicole at Blissfully Blessed. I tweaked it just a little, but all credit for this amazing idea definitely goes to her! I have a hard time enjoying "healthy" shakes and drinks most of the time.. but this one is so good I could guzzle it all day!

How I Made It: (tweak to your taste)

  • Two handfuls of ice (I like it icy.. you can do less)
  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter 
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/2 cup of leftover, cold coffee
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • Stevia to taste (I used NuNaturals)

I like to blend my ice to powder before adding the other ingredients.. no chunks of ice for me ;-)

You can definitely reduce the amount of peanut butter and leave the coconut oil out completely. I'm nursing a 7-week-old and am having a hard time eating enough for both of us.. I'm staaarving all day long, so I like the extra fat snuck in this way. Plus, you can never have too much peanut butter ;-)

The coffee isn't required, either.. I loved the nutty mocha flavor this had. Definitely rivals anything at Starbucks! :) 

This makes a lot-- about 3 cups.. but I can finish that off in no time at all! It doesn't get very thick-- it's really more like an iced coffee, so you can keep it in the fridge to enjoy throughout the day.  

If you follow the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this would be an S. Use defatted peanut butter flour and leave the coconut oil out to make it a fuel pull (FP)!