Activities/ DIY, Recipes

Strawberry Basil Jam

I can’t grow many things… but basil can survive anything. It sits out in open pots at the grocery store under florescent lights… I mean, you really have to try and kill basil. With that being said I have 2 pots of basil that won’t stop growing and can’t deal with making any more pesto. I also hate not using it and wasting all may hard work gardening. Hehe. 

I do love basil and can add it to pretty much anything, so when I saw a recipe for Strawberry Basil Jam, I wanted to try it out. Making jam is one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen with kids too. Let them do all the cutting and mashing. I also let my oldest pick the basil. So he can see it go from seed, to plant, to kitchen to table. 

Unfortunately I can’t grow strawberries. Strawberry plants openly weep as I pass them in the stores. I give up. I’ll just pay $2 a pint and admit defeat. Don’t overpay for strawberries. Just wait till they are on sale and stock up. 

Mash, mash, mash.

Now the fun part starts. This I don’t let my kiddos do, because jam is hot as lava. The help prep everything. 

You don’t need fancy equipment to can. Think about ages ago, they had jars and boiling water. I do too. Look around your kitchen to see what supplies you have, I promise you probably already have everything you need. Just be careful, you will probably curse a few times if you get splashed on (hot jam or boiling water), or touch the jar. Jump on Pinterest and look how to can. I’m no expert on it, and there are a multitude of resources to guide you through the beginning stages.

I always have a “right now” jar. I fill as many as I can and whatever else is left over we keep out. This is what we eat while it is still warm and the kitchen smells sweet. 

The great thing about this jam is that it isn’t too sweet. The basil really adds a bit too it on the backside and isn’t overpowering. I did make PB&J for my kids and they couldn’t tell a difference…so it’s not a savory jam. But I’m sure you could add more basil to taste if that’s what you are going for. 

What you need:
2 pints of fresh strawberries, sliced and mashed
2 cups sugar , it’s ok to use less if you like a more tart taste
2 handfuls of fresh basil – chopped, cut, mashed – just get it little
2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice (whatever you have)
What to do:
Make everything as small as you can before you put it in the pot.
Mashed strawberries (have your kids do this part) and chopped basil. The basil won’t get smaller, it will only wilt a bit.
Add the sugar to the mashed berries and lemon juice. Cook on high until it boils. The berries will cook down. After it reaches a boil, reduce the heat and then add the basil.
Spoon test:
Dip a spoon in the jam and lift out, have it cook on a medium heat until it reaches the jam consistency you want.
Then can it or eat… 🙂
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