Light Strawberry Jam – Ball Recipe

strawberries

I have been on a canning kick lately.  I’ve made my own homemade peanut butter and homemade applesauce and those were a success.  But now for the hard part, sugar-free or low sugar strawberry jam.  As I was Googling the recipe, the first thing in the results was from the Ball website.  It only has 3 ingredients.  Strawberries, Unsweetened White Grape Juice and Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin.  That’s it?  Oh well besides 6-8 oz preserving jars of course, which I have.

light sugar strawberry jam nutrition facts SparkPeople has a wonderful recipe calculator which you could use to find out how many calories go into any recipe.  I went there, added all 3 ingredients.  I figured out with an app on my phone that 8 oz is equal to 16 tbsp.  So I went to my calculator and multiplied 16 tbsp by 6 jars and I got 96 servings.  I went back to SparkPeople and typed 96 servings and my jaw nearly hit the floor when it said that each 1 tbsp serving of this jam is only 2.3 calories.  How?

I wanted to make my own sugar-free Strawberry Jam because of how expensive it is in the stores.  Have you seen those prices?  People who are diabetic can’t get a break anywhere.  If you have a special diet, you are going to have to pay a heavy price, and I just won’t do it.  I can’t recall the exact price, but a little 8 oz jar of sugar-free strawberry jam must be like $5 or $6, somewhere around there.  With this recipe, all I need are 2-1 lb baskets of strawberries which is basically what the recipe calls for, 4 cups worth, and right now they are 2 for $4.  So right there I’ve already saved money with just that.  Basically, I bought 1 jar and I am getting the other 5 for free.  Of course I am not counting the pectin which I already have, but that is only 3 tbsp and I’ll need 1 cup of the white grape juice.  If you think about it, the 3 tbsp of pectin and the 8 oz of white grape juice makes up and maybe another 50 cents for that 1 jar.

Why didn’t I ever think of doing this before?  I mean, how can I ever buy strawberry jam again for the rest of my life knowing it is this easy and basically has no calories?  All your calories in a regular jar of Strawberry Jam is from the sugar and high fructose corn syrup or whatever the heck is in your jam.  All my calories are basically from the strawberries and the grape juice and that’s it.

Do I even need to convince anyone besides the price and very extremely low calories?  I can’t wait to make this.

No Flour Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

gluten free no flour peanut butter cookies

Did you know you could make peanut butter cookies with just 3 ingredients?  1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg.  That’s it.  My mother taught me how to make homemade peanut butter cookies when I was a teenager, but I don’t even remember what the recipe was, but it did involve a lot of ingredients.  They were really good, but these are better.  And the fact that they are gluten-free is even better.

So here is the recipe.  Combine 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg and mix until it’s like a dough and the peanut butter isn’t sticking to the bowl.  Make 36 balls and smash them with a fork and bake them at 375F for 9 minutes each.  That’s it.  No muss no fuss.  They are 67.9 calories per cookie.

But… if you want them to be healthier, make your own peanut butter.

If you have a food processor (if not a blender would work), add 1 cup of unsalted peanuts and grind it until it’s chunky.  Add 1 tbsp of peanut oil, 1 tbsp of packed brown sugar (or any sweetener that you prefer) and 1 tsp of salt and blend it until it’s as smooth as peanut butter.  Then add 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg and blend it some more until it’s like a dough.  The calories go down to 62 calories per cookie.  That’s not a lot, but it’s something, and at least you know what went into your peanut butter because you made it.

Look at your store bought peanut butter, look at the list of ingredients.  It has high fructose corn syrup and more corn syrup.  That is what you aren’t putting into your peanut butter cookies and that makes it healthy.

Want your cookies to have even less calories?  Replace the peanuts with pecans and your cookies go down to 52 calories per cookie.  I created this recipe for the SparkPeople website for No Flour Pecan Butter Cookies because we have a pecan tree that drops a lot of pecans.  Instead of wasting them, I’m going to make pecan butter and pecan butter cookies out of them.  I’m not sure how they will taste because I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m looking forward to trying it this week.  I will blog about it with a picture.  If it doesn’t work out then I will blog about my failure LOL.