Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Sugar Free Raspberry Jam

 Sugar free Raspberry Jam

Lately I've noticed there's much more attention in the media about diet and ways of eating.
Low Carb High Fat (LCHF), Banting, Paleo, Juice Fasting, 5 & 2, and the list goes on.
I like to keep up with new findings about foods and the way different food groups affect us as individuals. The right food or diet for one person is not necessarily going to agree with the next person, but there is so much information there for us so that we can make our own decisions.
What we were brought up to believe back in the day, is often the opposite of what we know now. New research into food and diet has revolutionized our health and self care,  the food industry and our personal beliefs.
For the past few weeks I haven't been eating wheat or any type of sugar, and I've cut back on my carbohydrate intake.
I definitely feel some benefits; clearer in my thinking, and I don't get tired after lunch like I used to when I ate cereal or breads for breakfast or lunch.
"Intermittent fasting" is also a thing. Who knew? Hooray! I don't need to feel the guilt of skipping breakfast any more.
I'm not going into all these 'diets' because others are doing that much better than I can, and anyone with access to Google can study them if interested.
It is my personal goal to continue through this life, into my old age, without the need for pharmaceutical drugs by using diet as my medicine. We see people who make the effort to nourish their body and soul with good food and positive thoughts and actions, but unfortunately, those folks are not the norm any more.  Obesity, ill health and addiction to popping a pill is becoming more visible in our modern western society and is drawing heavily on the health care systems.

Wheat and sugar free one pot dinner (and lunch next day)
 
I don't intend to live without wheat for ever. After a couple of months of giving my body a rest from it I'll start using Spelt flour and organic wheat that I grind in my flour grinder. Learning about the way conventional wheat is grown with all the chemicals and sprays, has completely put me off the ordinary flour available in the supermarket.
Natural sugars in very small amounts will also appear in my diet after another few weeks.               eg, Rapadura sugar, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup, maple syrup and honey, but I really don't think I'll go back to consuming refined sugar again.
Sugar creeps it's way into our foods, a little bit here and there, although we might think that we don't use much sugar at all.
In this house we don't drink sugary drinks or fruit juices, and don't buy ready made foods, but now that I've completely cut out sugar I can see that we were eating more than we realised.
I can't believe that at my ripe old age, and as a moderately reasonable cook, I didn't know that apples can be stewed or poached without ANY sugar at all and still taste sweet. Ha! That was a light bulb moment!
These restrictions have not been at all difficult to deal with, adapting simple 'made from scratch' recipes  and good old Google with vast information and recipes available at our fingertips.
On the first day of the new "deprivations" I thought I would need a treat with my afternoon tea so I made a coconut flour muffin. It cooked in ten minutes and if I closed my eyes and stood on one leg I could almost imagine that it was a scone or a bread roll. But it was missing jam, so I made some.

Sugar free Raspberry Jam (use any berries)
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and sliced. Cook in a small saucepan with 1/3 cup water until mushy.
Add 1 cup of raspberries (I've still got lots in the freezer from our last harvest)
Gently simmer, stirring frequently until is reduces and slightly darkens in colour. This could take approximately 20 - 30mins.
*Optional- add Stevia sweetener (Natvia) to taste.. I didn't feel the need to sweeten it though.
Spoon into a jar and store in the fridge.

The weird thing about this way of eating is that I don't get hungry at all so that was my first and last Coconut flour muffin. I simply can not fit all that food into my day, but the jam is lovely as a sweet treat desert on a 'Banana and egg flourless pancake'  or with baked apples, or a baked egg custard, if a treat is really what I think I need.

How about you? Have you made discoveries about your diet and how it affects the way you feel?









17 comments:

  1. We are doing a bit the same....natural sugars rather than white sugar and eating less carbs. When you are eating JERF (just eat real food) your blood sugar levels even out and you aren't hungry like when you are eating more refined sugars etc. Glad to have the sugar free Jam I would love to make this..

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    1. JERF There's a new one Kathy, but I like it. That's been my eating philosophy for many years and I believe it has kept us well. Now I have a name for it. Eating no sugar really does take away those hunger pangs.

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  2. I still eat wheat and the natural sugars. I only buy organic though. I've seen what they do to conventional farming land, so that's not for me. We only use raw sugar in kombucha and kefir. Honey or rapdura for everything else.

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    1. Lucy I'm surprised most people are unaware of the chemicals used on conventional farms and now I'm hearing of dubious sugar farming methods, but would like to learn more about that. Organic is definitely the way to go if possible.

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  3. Your one pot meal looks delicious! Thanks for the raspberry jam recipe. I'll definitely have a go at this as I'm trying to cut out processed sugar and love a bit of jam on things.

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    1. I love the lazy cooking one pot meals cooked in the enameled cast iron pot Jaqui.

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  4. I find that sugar can be reduced in almost any cake recipe. I have tried using grated Apple in place of up to half the sugar. It worked fine, though I did add an extra ounce of flour to make up for the fact that the apple provided extra moisture. I also use Natvia natural sweetener. I don't like anything containing aspartame sweetener. Eloise

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    1. Using apple is a good way of sweetening anything. I also use it in casseroles and one pot meals instead of the spoonful of sugar that is often required. Stevia is the sweetener I prefer, too much of it can be bitter, but I don't really like to use artificial sweeteners at all.

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  5. Sally I have made strawberry jam in the past...with no refined sugar. However I found I didn't eat jam very often so had to freeze half of it before it went off. Glad you are feeling a bit better without sugar and wheat. I use spelt in my sourdough.

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    1. Chel, I know you've been sugar free for a long time and you have inspired me. Do you use any natural sugars at all now? How did you adapt to giving up sugar in the beginning? I really miss baking my sourdough loaves, that's probably the hardest part, but I'll get back to it again one day.

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  6. I was just lamenting to my husband last night, about my diet. I had spent 3 days, not eating a whole lot (enough for my energy outputs) but it was all just natural food. Fried eggs, oranges, bananas, etc. Then I made some gluten free muffins, and I had one a day, for about 2 days, and my skin suddenly broke out in spots.

    It seems I can't have any sugar at all, or any baked goods which are gluten free. I've been suspecting for a long time, I have a leaky gut. So it's not entirely the foods at fault, rather, my digestive process can't absorb certain foods. Instead, they get treated like a toxin, leaked into the body and exiting via my skin. So I need to heal my gut with an extreme elimination diet, to reset the digestive process.

    I'm trying to will myself into doing just that. It was so much easier when I was younger, and could eat anything, lol. ;)

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    1. Bone broth is great gut healing food Chris. My daughter had leaky gut, which manifested awful eczema. With the guidance of her naturopath, an elimination diet for a few months has had amazingly positive results for her. It was a tough gig, but she soldiered through it and is now a nutrition nerd.!! I'm grateful for her guidance now.

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  7. Thank you for the recipe for your jam, Sally. I love raspberry jam! I don't use wheat flour in my cooking very often, I much prefer spelt or brown rice flour and I usually use coconut sugar as a sweetener & bake with those. I find that the sugar content of recipes can often be "tinkered with" without affecting results too much. More than anything else, I love eating veggies and believe that they are a big key to wellness. Meg:)

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    1. Meg, cutting the sugar in half is hardly noticeable in cakes and baked things. I always halve the sugar content in all the jams I sell in our Farmgate shop, and the customers love the not so sweet taste. Vegetable are my favourite too, and we eat huge amounts of them daily.

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  8. When my son first started eating solids,I realised that I did not want him eating the junk we ate (McDs, HJs,lollies, sugary cakes etc) and I didn't want him to see me eating it, so that was what made me want to change the way I ate! I do have my off days :-) but I am so much better than before! I use spelt for most of my baking, love buckwheat when I can get it and use honey, maple, rapadura or coconut sugar for baking and try to always use less. I did recently buy white flour to work out my issues with sourdough, the flavour is really lacking, compared to spelt!

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    1. Kelly I love seeing your baking and cooking photos on Instagram. Your children are getting the very best food, and that's the most important thing you can do for them and yourself. Did you get your sourdough issues sorted?

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