Reduced Sugar Strawberry Fruit Spread is here! And it’s good! I mean really good! And there are no natural or artificial sugar substitutes. The only ingredients are Hood Strawberries, organic cane sugar, pectin, water and calcium powder (used with pectin to thicken).
The Story – Drew’s Jam
My almost-adopted 5 year old nephew “Drew” (previously referred to as “A”) has a hard time processing sugar. Like almost every kid, Drew loves candy, jam, etc. Unfortunately, every time he eats sugar, he takes a lot more trips to what I call “Melt-down City” for the next 24 hours. So occasionally he is allowed to eat sugar or sugar-free candy, but he can’t enjoy Aunt Becky’s Special Jam very often. Not wanting to compromise on taste, I went about developing a jam that he could eat with every PB&J sandwich and Eggo waffle. After all, I spoil and I’m not Aunt Becky for nothing!
As I mentioned, one goal of making a reduced sugar product was to spoil my nephew Drew in a manner that I feel is adequate. I also wanted to provide a product that my brother-in-law Scott and many of my other customers could enjoy. Scott has diabetes and has to watch his blood sugar really carefully.
Most reduced sugar jams either contain a sugar substitute which often leaves a weird after-taste or uses another natural sweetner. Since both Drew and Scott have to limit sweets in general, a sugar substitute like honey or white grape juice or agave was not a option.
Organic cane sugar at 1/3 the amount of Aunt Beckys regular Hood Strawberry Fruit Spread combines with uber sweet little Hood strawberries to make a bright red, lovely fruit spread.
The Cause – Alliance for a Healthier Generation
When I’m not making jam or developing recipes or selling at a craft show or farmers’ market, I have a day job I love. I work for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (the Alliance). The goal of the Alliance is to reduce childhood obesity. It’s a mission close to my heart. One dollar of every jar of Reduced Sugar Strawberry Fruit Spread will be donated to the Alliance. Check out the Alliance website at www.healthiergeneration.org if you want to learn more about the Alliance or www.teamhealthiergeneration.org to participate in a Team Healthier Generation event.
This is the funny part. When trying to decide what to call my new flavor, I asked for input from several people.
My co-worker Brian suggested “Mountain Strawberry Chutney” because of the big chunks of strawberries. Although I didn’t think the name quite captures what I am going for, now I might make some strawberry chutney!
Another co-worker Nicole suggested “Simply Sweet Strawberry”. This was a good suggestion as well, but didn’t give me a name if I want to create more reduced sugar flavors.
My sister Rachel came up with a LOT of ideas including:
- Kick diabetes in the teeth
- Take THAT glycemic index! Blam! Pow!
- Delicious descent into jam world
- Give sugar the shaft
- Becky we shrunk the sugar
- Try it or I’ll give you a knuckle sandwich (ala Lucy from Charlie Brown)
- Less sugar but without the disgusting after-taste
- You don’t have to worry it down (a nod to my Grandma Pauline)
- You can eat three times as much. Please do, we’ll make more
- Smackerel of sugar (thanks Winnie the Pooh)
- So good, you’ll betray your friends to the White Witch (deep reference to the Chronicles of Narnia)
The best name suggestion was from my 4 year old nephew Lincoln, “Batman’s favorite jam!”
You can try a sample this Saturday, April 4th from 9am till 1pm at the Cedar Hills Recreation Center.