Gooseberry jam recipe

Gooseberry jam recipe in glass jars.

Gooseberry jam recipe has many of the phytochemicals that make for better health. The downside, of course, is that there is quite a lot of sugar; but one teaspoon per day won't do too much damage, when enjoyed on bread baked using 100 percent wholemeal flour.

Turning seasonal fruit into jams using as little sugar as possible is an art in itself.

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 25th June, 2019.

By Bernard Preston

Throughout the summer it has been wonderful watching the plants develop, knowing there is a sweet harvest ahead.

Making jam is a way of preserving your fruit for greater nourishment for the whole year from the phytochemicals. The cape gooseberry season does last several months, but this way you can enjoy them throughout the seasons.




Pick the fruit and enlist the help of any willing children or grandkids; often the best gooseberries will be found on the ground under the bush. This is what takes the time.

Remove the cape, select only the choice gooseberries and then wash them; obviously the riper, the sweeter the jam.

If you have hens, by the way, they will go crazy over the suspect gooseberries; that way you can be sure that any worms will not infect next year's crop, especially if you allow the birds to wander about the bushes once you are done with reaping the fruit.

Just like us, they desperately need the carotenes for their egg yolks, and especially the lutein for their sharp eyes.

To some they clearly belong on the list of invasive alien species, which they are, but they provide enormous benefits to both humans and birds.

The above link discusses the different grades of invasive species and some of the contentions about these plants and animals. 

Gooseberry jam recipe

Gooseberry jam recipe means quite a lot of time picking the fruit; enlist the whole family when it comes to reaping.

Cape gooseberries in pot.

Weigh when rinsed and then cook the fruit for about 15 minutes with the juice of one large, juicy lemon for each pound (500 g) of fruit.

What's the first thing you do when moving into a new home? Plant a lemon tree, of course. If you want to improve the nutrition of your gooseberry jam recipe, then include the pulp and all, along with the juice.

Cape gooseberries with the necessary sugar.

Add an equal weight of sugar for the fruit, pound for pound.

In case you were wondering, a heaped teaspoon of this gooseberry jam recipe contains about 7.5g of sugar; a slice of bread is about 18g. If you are healthy, aim for 150g or less, but much stricter if you are obese or diabetic. It's the simple carbohydrates that make us fat.

Gooseberry jam boiling.

Boil fast on as high a heat as you can without the mixture bubbling over. Watch it carefully as it tends to foam at different stages.

Here I am using an induction stove; it's quicker, and uses less energy than a normal electric hob, or gas.

Finding the setting point is a crucial art in jam and jelly making. It takes experience, but dripping a few drops onto a cold plate, and then placing it in the freezer for a couple minutes helps. If the surface crinkles when you push it gently with a finger, the mixture has reached the gel temperature.

Boil for too short a time, and you'll have very runny jam; go too long and you'll have toffee.

Making gooseberry jam means testing for the gel point.

If you acquire a wide mouthed funnel, they are wonderful for the jam and jelly maker. This one has a mouth of about one inch. Then the fruit doesn't block up the funnel.

Put a fork down the funnel into your glass jars; it helps prevent them from cracking due to the hot jam.

Gooseberry jam pouring into jars.

Whether on bread and butter, or even delicious with ice cream, your preserve has many spots in the food lover's heart.

Cape Gooseberry jam and ice-cream.

Bottles will make perfect Christmas presents; just make a pretty label on your computer, from the kitchen of ..., or some such thing. You can be assured they will never make white elephants!

Healthy choice foods

Jam making is really about preserving some of our healthy choice foods for year round enjoyment. Mostly we eat too little fruit, rich in the phytochemicals that help prevent cancer; jams, jellies and preserves are one solution.

Whilst it's true sugar has been added, about one teaspoon per helping, in the context of low GI bread and butter, it is not likely to produce a blood glucose spike, with the ensuing insulin response; unless you are diabetic.

That's even more so, if you enjoy your bread and gooseberry jam recipe with a summer salad.

Easy lunch recipes

Summer salad

Easy lunch recipes do take a little longer to throw together than a slice of supermarket bread with peanut butter and jelly, but the flavours are sublime.

Just fill that half avocado with homemade healthy hummus recipe, and a side dish of bread and the fruit of your labours, read gooseberry jam recipe, and you have a very filling and nutritious lunch.

Am I a bit of a health nut? Yes, maybe, you see I don't want to get cancer like half my family has suffered from; and this tastes unbelievably good in any case.

Our various breads taste so good, especially the sourdough, that I find I'm using less jams; that fits in with our philosophy of keeping away from all refined starches like sugar. Often we just swallow the scrumptious fruit straight from the bushes.

Low GI bread with butter and gooseberry jam is a treat.

Dreams

I dreamed a dream in which an NGO initiated small farmers into growing gooseberries and turning them into jam. It's labour intensive work, but then some 30% of South Africans are unemployed. Would just a few turn from the depths of the dole to meaningful employment?

I dreamed of a 5 ha plot with a small home with solar panels and an inverter. On half of the land would be enough plants to keep folk busy with this gooseberry jam recipe. It's the very best and buyers would offer their souls in exchange for fruit made with as little sugar as possible.

Children would not be forced into child labour, but encouraged to help with picking and shelling the fruit.

Finally there would be food on the table, and money for school uniforms and shoes.

Who is going to do it? Cooking would be done perhaps on solar induction stoves, or could invasive aliens be used in wood stoves for heating?

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Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is a self confessed health nut; it does cost quite a lot of time and energy, but you save it many times over in virtually zero visits to the doctor.

Life without medication is another blessing for those who take their food seriously. Not that there isn't a place for drugs but the anti oxidants in the phytochemicals mean that healthnuts usually have normal cholesterol and blood pressure; heart disease is rare and they have squeaky-clean blood vessels.

I alluded above to the fact that hens love yellow foods; it's the carotenes in gooseberries and butternut, corn and papaya that gives free range birds bright orange yolks.

The second most favourite food is greens like kale and broccoli; they contain the lutein that protects our eyes against macular degeneration; it's another carotene.

My optician was astonished recently and asked if I eat a lot of greens; he said there was absolutely no sign of cataracts or macular degeneration which is apparently quite rare when approaching seventy.

Are these the ravings of a lunatic? See what the Linus Pauling institute has to say about carotenoids.


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