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Blueberry Lavender Jam

Summer produce is my favorite. Everything is juicier, sweeter, fresher, and cheaper. When pints of blueberries were on sale for less than $2, I decided to try making homemade jam. Jam is one of those things I’ve always wanted to make myself, but the task seemed daunting. I have canned strawberry jam with my mom in the past, and canning is such a process. But if you just want to make a couple of use-it-now jars, you should! Turns out, making your own jam is like making your own salad dressing—it’s so easy, why wouldn’t you do it yourself? I am a big fan of using lavender in my food, but if you’re not, that’s OK. Just leave it out. Your jam will still turn out thick and scrumptious.

jamingredients

Blueberry Lavender Jam
Makes 2 pints

6 cups (3 pints) fresh blueberries, rinsed & drained
1 lemon, zested
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons culinary lavender

  • Make a lavender sachet using cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Simply place lavender inside and tie with string.

coffeefiltersachet

lavender sachet

  • Add blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar to a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Stir to combine.
    P.S. Did you know that you get more juice out of a lemon by cutting it length-wise? True story.

 

 

blueberriescook

  • Toss in the lavender sachet, and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  • Continue cooking for 25 to 35 minutes or until the mixture jells. Test for jell consistency by cooling a small amount on a plate and touching it with your fingers.
  • Remove and discard the sachet. Pour jam into jars and cool to room temperature. Store in the fridge & enjoy on muffins, toast, pancakes, and biscuits.

jamonmuffin

 

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3 Comments

Good. Berry Good.

In 8th grade, I took Home Ec. Now, I have a terrible memory. But, for whatever reason, there are several things about this class that I can clearly recall. We discussed the differences between deodorant and antiperspirant. We sewed square pillows (mine was kelly green). And we baked blueberry muffins.

Home Ec was a breeze for me until those blueberry muffins. I put the blueberries in with all the other ingredients, and when my partner and I mixed the batter, the berries squished and turned everything a bright blueish-purple. Only then did I consult the recipe and realize that we were supposed to fold in the berries at the very end, precisely to prevent this royal blue tragedy from happening. I couldn’t tell you the name of the teacher or who my baking partner was, but I do know that I got a C on that assignment for not following directions properly. It broke my little overachieving heart.

I don’t think I’ve baked blueberry muffins since that incident. Until last night, when I made this fabulous version from Cooking Light that weigh in at only 190 calories and 5g of fat. I basically followed their recipe to a T, but I’ll post it here, too.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
Makes exactly 16 muffins

1 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil (I used vegetable oil because it was what I had)
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 large eggs
2 cups frozen blueberries (You can also use fresh, just skip flouring them)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

 

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Place oats in a food processor; pulse 5 to 6 times or until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl.
  • Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to oats; stir well. Make a well in center of mixture.
  • Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients (through eggs). Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist.
  • Toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour, and gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

 

I’m really happy with the way these turned out. They aren’t too sweet, but I like that. Sometimes healthy muffins are cardboardy, but these are surprisingly moist. Also the lemon zest adds a subtly bright flavor.

Side note:
Since the recipe said it made 16, and I had a mini muffin pan, I thought, Why not?

This, however, turned out to be a mini muffin massacre. The minis fell apart when I took them out of the pan. It was Home Ec 1993 all over again.

Next time, I think I will:

  • Not try to make mini muffins.
  • Add wheat germ to the batter to make it even healthier, which I meant to do but forgot.
  • Use fresh berries instead of frozen.