While I am sure it is merely my lack of vitamin D in the winter, I always feel healthier in the summer. I get less sleep (and need less), get outside more, and am just happier to be alive. I also eat a lot of strawberries.
The height of strawberry season was last weekend up here and we took full advantage. Abby took an afternoon off to pick a baker's dozen in pounds of berries and for once, I could eat them (although regardless of how great my digestive system is, there is a limit to the amount of berries I can handle). With our early summer bounty, we froze some and made 12 jars of jam. For those who cannot handle excessive amounts of sugar, here is the secret to making tasty jam.
1) Get a bunch of ripe or overripe strawberries (pick your own is the cheapest unless you grow your own).
2) Start a large pot of boiling water to sterilize the jars. Boil jars 10 minutes.
3) In a separate pot, boil the berries with some pectin. While there may be some debate over using or not using pectin, we find it makes a "jammier" jam.
4) Simmer the berries for 5-7 minutes. Turn off heat and then add a few "swigs" of agave nectar. If you can handle sugar, eat some other form of sugar, but agave nectar has a low glycemic level.
5) Transfer berry mixture into sterilized jars. Put new tops on jars.
6) Boil jars for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Ensure the tops are sealed.