{Homemade} Pomegranate Jam

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Sorry everyone for the long absence. If you’ve read any of my recent posts you’ll know that life got turned upside down about 8 months ago with my youngest daughter being diagnosed with Celiac disease, followed by her body going into celiac crisis, and an extended stay at the children’s hospital. Yes, she is doing fabulous now and is happy and healthy as long as she is completely gluten free. Which means my whole family is gluten free as well. Speaking of my “whole” family.  On July 14, 2013 we made our family whole with the 4th and final installment to my gaggle of children with a handsome little boy we named Dax.  He’s a little chunk of sweet, adorable, cuteness that I just want to eat up! (No, not literally) 
But wait there’s more. Seriously? I know, right! My hubby’s job that we had moved across the state for “dissolved” and three weeks after having a baby, with four kids, one dog and a crap-load of stuff we moved again for a new career, ironically back to St. George. If my life the last year were made into a movie it would definitely be one of those that you watch and go “oh come on, that much drama in such a short amount of time is so unrealistic.” So I hope you understand why I had to take some time off. I mean, between the post-baby recovery, packing, house hunting, sleep deprivation, moving across the state (AGAIN), baby blues, kids starting school, hubby’s new job……this momma had to get her crazy under control! 
I may not ever have it all under control, but everyone is at least settled in the new school, job, and house and I’m no longer a raving lunatic. That will have to do. Despite all of the major life changes and emotional upheaval I feel so incredibly blessed and excited to get back to sharing some healthy, gluten free, {homemade} creations. So without anymore delay, here is a yummy recipe!

When I think of fall, of course the traditional apples, pumpkins, and savory soups immediately come to mind and make my tummy growl in anticipation, but only a second behind that craving is my love of freshly picked pomegranates. My in-laws have a couple trees that are weighed down each fall with these delicious pink-seeded fruit that are packed with vitamins C, B5, E, and could rival carrots for its beta carotene and bananas for its potassium. On their own they’re a healthy yummy snack, but when you have buckets of them you need to get come up with something other than having one for a snack or even freezing them for later. Thus we have {Homemade} Pomegranate Jam made with low or no-sugar needed pectin and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar because it ranks lower on the glycemic index and won’t leave you with a rush and crash after eating, plus it’s usually far less processed.

The hardest part of making this is getting the juicy, sweet seeds out of their snuck little nooks. I’ve tried sitting the pomegranates in an ice water bath, cutting them certain ways, but in the end I was always left spending so much time picking each seed out. Ugh! Then I found this from lifehacker.com on how to deseed a pomegranate in 10 seconds using a wooden spoon and my life just changed! Now I can get all those juicy morsels out and made into jam like 10 times faster! With this invaluable knowledge and this recipe pomegranate jam just became a delicious possibility that can be done in an afternoon.

*Note: When making pomegranate jam it’s best to make it in small batches. Each batch yielded anywhere between 3 and 4 half pint jars of jam. I had to seed about 5 pomegranates per batch, but my pomegranates are about half the size of the store bought ones so use your best judgement.

You will need:
Half pint jars (for however many batches you plan on making)
1 large canning pot
clean lids and rings
A food mill preferably or mesh strainer
1 medium-sized cooking pot

For the jam:
4 heaping cups of pomegranate seeds, rinsed
2 cups coconut sugar
2 tbsp. RealFruit Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin

In your cooking pot combine pomegranate seeds and sugar over medium heat. You want to get all those juices flowing. Bring the pomegranates to a hard boil and stir the pectin in slowly. Bring back up to a rolling boil that you can’t stir down and let it cook for 1 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Remove from heat.

Have your jars ready by either running them through the dishwasher (don’t open the door until you’re ready to use them so they stay hot) or put them in HOT soapy water. Rinse with hot water when you’re ready to pour your hot jam in. This will keep the glass jars from breaking. Place clean lids (don’t reuse old ones) in a sauce pan of water and simmer until you’re ready for them.

Now put your pomegranate mixture through a food mill to remove all the seeds.  I have a small one that’s meant to make baby food and only holds about a cups worth at a time so you can imagine the sticky mess I had. Now pour the jam into the hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch at the top. Clean the rims with a clean damp towel and put the lids on using a magnet so you don’t touch the rims or lids. This will keep everything nice and sanitary. Screw the rings on, not too tight, and place in the canner.  The jars should be covered with at least two inches of water. Bring to a boil and then set your timer to let them boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the hot bath with those handy jar grabbers and set on the counter. You’ll hear the lids pop as they seal. Allow the sealed jars to sit on the counter for 24 hours before you wash any jam residue off and put them in the pantry. Repeat the process for how ever many batches you’d like and have yummy pomegranate jam all year!


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