My family loves this jam! When I was about to take the jars into storage, my kids were yelling and pleading to keep one up in the kitchen for them to eat. It is a much cheaper way to make your own strawberry jam, especially if you grow your own zucchini.
Yes, zucchini. There are no strawberries in this recipe. So how do you go from zucchini to strawberry jam?
Here’s the recipe. First, you do not need this much zucchini. Those 20 zucchini made about 24 cups of zucchini puree. I used some to make the jam, some to make some zucchini bread and then I froze the rest in Ziploc bags.
You will need:
- 7 1/2 Cups of zucchini puree (I added about 3/4 to 1 cup of water to the blender per 2 zucchini)
- 3 3/4 Cups of white sugar
- 4 1/2 T. lemon juice
- 3 small packages of strawberry jello (sweetened or unsweetened)
***If you want the jam bright red, you may want to peel the zucchini before blending. You will most likely need more zucchini as the yield will not be as large. If you don’t mind the green tint, leave the peels on.
This recipe makes 6 pints of surprise strawberry jam.
***Update: We made grape jam using this recipe. We just used 3 boxes of grape jello mix. Warning though, it does not come out purple. It comes out with a deep green color. It still tastes delicious though. My kids don’t mind at all. Actually, they think it’s pretty cool. This would be a great addition to my Halloween themed lunches. Muah ha ha.
Begin by blending the zucchini and water in a blender until it is smooth puree. Transfer the puree to a pot and heat it with the sugar until all of the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the lemon juice and the strawberry jello packages. Heat and stir for another 5 minutes to ensure the jello mix is completely dissolved.
Canning: Ladle the jam into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe the rim and threads with a clean cloth and top with the lid and ring. Place in boiling water with at least 2 inches of water covering the jar. Boil constantly for 10 minutes. Let it sit for 5 more minutes until removing from the water. Let sit for 24 hours to ensure a proper seal. Refrigerate any jars that did not seal correctly.
Do not worry if the jam is separated like this:
Once it is cool, just shake it up before you store it. Even if it separates in storage, just shake it up again before you place it in the refrigerator prior to use. Once in the refrigerator the gelatin will set nicely.
Freezing: Place in freezer containers and allow to thaw in the refrigerator before use.
Once cooled or placed in the refrigerator, it will look like this and be amazing to enjoy!