Food for thought: Homemade jam
Waste not, want not. Put the festive season glut to good use by turning summer’s bounty into all kinds of taste sensations. Tamara DiMattina is the creator and “lighter lifestyles” guru at The New Joneses, which advocates living sustainably. “Limiting food wastage saves money, honours the time and resources that have gone into producing it and keeps it from landfill,” she says.
Tamara scours for discounted fruits to turn into icy treats with no additives and, just as importantly, no packaging. The warmer weather ripens fruit faster into squishy, but not mouldy, produce. Her tip is to blitz the bargain bins for bananas, berries – anything that’s a bit overripe. “Then hit the internet to try new recipes for icy poles, ice-creams, smoothies and granitas. We always freeze the fruit first. In smoothies, the frozen fruit eliminates the need for ice, making for a creamier, less watery, icy treat.”
Food writer and marketer Jane Wong, who is a judge of the Australian Food Awards at the Royal Melbourne Show, loves making her own jams. “For a beginner’s recipe, use fresh berries, lemon juice, and an equal amount of sugar to fruit. Squeeze in a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. Stir slowly.”
To stop your jam from foaming, heat the sugar in the oven at about 100 degrees until it’s warm, not until it melts, Jane says.
What you’ll save: Tamara has scored the odd free box of overripe fruit at markets, saving her the cost of ice blocks, about $3.60 a pack, or berry jam, about $2 per 250g jar, at the supermarket.