Oregon Grape Lavender Jelly

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Our modern palate oscillates between the addictive flavors of salty and sweet, but we have lost an essential ingredient to optimal health: bitter plants. They are so rare in our diet that many people cannot name anything with bitterness except coffee. Historically, humans valued bitters for their digestive stimulating and medicinal properties. Oregon grape is a quintessential bitter plant that has the capacity to cleanse, clarify and enliven body and spirit.

Here’s a simple step by step recipe for Oregon Grape Lavender Jelly (Low sugar):

Measure 8 cups of clean, rinsed Oregon grape berries. Place berries in a cooking pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer for 15 minutes. Use a large spoon to mash the berries against the side of the pot so the juice is released.

oregongrapejam-300x273Place a Foley food mill over another cooking pot. In 1 to 2 cup increments, turn the berries and juice through the food mill so that the seeds are separated. Remove the seeds from the mill before straining another batch.

Measure 4 cups of the juice/pulp. Place the juice in a cooking pot. Stir in 2 teaspoon of calcium water (included in Pomona’s Pectin, and 2 tablespoons of fresh or dried lavender.

In a separate bowl, measure 2 cups of honey and stir in 2 teaspoons of pectin.

Bring the juice in the cooking pot to a boil. Add the honey/pectin and stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes until the mixture returns to a boil. Remove from heat.

Place the jelly in clean hot canning jars, wipe the top of the jars to remove any spillage, cover with lids, and can in a water bath for 10 minutes. If any lids do not seal, refrigerate the jar of jelly and use within three weeks.

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"Diet has the distinction of being the only major determinant of health that is completely under your control. You have the final say over what does and what does not go into your mouth and stomach. You cannot always control the other determinants of health, such as the quality of the air you breathe, the noise you are subjected to, or the emotional climate of your suroundings, but you can control what you eat. It is a shame to squander such a good opportunity to influence your health." ~Andrew Weil, MD
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