Open Jars is a new, regular series here on Food in Jars, devoted to ways to use the preserves, pickles, chutneys and more that we all spent the summer stashing away. Occasionally, I’ll be running guests post in this space, so if you’ve got an idea, let me know!
I’m a big fan of the breakfast smoothie. I’ll often toss a little yogurt, some frozen banana, a couple of kale leaves (chard works too) and a tumble of blueberries into the blender and blitz until smooth. In the summertime, when the blueberries are fresh, I find that this concoction needs no additional sweetening. But now that fall has arrived and I’m using frozen blueberries, I’ve been reminded just how puckery this morning meal can be without a helpful touch-up of some kind.
In the past I’ve added a bit of honey, agave or maple syrup to brighten up the flavors. However, the other day during smoothie prep, my eyes landed on a jar of strawberry preserves that had been taking up space for at least six months (still perfectly fine). My husband frequently mentions how crowded our fridge is (making it impossible for him to find anything) and so I’ve been actively trying to reduce the condiment clutter. I grabbed the jar and added a generous tablespoon to the blender.
Once the whir of the blender was finished, a quick taste let me know that the flavors were good and that the jam had added a nice strawberry sweetness to the finished drink. I decanted the rest of the smoothie into one of my beloved pint and a half jars and was off to work. This will not be the last time that jam (or fruit butter) joins the smoothie ingredient list.