holidays & recipes: celebrating earth day with beetroot jam
We’ve written about canning foods in another post, but we feel that canning possibilities are endless and canning is the perfect subject for another Earth Day post. Packaging is a huge problem. Not only do we pay more up front when products are enclosed in fancy or excessive packaging, but we also pay more in the long run. According to a fact sheet found on Green Networld.com “packaging accounts for 50 percent of all paper produced in North America, 90 percent of all glass, and eleven percent of aluminum.” That is a lot of resources devoted to something that is going to be thrown away. According to other sources, all that paper, glass and aluminum (packaging) accounts for 1/3 of the trash in landfills. Purchasing items without packaging can be challenging. We can do our best to find products that use minimal packaging and hopefully what is used has been made using recycled products. But, it isn’t easy. Think about the era in which our great-grandparents lived. There were not nearly as many products available in general. For examples, electronics, alone, were non-existent during their youth. Products sold were either not in packaging or the packaging was minimal. Our great-grandparents were living the green lifestyle before it became a “lifestyle”. They were frugal people who reused anything and everything (including the paper and string from packaging.) In our last post we discussed making one small change to improve the environment. We suggested that you eat locally grown foods. You will notice that fruits and vegetables sold at a farmer’s market are not packaged. So, eating locally not only supports the environment in the ways we discussed in the last post, but eating locally also helps the environment by reducing packaging. Why buy canned or frozen produce when you can take your commitment to live a greener life one step further in a very logical progression. Since you are hopefully going to your farmer’s market for immediately consumable produce, why not buy it in bulk? What can you do with all that produce? Can it, of course. You will reduce your canned or frozen purchases at your supermarket and therefore reduce the waste from the packaging. Canning is an excellent step towards living a greener life. The jars and lids are reusable for many years. And, the fruits of your labor will be far more delicious than any store bought product.
Beetroot Jam Ingredients 4 large red beets, peeled and diced into small bits 1 apple, diced into small bits (with skins) Zest of one lemon Juice from one lemon Juice from one orange 2 cups sugar 1 tsp ginger, fresh, finely minced 1 package Sure-Jell (Optional) Directions Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring so that the ingredients don’t stick to the pot. Once at a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens and sticks to a spoon when it is dipped in and held downwards. If you feel the mixture is not tightening enough from the natural pectin (apple and zest) use a package of sure-jell. Place into sterilized jars. Seal the jars and place in a boiling water bath. (See canning video here.)Photography Data: First Photo Lillaya ApertureFNumber: f/4.5 Make: Canon Model: Canon EOS 450D ExposureTime: 2/1 FNumber: 45/10 ExposureProgram: 1 ISOSpeedRatings: 100 MaxApertureValue: 3/1 MeteringMode: 5 Flash: 16 FocalLength: 100/1 Second Photo ApertureFNumber: f/5.0 Make: Canon Model: Canon EOS 450D ExposureTime: 1/1 FNumber: 5/1 ExposureProgram: 1 ISOSpeedRatings: 100 MaxApertureValue: 3/1 MeteringMode: 5 Flash: 16 FocalLength: 100/1