holidays & recipes: celebrating earth day with beetroot jam

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.

holidays & recipes: celebrating earth day with beetroot jam

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

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19 comments

  • April 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm //

    It is so true! The amount of packaging when it comes to food alone is astonishing and deplorable, thank you for the reminder.

    This beetroot jam is stunning and so alluring – I have to try it!

    • April 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm //

      hi Liren, thank you so much for commenting, beetroot with blue cheese pairs so well together.

  • April 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm //

    beetroot jam! I shall make this! I’ve never tried it before!

    • April 22, 2012 at 9:02 am //

      Beetroot pairs so well with blue cheese too, we LOVE beets.

  • April 21, 2012 at 2:41 am //

    I never would have thought that you could make jam from beets–this is amazing! And your photos are beautiful, as always. :)

    • April 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm //

      We are huge, huge fans of beet anything, you could top this off on salad, sprinkle some blue cheese, it really pairs well with the cheese. Thank you for your kind comments.

  • April 22, 2012 at 9:26 am //

    How gorgeous is this jam? Oh my goodness, I’m so inspired to try it!
    I agree with you about canning – and making your own goods, using reusable jars. It goes a long way. Lovely post to read :)

    • April 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm //

      Thank you so much Emily = )

  • April 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm //

    I love how your pair the jam with cheese!
    By the way, time really flies, it’s that time of the year again – Earth Day. But despite this special day, I think everybody should treat our Earth nicely everyday!

  • April 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm //

    What a great post. I am always cognizant of supporting my local farmers and their markets. And you know you are walking away with something fresh and good and basic. I love beets and just purchased some this past week….not really having a plan about what to do with them. Your jam is gorgeous, paired with the blue cheese and crusty bread. Your photography is so beautiful and inviting! : )

    • April 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm //

      Hello Anne, farmers markets are simply the best, most are organic? Love, love beets, the beet jam can be drizzled over a salad or used on a Turkey Sandwich (yum) if cranberry isn’t available. I’m quite smitten with red beet eggs too. I thought we could maybe try a red beet chutney?

      Thank you so much for commenting Anne = )

  • April 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm //

    Lovely post. Food makes a huge difference. The other gigantic contributer to greenhouse gases (one of the largest culprits actually) is methane. If everyone reduced how much meat they eat it would make a significant contribution. (Said from the mouth of a devout carnivore).

    • April 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm //

      Very true, we are flexitarians ourselves, so hopefully that helps in some way, I’d like to believe so. We try to have veggies in a meal as more of a staple than an afterthought, although I do like to sink my teeth into a fat, juicy burger from time to time.

  • April 23, 2012 at 1:25 am //

    I love beets and am always looking for new recipes. Thanks for sharing :)

  • April 23, 2012 at 11:34 pm //

    I am very intrigued – I could see this be intensely sweet, and the pairing with herbed cheese looks fantastic. Well done!

  • April 24, 2012 at 8:26 am //

    wonderful looking jam deliciously done

    • April 25, 2012 at 8:50 am //

      Beets are truly both of our favorites? Do you have a favorite root vegetable?

  • April 28, 2012 at 10:33 am //

    I never knew that such a thing as beetroot jam existed – what a fantastic idea! And your pictures are absolutely stunning – I’ll have to try this!

    • April 30, 2012 at 7:46 am //

      Hi Natalie, it really does pair so well with a rich cheese (we liked paring it with blue cheese) but it’s wonderful on its own too, so worth canning if you can’t find it at your local grocer = )