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So you are going to start your day off the good old-fashioned British way: a cup of tea and some toast. Here’s where it gets tricky. What will you be spreading on your toast? Jam? Marmalade? Fruit Spread? Whatever your favourite is, here at PlantX we have got you covered. Amazing vegan jam, jellies and preserves to help you start the day off right.
Jam, Jellies, Preserves & Fruit Spreads: What’s the difference?
- Jam - This is made of fruit and pectin (more on pectin later.) The fruit is crushed, then mashed together with sugar and pectin until it’s very soft. And we mean soft. Almost a puree. A lot of vegan jams contain the seeds from the fruit and generally have high sugar content.
- Jellies - This is made with only fruit juice. In other words, you don’t get any fruit lumpy bits. Essentially it’s cooked fruit juice, with added sugar to sweeten. It’s thickened with pectin once the mixture is boiled down as well so the jelly will look clear and smooth.
- Preserves - This is where it’s made from large fruit chunks. The consistency though will end up like a classic jam once it’s put in a container for a while. One of the key differences is that pectin is generally not added, and instead, the fruit just does what happens naturally when being cooked down. Preserves are the least ‘gel-like’ and the least smooth.
- Fruit Spread - This is just fruit! You don’t get any added sugar whatsoever. Unless you count a little fruit juice sweetener used occasionally.
Vegan Jam, Jellies & Preserves: The Benefits
There are a lot of benefits to eating fruit jams and preserves, but we’ll let you in on a few of our favourites.
- Energy & Fibre - Jams are full of energy and fibre that help us feel full for longer. It’s why they are so great for breakfast.
- The Benefits Of Fruit - Generally speaking, fruit is of course healthier, but jams do have a lot of the same benefits. They contain vitamin C and are full of antioxidants as well.
- No Fat - Fruit jams tend not to have any fat. With that said, some can be high in sugar so watch out if you’re watching your sugar intake, especially if you are living with diabetes.
Jam & Preserves: The History
Did you know that jam-making goes back to the stone age? That’s a whopping 2.6 million years. Back then food was always scarce, so they discovered ways to store it to make survival easier. The first recipe where the first vegan jam was used (we are pretty sure it was vegan) was in fourth-century Rome. This was where it was heated up, and served as a delicacy at the end of a meal.
What is pectin?
Pectin is a type of natural starch that is in vegetables and fruits. It is usually combined with sugar to make jam. Once you have a batch of jam, the general method is to leave it too cool, then add the pectin. It’s what thickens the sauce, and makes it the same consistency as to what you spread on your toast.
Pectin generally comes from the core, pips and skins of fruit, such as apples, plums or berries. It can be made at home by boiling and straining the fruit, juice and sugar. There is also pectin powder now on the market which is 100% plant-based as well. The key thing to remember though is that vegan jams never have gelatin, only pectin!
What can I add Vegan Jam, Jellie, Preserves or Fruit Spread to?
We saved one of the best questions until last. As a way of thanking you for reading our whole collection post, we are going to let you in on a few secrets. There are so many different recipes where you can add vegan jams, it’s not just toast or cakes!
- Got vegan yoghurt? Great, add some vegan jam and jazz it up.
- Making vegan pancakes? Hello! Vegan jam is the way forward.
- Vegan Ice Cream? Yeah, you guessed it, vegan jam! Strawberry jam or cherry jam both go amazingly with vegan vanilla ice cream!
- Making a salad dressing? Ah-ha! You didn’t see that one coming. A touch of vegan jam will balance the sweetness!
- Making vegan porridge? Great. Add a dollop of the vegan jam. You're welcome!
Top vegan jams and jellies to try
This spread contains 100% raspberries grown in France. It has a sweet tart flavour and is perfect for scones, pancakes and indulgent breakfasts. It’s a healthier option to vegan jam.
This is a fantastic vegan marmalade with no extra sugar, especially formulated to work well for those living with diabetes. It contains fine cut orange of the finest quality and no added sugar. If you prefer bitter notes, use it instead of vegan jam.
This fruit spread from Suma is packed with 100% pears and apples! It contains only natural sugars and is perfect for baking or adding to porridge or smoothies.
This is a great vegan jam with no extra sugar, especially formulated to work well for those living with diabetes. This vegan jam is packed with blackcurrant and perfect for your morning toast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Out of vegan jam, jellies or preserves, what's best for baking?
When you’re baking, the best choices by far are vegan jams and fruit preserves. The reason being is they have the most flavour, and they also keep their consistency at a high temperature. In other words, when your cake is baked, the vegan jam or preserve won’t have disappeared and you won’t be left with a dry cake.
Are vegan jams gluten-free?
They should be! Generally, all fruit-based jams, jellies and preserves should be gluten-free. It’s always best to double-check the label, but we would be very surprised if you found one that wasn’t!
Is all jam vegan?
So most jams are vegan and contain only plant-based ingredients. There are a small number of brands, however, that use gelling agents that aren’t. One of these for example is gelatin which of course comes from animal products. A lot of vegan jams will contain pectin, juice, sugar and of course the fruit!
Is jam bad for your teeth?
Vegan jam is often high in sugar so you need to eat it in moderation as part of a balanced diet. If you are on top of your tooth brushing routine, eating vegan jam from time to time will not affect your oral health.