A few weeks ago, I wrote How To Choose Healthy Peanut Butter. People wrote and thanked me for this review, but then they wanted to know about the jelly.
Can't have a PB&J without the J right?
First, we need to talk about the difference between jam and jelly. Jelly is a clear fruit spread made with sweetened fruit juice and jam has both fruit juice and fruit pieces in the spread.
My favorite is jam and for this article, I decided to take a look at the one that I buy without question. The "Bonne Maman" brand, made in France, reminds me of my 20's when I lived in Paris for 4 months. Without thinking, I pop this one in my cart because of a sentimental attachment (and I like the taste).
BUT, is it healthy? Well, Bonne Maman, after spending a good 40 minutes in the jam aisle (worrying if security was going to interrupt me), I found Polaner All Fruit. The only thing I could find that differentiated jams from one another is the amount of sugar added to the fruit.
For a serving of Polaner All Fruit, I was looking at 6 grams of sugar and 35 calories and Bonne Maman has 12 grams of sugar and 50 calories. AND, Bonne Maman costs more! (when you have a cute checkered top and you are imported from France, you get to charge a premium.)
What about the taste? The Polaner jam was less sweet, but it tasted great. I have made many PB&J's with this stuff and I haven't even noticed the lack of sugar. It is made with just concentrated fruit juice and fruit with pectin. It is my new cheaper and lower calorie "go to" jam.
Just an aside, when I lived in San Francisco I met a lovely person who makes amazing jams. June Taylor's handmade preserves are out of this world. (They shouldn't even be mentioned beside a commercial brand). She makes them herself with just one assistant.
They are works of art, and they cost $11 a jar. She also makes a $12 bottle of ketchup that I have been meaning to try (when I can find $12 for ketchup). It has been reported to be the BEST ketchup on the planet! If you are in San Francisco, check her out at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market.
Check out her site here: June Taylor Jams and buy some of her jams.
Do you have a favorite healthy jam?
Want to read about snacks?
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