MacGuyver 101: Make Homemade Jam Without Pectin

If MacGuyver made jam, you can bet your buttons he wouldn’t need to run to the store and grab a packet of pectin.  (You remember MacGuyver, the brainy 80s action hero who was so epic problem-solving using found objects that his name became a verb?)

Heck no. Not MacGuyver.He didn’t get flustered if he didn’t have the usual supplies on hand. He would just use a paper clip and some chewing gum. But then he’d realize that there was an even better way to make jam without pectin.

And this is it.

Why You Might Want to Make Your Jam WITHOUT Pectin

Most brands exclaim breathlessly, “All natural pectin” or “Made from real fruit”.  And this is true – it does originate from fruit. Sound okay, right? Don’t be deceived.  This misleading label makes it sound as though this is nothing more than some powdered fruit.

Storebought pectin contains additives that are most likely genetically modified.  Dextrose is generally made from corn products (GMOs that are absolutely SOAKED in glyphosate).  It is made from cornstarch, the main ingredient in good old High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Don’t let anyone tell you that citric acid is “just Vitamin C”.  It is derived from GMO mold.

Not only does store-bought pectin contain unsavory ingredients, but it is also very highly processed. According to Wikipedia, this is how it is produced:

The main raw materials for pectin production are dried citrus peel or apple pomace, both by-products of juice production. Pomace from sugar beet is also used to a small extent.

From these materials, pectin is extracted by adding hot dilute acid at pH-values from 1.5 – 3.5. During several hours of extraction, the protopectin loses some of its branching and chain length and goes into solution. After filtering, the extract is concentrated in vacuum and the pectin then precipitated by adding ethanol or isopropanol. An old technique of precipitating pectin with aluminium salts is no longer used (apart from alcohols and polyvalent cations, pectin also precipitates with proteins and detergents).

Alcohol-precipitated pectin is then separated, washed and dried. Treating the initial pectin with dilute acid leads to low-esterified pectins. When this process includes ammonium hydroxide, amidated pectins are obtained. After drying and milling, pectin is usually standardised with sugar and sometimes calcium salts or organic acids to have optimum performance in a particular application. (source)

So, if you want to avoid GMOs and processed foods, I can tell you about an easy method with no store, no paper clip, and no chewing gum required.  (Don’t be deterred by the amount of time it takes, because very little of that time is active, hands-on time.  )

Go on over to learn about this simple technique. You’ll also find a universal jam-making chart so you can MacGuyver to your heart’s content with whatever fruit is the most bountiful for you right now!


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