WSU Extension Q&A: Can I reduce sugar to make low-sugar jam?

July 4, 2013 

Q. I would like to make some low-sugar jam. Can I reduce the sugar in my recipe?

A. You will need to purchase a pectin designed specifically for making jams with low or no sugar. You can find the low-sugar pectin in the canning section alongside the traditional pectin. Select the one labeled for “low or no sugar” jams. Follow the instructions inside the package.

You cannot reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe that calls for traditional pectin and have a successful product. With a traditional pectin, the full amount of sugar is necessary for gel formation.

Q. With school being out, our 4-H club is looking for new kinds of community service projects. Any ideas?

A. Consider new and challenging ways your club can contribute to their community by connecting and working with other groups. Sometimes, when two or three groups come together, they can accomplish a larger project than one could by themselves. For more information, contact Natalie Kinion, franklinco@wsu.edu.

Q. My family loves blueberries. How can we grow blueberries in the Tri-Cities?

A. Blueberries like acid, moist soil. We have basic soil, meaning a high pH. The easiest way is to get a large container like a wine barrel and fill it with acidic potting soil. Then you will not need to amend the soil in your garden.

Q. What is teff grass, and how is it used?

A. Teff is harvested for grain in Ethiopia, where its flour is used for the production of injera (a flatbread), and is a major food staple. The nutritional value of teff grain is similar to that of traditional cereals. Teff is considered to have an excellent amino acid composition. It is considered gluten free by the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. Teff is also grown for hay for horses and has similar uses as timothy hay.

-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.

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