Once a year I visit my grandma in Norway, and once a year I get grandma’s wonderful, wild, blueberry jam. There is just nothing like it. I don’t even care that my tongue gets blue and that my teeth look gray. It is definitely worth it. The Norwegian blueberries are small and slightly tart, and the fact that she can pick them right outside her door adds to the experience. Grandma has always been health conscious, so she uses agar agar to thicken the jam, as well as a pinch of stevia to decrease the sugar. This makes the jam sweet enough to satisfy even the most ardent sweet tooth. Here is her recipe: (See note below)
1 Ib. (16 oz.) wild blueberries (Maine wild frozen blueberries work well)
1/2 tsp. agar agar powder
1/4 c. demerara sugar (Florida Crystals)
pinch of stevia (optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. lemon juice (optional, see note below)
Add 16 oz. of wild blueberries to a pot. Mix with agar agar powder while still cold.
Turn on the stove. Bring to a rolling boil while stirring. Let it cook for a couple of minutes.
Turn off heat.
Add sugar, stevia, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
While still hot, add jam to a pint size jar. The jam will thicken as it cools.
Store in fridge.
Because the American wild blueberries are less tart than the Norwegian blueberries, you get a better result if you add in 2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice.
Agar agar: is a plant-based thickening agent found in most health food stores.
If you prefer a smoother jam, blend jam in blender before putting in jars. Be careful as the jam is hot.