We know that a healthy and nutritious breakfast is a proper way to start the day, no doubt about it. So you are probably thinking, 'I am a responsible adult, I am going to have my breakfast toast with eggs (protein), avocado (good fats), sprinkle it with chia seeds (cause superfood)....' And, sure thing, you are right, good for you!
But sometimes... we should all indulge and allow ourselves some not-so-healthy but delicious food, especially for breakfast. So this time, let's discuss some breakfast ideas without eggs, avocados, spinach, or green smoothies. I'm talking the heavenly combo that is toast and jam, or jelly, or preserves, or is it marmalade?
You might have wondered what's the difference between all of the above. Well, there's also marmalade, chutney, compote, gelee, and... let's just stop hee.
While it has all started out of necessity to preserve produce through the winter (similar to fermenting and pickling), now the fun of DIYing your own jams is also about the fun combinations and tastes, the unusual ingredients, and exciting mixes.
The jams, jellies, and the rest are, in fact, all slightly different, yet equally delicious. So, let's start here and go through a quick and easy 'conservation classification.’
Jams are usually made from crushed or finely chopped fruit and large quantities of sugar (on average 1:1 ratio). It's cooked over heat until it thickens into a spreadable smoothest consistency. Sometimes pectin can be added to reach the desired spreadable texture. And you can enjoy it in oh so many ways.
Jelly is sort of jam's rigid conservative cousin. And I only say this about jelly's firm consistency and its ability to hold shape. Jelly contains more pectin making it more solid (and extra pectin is added for gel formation). It also doesn't have fruit pulp or fruit pieces, as it's made from juice.
Jelly is actually more liberal than jam when it comes to ingredients and can be made from herbs, flowers, some vegetables, and even alcohol. It also loves to jiggle.
Preserves are the chunkiest with the most physical fruit content. The fruit is either chopped into larger pieces or preserved whole in the case of smaller ingredients like berries.
Depending on the amount of natural pectin and your personal preference, your final product can have a jam-like smooth or a jigglier jelly-like texture (by adding commercial pectin).
Marmalade is simply preserves made from citrus fruit, including the citrus peel. It has a more complex leveled flavor, often combining sweet, bitter, tart, and zesty. One might say marmalade is jelly's cool, sophisticated relative.
Now that we have cleared that, let's see what type of spread you can top your breakfast toast with.
If you do treat yourself to jam on toast for breakfast, go for homemade (or artisanal). Store-bought jams are full of refined sugar and extra processed, unhealthy things to prolong their shelf life. Making homemade jams and jellies is actually way easier than you might imagine and can be a fun DIY project. Plus, you get to pick some pretty jars and maybe come up with some creative names to stick onto them.
My personal favorites so far are:
'Strawberry Fields Forever,’ 'Peach Perfect,’ 'Apple-y Ever After,’ 'It Takes Two to Mango,’ 'The Grape Escape,’ 'Cherry Tales,’ 'Pumpkin A,’ 'You Could Have It So Much Pepper,’ 'Go Coco-Nuts,’ 'From My Head To-Ma-Toes'... you get the idea.
Pumpkin for breakfast? Yes! This Malaysia-inspired pumpkin-coconut concoction is what I call 'Pumpkin A.’ It's perfect for spreading on toast, an English muffin, or a bagel.
Even if the idea of tomatoes being turned into a jam seems strange to you, you should take a chance on this one. You will start obsessively putting it on absolutely everything; it's absolutely amazing.
Making this one will be faster than taking a trip to the store to get a jar. Have delicious fresh fruit jam for your warm toast, scones, or anything you'd like in thirty minutes. Magic!
The one for your perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Increase pectin content if you prefer your jelly jigglier and have a grape start to your day.
As if marmalade wasn't already cool enough! A unique and tasty blend to wake you up with a peppery, spicy kick and fruit flavor.
The perfect apple jam for your toast, crackers, and breakfast bakes. Apples and cinnamon are just perfect together.
When you miss the sweet tropical fruit and summer days, papaya and pineapple marmalade will instantly take care of your nostalgia. You can eat it with a spoon!
You can make this jam using frozen raspberries! No need to wait till summer! And technically, it's healthier than most made with honey or maple syrup and enhanced with chia seeds.
This rose petal jam is perfect for those mornings when you feel particularly thorny. Delicate and elegant jam to spread on toast or scones.
One more healthified yet still delicious jam recipe. The light nutty flavor of coconut sugar takes the apricot flavor to new heights. And just try to imagine the amazing smell of this fruit spread. Intoxicating!
Don't limit yourself to toast. First of all, why not make Classic English Scones yourself and improve your jam consumption experience even more?
And if you are by now convinced (hopefully) that making jams and jellies isn't difficult, the next step would be incorporating them into your meals beyond breakfast. Find out how to jam it up here.