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LJWorld.com weblogs Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie

Aldi Produce Has Me in a Jam

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I ran out to Aldi Saturday morning to grab some frozen fruit ... when I did a quick "fly by" on the produce I discovered their 1# containers of strawberries were only $0.99! What a deal! I bought up three containers, some grapes and bananas to throw together a quick fruit salad for the company were were having for dinner. I was kicking myself as I left thinking "I should be buying up more of those, what a great price!". I didn't buy them because I was assuming I wouldn't have the time to do much with them in the next few days; I'm trying to be more realistic about my time constraints this summer (go ahead, laugh).

The thought of these super-berries turned into an obsession and I kept thinking there had to be something easy I could do (besides freezing the strawberries, which I didn't want to do). Then I remembered that I have all of the canning supplies I would need to quick make up some jam! I LOVE strawberry jam and we haven't had any of our own homemade version for nearly two years!

I'm back to thinking I can do it all so I'll be making another trip to Aldi today in hopes that maybe I can snag some more strawberries to make us some Jam!

Canning (or freezing) is a great way to control what food you are giving to your friends and family AND a good way to save yourself money! According to my Ball Blue Book of Preserving, here is how you can whip up some jam for yourself too:

Ingredients:

2 quarts strawberries

1 cup water

1 package pectin (check your box to see if you will need to add sweetener)

Directions:

Wash, drain and hull strawberries. Crush the strawberries (I use my potato masher!) and measure out 5cups. Mix the strawberries, water and pectin together, stirring to dissolve the pectin. Bring the mixture to a boil and add whatever sweetener you are using according to the directions on your box of pectin. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. If your mixture starts to gel and get too firm before the entire minute is up, pull it off the heat!

Laddle the hot jam mixture into hot half pint jars. Fill the jars leaving 1/4" headspace at the top of the jar. Remove any air bubbles from the jars, attach the two piece lids and then process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Results:

Approximately 6 half pint jars of jam for your pantry!

If you want to make this an even bigger family adventure, you can skip the Aldi shopping and head straight out to the strawberry fields and pick your own! There are lots of local "Pick Your Own" farms with all kinds of fruits, depending on the season. You can visit Pick Your Own.org to find information on farms near you. This website also has a lot of helpful information for first time canners!

Another option, if the above instructions are a little daunting, is to make freezer jam. I've never actually made this myself but I've seen recipes all over the place, including these at about.com. It looks very simple. If you have experience with freezer jam, or a favorite freezer jam recipe....please share!!

Just in case you aren't interested in, or are allergic to, strawberries.... you might also be interested in these other produce finds at Aldi:

Pineapples $0.99

3 pk. Colored Peppers $2.49 (This same package was $4.99 at Target!)

Mushrooms $1.50/package

I hope you have a great weekend...and enjoy that great produce!

Comments

LadyJ 2 years, 10 months ago

I planted a strawberry bed two summers ago and this is the first year I am getting strawberries. Love going out in the morning to pick some to go with my breakfast. Planted raspberries and blackberries at the same time and they also are coming out this year. Blueberries bushes kept dying though. I want to thank the people at True Vine Ranch for telling me how to finally successfully grow blueberries. They are doing great, I can't wait till they're ripe. I will be having a fruitful year

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

I have an agenda of my own, and that's because I think that Aldi's produce is not always the best value. Always shop around before you make a large purchase!

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Kris Adair 2 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the information. I received a free packet of freezer jam pectin from Ball at the Downtown Farmers Market yesterday and we ate all of the strawberries we purchased. Audrey loves to make freezer jam as we can enjoy homemade jam all year with minimal effort. Even a toddler can make it!

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Dog 2 years, 10 months ago

Aldi is a great place to shop for all types of food. I am not sure why "overthemoon" would question the quality. Quality, quantity and cost do not correlate when shopping at any grocery store. If you are curious about the quality of the berries pick up a container and check out the grower on the Internet. Most of the growers supply other grocery stores too.

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Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

This has a list of area pick your produce. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/apr...

I thought there was another article but I can't find it on here :(

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Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

Aldi's has had these strawberries on sale for the last couple of weeks and they are really good. We went through 4lbs last week & I bought another 4 for this week. The blueberries are a very good deal too at $1.49.

I bought one of the pineapples but I haven't sliced it up yet. It does smell really good so I am anticipating a nice juicy fruit.

p>PickYourOwn.org also have very handy tips on all sorts of produce and how to store them. It is a great resource.
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Kiana Griffin 2 years, 10 months ago

Check out Wohlez Farm just south of town. You can pick your own strawberries. You can't get any fresher than that! :)

http://www.wohletzfarmfresh.com

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overthemoon 2 years, 10 months ago

Any idea where these super cheap strawberries come from and what chemicals are used on them?

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