Elsie Yang
Comfort food is familiar food, but not all familiar food is easy to make. After all, unctuous sauces like a bolognese take hours of babysitting; flaky pot pies take a lot of baking; and the best mapo tofu requires considerable ingredient prep time. As such, if there’s a comfort food that combines familiarity with simplicity (at least, insofar as the recipe is concerned), you have every reason to bookmark the instructions and turn to the recipe time and time again. Enter this anti-inflammatory jam, which requires just two ingredients, your Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker), and quite literally nothing else.
A good jam makes all the difference between a plain sandwich and a gourmet creation or a boring scone and one that is fit for afternoon tea with royalty. And given the different flavors of jam that you could make using this simple technique, this is one recipe that can be customized and made into your own a thousand times over. Plus, by using fruits that are in season, you can ensure that you’re always reflecting the best of your environment.
This jam recipe relies on fruit and honey, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful additions to your eating habits. Most fruits are significant sources of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds; for example, berries like strawberries, blueberries, and açai berries contain an antioxidant known as anthocyanin, whose anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce risk of a range of diseases. Stone fruits are also high in anti-inflammatory compounds; for example, cherries have significant amounts of phenolic compounds, which have been associated with reduced inflation in humans (and is why beverages like Cheribundi are often preferred by athletes post-workout).
But it’s not just the fruit in this recipe that can be good for you. Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties. The natural sweetener has been reported to have “antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anticancer, and antimetastatic effects,” a literature review notes. As such, honey is often used to treat disease including diabetes, respiratory conditions, and cardiovascular disease.
Beyond the health benefits associated with this jam recipe, perhaps its most winning property is the fact that it is as delicious as it is easy to make. You can tailor the ratios based on how much jam you want to make (the default proportions make a solid three pints), and can also adjust the sweetness or tartness of your jam by playing with the amount of honey you elect to add. While most jam recipes require you to add pectin as a thickener, honey will thicken naturally as it boils, eliminating the need for pectin altogether.
While this recipe call for blueberries, you can use larger fruits so long as you cut them into smaller (blueberry-sized) pieces. Be sure to de-stem fruits like apples, and if you prefer a smoother jam, peel your fruit as well. If you’re using frozen fruit, you can pressure cook them for a little longer and mash the resulting product for a smoother consistency.
Check out the two-ingredient jam recipe courtesy of Traditional Cooking School below.
2 pounds blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 pound raw, local honey
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