Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What To Do With Leftover Jam/Jelly

I cleaned out my fridge this morning.... It wasn't bad. I kind of get in the mood to clean things and the cleaning out the fridge mood happens every couple months, so it never gets super dirty. Its still pretty new too; we got it when we bought the house. So there's no like, mystery messes in there yet. I always hate the amount of food that goes into the trash when I do it and one of the most frequent things I throw away is salad dressings. I never use salad dressing....maybe because I never feel like eating salads (which might explain why I can't shake those last few baby pounds). And if I do ever buy salad dressing, its because I needed it once for a dinner party or something and then the rest goes to waste. One thing I really like to do to solve this problem is to make my own salad dressing. I used to think it was a pain, but once you learn how to do it, you can do it pretty quickly. And once you know the basic ingredients, you can start to experiment with different vinegars, oils, etc. There are tons of recipes on the Internet and usually in the back of your cookbooks, we just never think to look there. :)
Another thing that gets thrown out, but shouldn't (so don't throw it out!) is the leftover jam/jelly in the jelly jar. You can make salad dressing with the leftover jelly in the Smucker's jar! You can get every last penny you spent on that stuff, OUT of it!

Treasure! Not Trash!
And you can do it in any flavor. Strawberry, Raspberry and in this case, I used Boysenberry. It is a really good, simple dressing to use on salads that have a little fruit in them (and it only makes a little bit, so that you can use it all up). Like the salad that has green apples and purple onion or the one that has strawberries and goat cheese. This will go perfectly on any Summer salad you can dream up. I couldn't find a recipe that I really liked online, so I just made this one up, but there are versions of this online that you can find if you want to try other ways.

Jelly Jar Salad Dressing
Leftover bits of Jam or Jelly
1 part Apple cider vinegar (you can also use champagne vinegar, (love) white wine vinegar or any kind really)
1.5 parts Olive oil (you can experiment with oils too)
Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper

All you do is you put the vinegar and salt (just use a little salt at first, you can add more later) in the jar first, close the lid and shake, shake, shake! This will loosen up all the jelly in the jar. Then add 1 Teaspoon of Dijon (you can also omit it) and the olive oil. Shake, shake, shake again, then add salt and pepper to your taste. Done! You have a salad dressing that will last about 2 weeks in the fridge.

I made about 1/2 a cup. I wouldn't use more than that.

You can add all kinds of things to this to switch it up. You can add a tiny bit of chopped shallots (sounds gross but its actually good) or a tiny bit of chopped garlic. You can use any kind of jelly. Strawberry and Raspberry are probably the best, but any kind would be good. Oh Apricot, would be super yummy. You can change up the ratios of the oil and vinegar (I just like it this way). Really you can do anything. Just taste as you go and you will find all kinds of yummy ways to make it!

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