FORT WORTH, Texas— ‘Tis the season to be merry, but with the economic crunch and a long list of gifts needed for neighbors, friends, and teachers, consumers’ budgets are stretched. Texas Oncology has developed a free holiday recipe for Jingle Jam, an easy-to-make, Southern-style preserve that combines healthful cranberries, citrus, and jalapenos. This recipe, full of cancer-fighting ingredients, is sure to please everyone on gift lists and around holiday tables – while leaving you some change to jingle in your pockets.
“It’s no secret that recipes with fruits, veggies, and whole grains provide the foundation for a diet that is nutrient-packed and will promote health,” said Jerry Barker, Jr., M.D., a Texas Oncology radiation oncologist. “Jingle Jam brings together some of Texas’ favorite holiday staples for a tasty treat that is full of color, flavor, and nutrients.”
In Texas alone, more than 90,000 people – the fourth-highest incidence in the nation – are diagnosed each year with cancer, some of which could have been prevented with proper diet. Jingle Jam’s combination of wholesome cranberries, citrus, and jalapenos serves as a reminder of the variety of cancer-protective ingredients that can easily be incorporated into the everyday diet.
Cranberries, for example, are a powerful source of flavonoids, a family of phytonutrients with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit contain vitamin C, folate, and fiber – all essential to a cancer-protective diet. Jalapenos are loaded with vitamins A and C, and contain a phytochemical called capsaicin, which has been shown to benefit individuals with prostate cancer. Pectin is a natural product of most fruits and may block cancer growth. Pectin is used as a gelling agent and is also available commercially, but the Jingle Jam holiday recipe utilizes the natural pectin in cranberries for a pleasing consistency.
Texans come together for the holidays to enjoy friends, family, and good food. It’s easy to make the holiday table merry and bright with Jingle Jam, while feeling good about it. Versatile and delicious, Jingle Jam – which uses less sugar than a typical jam – has a variety of tasty uses. It makes a delectable addition to the holiday bird, but also as a glaze for steamed carrots or roasted pork loin. Spread it on whole grain toast or English muffins for breakfast, or as an appetizer dolloped atop goat cheese tartlets, or poured over cream cheese and served with crackers. Dress up a turkey sandwich, or use it as a dipping sauce for quesadillas.
Jingle Jam Recipe
6 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and picked over
3 cups sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1/4 cup jalapenos, minced with seeds removed
1 tablespoon orange zest
Yield: 5 Half Pints
Combine all of the ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. While jam is on stove, prepare half pint jars and lids according to manufacturer's directions.
When jam is ready, ladle into prepared jars, allowing 1/8-inch headspace before sealing. Follow manufacturer's directions for processing in a hot water bath for 5 minutes. Remove carefully and do not disturb jars for 12 to 24 hours.