If you are canning jelly on your own then you are familiar with pectin. It is necessary to get the “set” in your jelly. However, you might not know any more about it. That’s where I was until just a few days ago. I had no clue where pectin came from, how it was derived, and especially that you could make it on your own.
What is Pectin?
“In plant biology, pectin consists of a complex set of polysaccharides that are present in most primary cell walls and are particularly abundant in the non-woody parts of terrestrial plants. Pectin is a major component of the middle lamella, where it helps to bind cells together, but is also found in primary cell walls.” (Wikipedia) Well, that certainly clears things up. If you aren’t a biology major then the important take away from that technical definition is that pectin is a part of the plants cells. Specifically, it is an important “glue” that forms between two cells in the fruit. Pectin is found throughout the fruit but is concentrated in the peel. Some fruits are higher in pectin such as grapefruit, oranges, and lemons while other fruits are very low in pectin such as apricots, blueberries, and strawberries.
How To Make It
Pectin is produced by several manufacturers and can be found in grocery stores, online, and from some health food stores. The great thing is, you can make it yourself! This great tutorial from Stephanie Dayle at American Preppers Network will walk you through how to use the peels from your high pectin fruits to make your own pectin. You can even can it and save it for future jelly batches. So next time you are putting away your apples, don’t just throw out the peels and cores. Make pectin. Have a great day and God bless!
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