Pectin. It sounds almost cute, doesn’t it? Odds are, if you’ve seen pectin pop up on a nutrition label you were probably holding a jar of jam. But what is pectin, and why is it found in almost every jam and jelly on the market?
Is the Ingredient Pectin Healthy?
Pectin is a naturally occurring polysaccharide (polysaccharides are made up of sugar molecules). It most commonly extracted from fruits such as berries, apples, and citrus fruits. So it makes sense for pectin to be used in jams and jellies, right? But what really makes pectin useful for jam is its ability to gel. When pectin is heated with calcium water and then cooled, it takes on a gel-like consistency perfect for making jam.
Your grandmother might have spent hours over a pot of simmering fruit, getting splashed by the bubbles as she laboriously boiled it down to the perfect jam consistency. Lucky for us, we now have pectin readily available to cut the time (and hot jam burns) down in our jam-making process. Many of these pectin products can be found in supermarkets or specialty markets, and are also readily available on the Internet. And since different levels of gelling will occur when pectin is heated with ingredients of varying levels of sugar (standard, low, or no sugar applications), most pectin available to buy nowadays is versatile enough to be used universally in every sugary scenario.
Pectin isn’t just a one hit wonder, though. Besides jams and jellies, pectin can be found in anything from jellybeans, to yogurt drinks, to cosmetics, and even products to help with diarrhea and constipation! Foods high in pectin have also been proven to reduce nausea. Pretty versatile, huh?
If you’re like me, you probably would much rather buy your jam rather than make it yourself. So when shopping for jams, jellies, cough drops, candy, and pie filling, look for products that contain pectin as the stabilizer or gelling agent. It’s the most natural and healthy option.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I’ve accepted that I might not achieve everything that I want in life, and that’s ok. I do the best that I can to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself, but some things may just be out of my control. All I can do is my best, and let the chips fall where they may. I’ve become pretty accepting of a lot of things in my old age (haha), so it’s hard to say what I’m still working on accepting.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I appreciate my sense of self. Not many people can say they are 100% comfortable with themselves, or that they truly know who they are. I know who I am at this moment, but I also recognize that my sense of self is always evolving, and I just kind of go with the flow and try to be my true self as often as possible.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
At the moment, I’m most proud of completing my 200-hour yoga teacher training and becoming an RYT-200 certified yoga instructor. I’m also extremely proud of myself for making a career move that was a bit risky. I left my job in advertising to go work for the local county library system, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was intimidating to leave the comfort of a job I had for 9 years, but the difference in my quality of life…it’s immeasurable.
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
I might be the most forgetful person you’ve ever met. I know this about myself, and I also know the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, because my mom is the most forgetful person I know (next to myself). I chalk it up to genes, but really there are things I can do to improve my memory, I just get too lazy to put the effort in.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my sense of gratitude. I wasn’t always a grateful person, but certain life experiences will really put things into perspective for you. Not a day goes by that I don’t count my blessings and realize that all I have in life is enough for me to feel fulfilled. After all, it’s not a happy person who is thankful, but rather a thankful person that is happy.
photo credit: Jonathan Pielmayer from unplash.com