Fruits have excellent nutritional and functional properties as well as flavour. They are generally accepted as being rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.
However, fresh fruits are perishable, which limits their shelf-life. About 10-15 per cent of fruits shrivel and stale, lowering the market value.
Processing fruits thus helps in reducing wastage and increasing palatability for some.
Several types of fruits have been utilised in the production of value-added products such as jams and marmalades, wine, fruit juices, jellies and dried fruits.
Jams and marmalades are fruit preserves that are prepared using pulp, sugar, pectin and other ingredients that allow the conservation of the product for longer periods.
Jams and marmalades are common in the Kenyan market and can be enjoyed in many more creative ways as listed below than as only spread on bread.
This is an interesting way of getting rich flavour in your yoghurt. It is made by simply blending your favourite jam with some milk and adding onto your natural yoghurt.
This will add flavour and some colour in the smoothie. The same can be done to milk shakes. Jam can be a good substitute of sugars in the case of milk shakes.
Spread it between cake layers
This is a good way of adding taste to your cake. Jam can be applied in between the layers of a cake giving it an appealing look. You can try this recipe on your sponge cake. Alternatively, the jam of your choice can be stirred into icing for a different and yummy cake topping.
Pancake/crepes and waffle topping
You can enjoy your waffles or pancakes, also known as crepes, with a little bit of jam on the top to give them a unique flavour. Using marmalade will also give your food a very rich taste.
Oats are well-known for breakfast and are served as porridge. Adding some jam on warm oat porridge gives it a unique taste. A spoon of jam will be splendid for this recipe.
Jam can be used in salad dressing for both fruits and vegetables. For vegetable salad, the jam can be mixed with oil, vinegar and spices for a sweet salad dressing.
For fruit salad, the jam can be turned into a syrup instantly by boiling it with water. The syrup can be let to cool then used as a dressing on fruit salad.
Ice cream dressing
Jam or marmalade can be mixed with ice cream of your choice giving it good flavour. Jam can also be served with ice cream as a topping when used a syrup.
Another unique way of using jam is serving it at the bottom of the jar, then putting the ice cream on top or marmalade. Marmalade can be put in between ice cream to make marmalade ice cream.
Other ways to use marmalade is by making a sauce for meat. This will thicken the sauce for steak and give the meat more glaze and a unique sweet and sour taste.
The same can be done on chicken breasts before giving it a glaze. Marmalade can also be used to sweeten your ginger tea instead of honey or sugar.
The writer is based at the Department of Dairy, Food Science and Technology, Egerton University.