Just Jan’s: Jams, Preserves, Curds, Marmalade……Fruit Spreads and More #Review! Plus, a Meyer Lemon Sponge Cake #Recipe

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Being a fruit lover and especially when made into purees and spreads, the one thing I find difficult in locating, is good jams and the such. The market is flooded with everything from gourmet brands, local “Farmers Market” varieties, to the common major brands and store brands. You flip a jar over and you find that there is much more going on than just the fruit. Heck, sometimes even the fruit itself is last on the list and I’m sorry but when you advertise a spread as Raspberry, but you start with apple, pear, and white grape……I may smell Raspberry in the jar but that is as close as I may be getting to one! Jars of shame is what they should be called! I no longer even venture further if the list of ingredients starts wrong, no matter the art/picture in the front, if the prominent fruit pictured is not the only fruit being used. You tell me Raspberry and the next question should be with seeds or seedless? Not, red dyes, strawberry as a filler, and flavor enhancers, plus an emulsifier here and there to hold the lab experiment together. I desire simple, real and honest ingredients.

 

When Tryazon offered me the Just Jan’s campaign, I first did some nosing around. I did not want to take a spot away if in the end by just looking at the list of what makes this stuff…..well, is not to my liking. I first spot the “About Us” page and notice that Jan started this company in 2012. Has a dog in the picture (always a plus) and I see no preservatives, 14% lower in sugar and refusing to compromise quality or flavor. Okay, Jan, you are my long lost twin! I found ya! So, I quickly sign-up and especially when the Fig fruit spread and Lemon curd were the focus of the campaign. Hard finding a good fig spread. So many are figgy jello like spreads that sort of spread in a lumpy manner even though they have few seeds and fruit. It’s like the sugar water they made, found a way to keep together wants to stay forever together. It then tastes like if someone just took fig juice and jarred it. No backbone to the product and it’s really mostly water and sugar…..oh, and some even get cute and add caramel coloring. The only thing cute is Jan’s dog and after that, she is serious about the 13 different products she offers.

Retail Price Point: $6.95 to $7.50 per jar.  Each jar measures a generous 10 ounces.  My gift pack is the “green gift pack“.  The green gift pack sells for just $15.00 and comes with 6 jars.  This pack includes, Kadota Fig, Tangerine Marmalade, Meyer Lemon Curd, Muscadine Grape, Apricot, and Seedless Raspberry.  They sell a red gift pack but it seems to be out of stock at the moment.

I started off with tasting the Lemon Curd. I buy two different brands and one being from Trader Joe’s. Jan’s has a more lemon flavor, is less yellow in color and less sweeter. The curd is lighter in texture too. This means I can have more options when using it. I decided from the get go making a marbled Meyer Lemon pound cake. As the days passed and I ate this curd. That seemed like the lazy way out. I wanted the spread to be the focus more. So, I changed it around and decided on a Meyer Lemon Sponge Cake! It’s still Spring and Summer is like right there, just a few inches away from getting into pool weather, so why not a more lighter and delicate dessert. This also allowed me to make Jan’s Meyer Lemon Curd the focal point. You also need no milk or butter because again, this about the Meyer Lemon Curd popping!

Let’s Begin……

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs at room temperature (divided)
  • 3.5 ounces of Sugar
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1/2 a Zest of a Meyer Lemon, Sweet Lemon or just a normal Lemon
  • 1/4 cup of Lemon Juice from the lemon you used for zest
  • 1/2 cup of Cake Flour
  • Jan’s Meyer Lemon Curd (about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of spread per cakelette, so you will need 6 teaspoons or tablespoons because you add the amount you are comfortable with)

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This recipe is a super easy and fast to make. Set the oven to warm at 350 degrees and I used the Convection mode.

Then divide the eggs and first whip the egg whites until firm and form peaks. Not soft peaks or super firm ones, just peaks (somewhere in between). Scoop the egg whites out and set aside.

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Then add to the mixing bowl the 2 yolks, the sugar, the zest, the lemon juice and the vanilla. Whip for about a minute and stopping in between to scrape down and around, just so everything mixes well.

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Then in intervals, add 1/2 of the egg whites and 1/2 of the amount of cake flour. Whip quickly and stop the moment it combines about 75% of it coming together. Scrape down and around, and then add the remaining of the ingredients until combined.  Again making sure to not over whip. You can also try the folding technique if you do not trust yourself by folding in the egg whites and flour. This makes sure you do not break the cake batter.

Then take 6 (buttered or cooking spray) ramekins and fill them evenly with the batter. The batter should fill about 6 of the smaller ramekins leaving none to waste.

Bake for 15 minutes. Then take the almost set cakes out and add Jan’s Meyer Lemon curd to the center (amount of your choosing) and return to bake between 4 to 5 minutes.

You can eat them warm by flipping them upside down and they taste like a Molten Meyer Lemon cake that is moist and light in texture (airy).

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You can also eat them cooled by serving them in the ramekin and you can dust then lightly with powdered sugar or even serve them with ice cream. A dessert that is done in 20 minutes and gives you the option of eating both warm or at room temperature!

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Verdict:

Phenomenal cake!  You can make these cakes with pretty much any of Just Jan’s spreads.  The juice and zest are optional and you can add a little more vanilla, even orange zest with juice, extracts of different flavors, and so on.  Imagine a center dollop of Just Jan’s Raspberry in the center of a lemon flavored cake?  Replace some of the cake flour (about a 1/4 cup) with unsweetened cocoa powder and you can create chocolate sponge cakes!  The possibilities are endless and in 20 minutes, you are munching!  The Just Jan’s fruit spreads were very well received.  No one found a negative thing to say and the most common thing said, “so fruity and not sugary, I like that.”  It’s nice to know I am not the only one that found ways to avoid jams, preserves, and spreads because they just stopped being what they were suppose to be.  It’s a way to preserve a fruit so you can enjoy it at any season.  Just Jan’s did just that and in the good way!  Thank you Jan and cute dog 🙂

Connect with Just Jan’s and find your favorite fruit spread (plus they carry a few savory blends) at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Just Jan’s and Tryazon. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

Green Mountain Creamery: Yo Yummy Yogurt Pouches #Review and Cake #Recipe

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It should be no secret by now I’m a fan of yogurt. Big time. Going with my yogurt obsession, I recently received a wonderful parcel from Green Mountain Creamery. It was boxes filled with their Yo Yummy pouches, a product geared primarily towards kids. That does not mean an adult can’t indulge. We don’t have kids, and I have tried to like yogurt that comes in squeeze containers but most brands are watery, almost slimy in texture and then loaded with sugar. The last thing you taste is the fruit and I can see why some kids prefer these types of products in a frozen state. You at least can try to get past the texture problem but then again are left with a cube of frozen sugar and colors. Not Yo Yummy!

Yo Yummy, is finally a yogurt “pouch” product that can be squeezed out and still resembles what is suppose to be: delicious, creamy yogurt. Not filled with sugars and dyes, just flavorful yogurt.

Yo Yummy actually has 10% less sugar than the national leading brands and many benefits that separate this brand from others:

  • Gluten-Free
  • Added Vitamin A and Vitamin D
  • No Artificial Colors/dyes
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • No Preservatives
  • Good Source of Calcium
  • Kosher
  • Milk derived from Non-RBST treated cows
  • Made in Vermont, U.S.A.
  • and packed in a BPA free pouch

It’s R-E-A-L yogurt for everyone!

I looked into Green Mountain Creamery when I saw their yogurt cups at Sprout’s Market. The flavors were tempting and after I had just one cup of their Maple flavor….I was hooked!

Yo Yummy comes in 4 flavors for you to fall in love with and all are only 90 calories:

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Mixed Berry– A blend of actual real berries and not just a touch of it. You taste the full berry explosion of raspberry, blueberry, and Ssrawberry. The ingredients list these as purees and you really get that when you eat Yo Yummy. It’s a texture of yogurt where you still see the fruit, so each bite (or squeeze in this case) can taste different. We enjoyed this one greatly and I liked that I was left satisfied with just one pouch!

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Strawberry Banana– My Husband is not a banana eater (I know, how sad) but I squeezed this flavor until I ran out of pouches! I enjoyed it every morning over granola and when I found strawberries on sale, added banana slices to my granola…..oh my! I was in a Straw-nana heaven with this yogurt. This Yo Yummy blend is just like the others where they use real fruit purees and you taste it until you are squeezing every last drop out. I got good with my technique by day 3, in not letting one squeeze go to waste 🙂

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Strawberry– All I can say it tastes like you took fresh strawberries and just pureed them. That is the other thing, the freshness in their flavors have no match to what is on the market today. Yo Yummy uses premium products and fruit at their peak of freshness and taste because it transfers so well to your taste buds. Just like if you bit into a strawberry and yogurt parfait! Yes, you must make this one into a parfait. My Husband and I voted this flavor #1 and I admit I did not dive heavily into it because I wanted to leave it for him to enjoy. He enjoyed a pouch every morning until it was gone.

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Cotton Candy– I was skeptical because I like (not love) cotton candy but never had the flavor in yogurt form. Being that Green Mountain Creamery is wholesome and fills their yogurt cups and pouches with real fruit…..I wondered if there was a cotton candy bush I had no idea existed. I did not question the cotton candy’s bush existence after I had one taste of this pouch. Think of a sweet cream and almost a touch of strawberry when eating this flavor. There is a hint of sweetness but it does not overwhelm your palette so I decided to take this flavor a notch up by making a cake!  Yo Yummy will also be coming out soon with grape and sour cherry flavors. I can’t wait!

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Yup, let’s have fun and with this Spring weather, a happy cake can be made with the cotton candy flavor or any of the Yo Yummy pouches. Just 25-30 minutes in the oven and each pouch fills one ramekin. Only three ingredients needed, so let’s get started-

Yo Yummy Cotton Candy Speckled Cake (think confetti)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Get one small (individual size) ramekin (greased- you can use cooking spray or even Coconut Oil)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Yo Yummy Cotton Candy pouch
  • 1/8 of a cup of all-purpose flour (you can use Rice Flour if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon of confetti sprinkles
  • 1 strawberry (if desired) and a dash of powder sugar for decor purposes 🙂

Take the Yo Yummy pouch and empty it into a bowl

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Add the flour and if you wish a fluffier cake, add a dash of baking soda (1/4 teaspoon)

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Mix

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Once incorporated, add the confetti sprinkles and mix quickly and then fill the greased ramekin.

Put ramekin in oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Check cake if done with toothpick and it will be dense like a pudding cake but a toothpick should come out clean when checking.

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Allow cake to cool (if you have patience) and you can personalize these as you wish. You can eat it as is or add a scoop of ice cream. I found fresh strawberries on sale an added one on top with a dusting of powder sugar. It’s a happy cake and each person can make their own to suit their taste buds. Try it with the other Yo Yummy flavors and even your own mix-ins. Enjoy!

Visit Green Mountain Creamery and Yo Yummy at:

  • Green Mountain Creamery- http://greenmountaincreamery.com/
  • Yo Yummy- http://yoyummykids.com/
  • On FaceBook- https://www.facebook.com/GreenMountainCreamery
  • On Twitter- https://twitter.com/grnmtncreamery
  • Via Pinterest- http://www.pinterest.com/gmcyoyummy/

Also, save with these generous coupons:

  • Easy to print savings- http://yoyummykids.com/coupons-and-offers

 

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I received the above product free of charge from Green Mountain Creamery.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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