15 Uses for Fruit Preserves (Beyond Toast!)

fruit preserves


strawberry and peach jam

Photo by: matka_Wariatka


No matter what variety of fruit preserve you choose--orange marmalade, strawberry, apricot, mixed berry, peach, raspberry-cranberry, or even boysenberry--the low-sugar varieties can be a healthy cook's BFF in the kitchen, with just about 8 calories and 1 gram of sugar per teaspoon. Here's how to liven up a variety of meals, far beyond toasted bread.

1. Salad Dressings and Vinaigrette: Combine in a blender: 1/2 cup preserves (any variety), 1/4 cup fresh chives or shallots, 2 to 3 tablespoons cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice, and 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil; puree until blended; add water or vegetable broth to reach desired consistency; season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Marinades: Combine preserves and fresh lemon or lime juice or balsamic vinegar and use as a marinade for chicken, pork and shrimp.

3. Muffins and Quick Breads: Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup preserves to muffin and quick bread recipes for added flavor and moisture (no need to alter other ingredients).

4. Cracker Spread: Blend with equal parts light cream cheese and spread on whole grain crackers or bruschetta.

5. Stir-Fries: Combine 1/2 cup preserves (any variety), 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce or hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoons mirin or rice wine; add the mixture to stir fries for the last minute of cooking.

6. Breakfast Syrup: Heat until warm and drizzle over pancakes, waffles and scones. For a fruit-filled version, add fresh fruit to the warm preserves just before serving (add raspberries to raspberry preserves, strawberries to strawberry preserves, etc.).

7. Dessert Glaze: Heat until warm, strain out solids and drizzle over frozen yogurt or use as a glaze for fruit tarts.

8. Smoothies: Excellent option when fresh fruit isn’t available: Puree in a blender low-fat yogurt, preserves and a little fresh lemon, lime or orange juice.

9. Sandwich Spread: Blend with equal parts spreadable goat cheese and use as a sandwich spread with smoked ham and turkey. Fabulous in panini (pressed sandwiches) too.

10. Better Braising: After searing chicken, turkey tenderloin, pork loin chops, steak, and meatballs, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup preserves to the braising liquid (broth) and simmer until ready to serve.

11. Wonton Tostadas: Arrange wonton wrappers on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray; bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Arrange on a platter, top with preserves, fresh fruit and powdered sugar or light whipped cream.

12. Angel Food Napoleon: Spread preserves between 3 to 4 thin layers of sliced angel food cake to create a napoleon with 3 to 4 layers.

13. Icing on the Cake: Blend with light cream cheese to create unique icings for carrot cake and other cakes, such as banana and zucchini.

14. Pinwheel Sushi: Spread nut butter (peanut, almond) on a whole grain tortilla, top with preserves and whole grain cereal or granola; roll up and slice crosswise into pinwheels.

15. Better Curry: Combine 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup preserves (such as orange marmalade or peach preserves), 1/2 cup curry paste, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder; use as the braising liquid for seared chicken, pork, steak, and shrimp; garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Robin Miller is host of Quick Fix Meals, a nutritionist and author of 10 cookbooks, including “Robin Takes 5” and “Robin Takes 5 for Busy Families.” She is the busy mom of two active boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinmillercooks.com.

Next Up

Buy These Fruits Now and Preserve Them for Later

Canning jam is easy enough and means you can be eating summer fruit long past their market-fresh appearances.

6 Unexpected Ways to Eat Cantaloupe, Beyond Fruit Salad

Discover unexpected and delicious ways to enjoy fresh, in-season cantaloupe beyond a simple fruit salad.

How to Preserve Basil

Four ways to keep sweet, fragrant basil around for months. Plus some of our best basil recipes for putting it to work.

15-Minute Thanksgiving Appetizers

Try Food Network's easy Thanksgiving appetizers that take just 15 minutes to cook or assemble.

How to Use Leftover Rice

From fried rice to stuffed cabbage to dessert: 15 easy recipes to use up those leftovers.

15 Beautiful Seder Plates for Passover

Whether you're hosting your first seder or are looking for something new, we found a seder plate for every style.

15 Best Baking Cookbooks of 2023

From snacking cakes to life-changing cookies, American pies to vegan layer cakes.

15 Great Food Gifts for Purim

Send Mishloach Manot in time for the celebration.