Category Archives: Jams

A Taste of Pumpkin Pie In A Spread


As I was slathering my morning muffin with Pumpkin Butter this morning, I realized that I had not added this simple and delicious recipe for the low carb goodness of this butter to my blog. It simply needs to be shared. If you love the taste of pumpkin pie, this is just for you! This recipe is adapted from one I found on the web and I simply made it low carb and added a few more spices. This is a refrigerator jam, so you do need to eat it within a few months… if it lasts that long! In addition to putting it on toast or muffins, you can mix it with vanilla yogurt (I use Carbmasters) or mixing it with soft cream cheese and whipped topping for a quick pumpkin parfait.

Easy Low Carb Pumpkin Butter

15 oz. Canned Pumpkin
½ Cup Water
½ Cup Granulated Splenda or Ideal sugar (or 24 drops of liquid Sucralose)
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1 tsp. Cloves
1/4 tsp. Allspice
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice

Put canned pumpkin into a sauce pan over medium heat. Add sweetener to water and stir into pumpkin. Add spices and cook for ten minutes stirring often.

Let cool, then spoon into a canning jar, put on lid and store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 30 servings – 1 tablespoon each

Nutrition Info (with Splenda)
Calories 6.7  Net Carbs 1.5 g  Protein .2 g

(with liquid Sucralose and/or sugar alcohol)
Calories 6.7  Net Carbs 1 g  Protein .2 g

Tip: This is a refrigerator butter. Keep pumpkin butter refrigerated and use within 6 months.

Fruit of the Desert – Prickly Pear

When I was a kid, we used to travel across the southwest on vacation every other summer. Among the stop points along the way in many states was a Stuckey’s Store. They had gas, food, souvenirs, turquoise jewelry and cactus candy. In spite of having looked at it many times, I never once tried the cactus candy. So now, when presented with a few cactus pears from the volunteer cactus in my yard, I thought I would make cactus marmalade before tackling a candy.  PK had a recipe her mother used to make prickly pear orange marmalade. It sounded good.

Learn From My Mistakes

Well, the first try didn’t go too smoothly. I picked the pears carefully using tongs and a big bowl, brought them in and used tongs to hold the pear while I burned the thorns off. I even thought that prickly pears should be purple, but they felt a little soft to the touch, so I cut them up, as one preparation instruction said I could and popped them into the food processor to reduce them to pulp and juice. Except there was very little juice at the end. I put them on the stove and boiled them with water, but the result was about 1/4 cup of ugly brown liquid that had no flavor. The pears need to change color, which in turn meant getting ripe. Not one of the articles I read on the prickly pears stated that they should be completely purple or deep orange or whatever color they change to from green. Mine were on the plant so long that I thought they must not change colors. Since it was turning to winter and they still hadn’t turned but were shriveling up slightly, I thought they must not change colors. Scratch the first attempt.


I started checking the markets and found one that had some of the pears in and they were half purple already. I let them sit about a week in a brown paper bag until they were completely purple and soft. The purchased ones already had the thorns burned off, but I still used precautions in handling them, in case there were tiny hair-thin stickers on them. You should use gloves when handling them or use a fork to hold them while cutting. To prepare, cut the ends off each end of the pear, then run a knife from one end to the other cutting under the skin. You can then carefully peel it back to reveal the pear inside.

This attempt came out pretty good. I thought the oranges made it bitter when I tasted the jam while cooking and I threw more sugar substitute at it. But once I tasted it after it was cooled down, using a teaspoon or so in with a cup of vanilla yogurt and whipped cream, I didn’t notice the bitterness, so perhaps the oranges need time to absorb the sweetness into the skins and pithy part. I also thought a thin skinned orange, rather than a navel orange, might be better so may try it with the little cuties oranges.

Now to the recipe. This can be used to make enough for canning, but I don’t include any canning instructions. This recipe makes about three 8 oz. jars of marmalade. You can double it to make more. You can also buy the prickly pears, peel them. reduce them to a puree, then put them in a plastic bag and freeze it to use later. Just don’t forget you have it in the freezer, as I sometimes forget things, and they end up being tossed out because they are found after three years. This recipe is adapted by me for low carb and I added a little ground clove to it. I used LC Foods Cranberry Sauce Mix to thicken it. You can just use a sugar substitute. The amount is in parentheses. If you don’t care about it being low carb, feel free to use sugar.  It will take two cups or more. One recipe suggested one cup of sugar per one cup of fruit mix. I think that’s too sweet.

Toni’s Prickly Pear Orange Marmalade

2 medium Navel Oranges, skin on
8 Cactus Fruits
Juice from 1 Orange strained
1/2 cup LC Foods Cranberry Jam mix or sugar substitute (1 cup sugar)
20 drops liquid Sucralose (1 cup sugar)
1 Lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon ground Clove

Cut off ends of the oranges, then slice very thinly, tossing away any seeds. Place in a bowl with 2 cups of cold water and allow to stand for at least 3 hours. (I soaked them overnight.) Pour orange water into a bowl, then put orange slices in a food processor to chop into smaller pieces.

Orange slices soaking in water.

Cut off ends of cactus fruit, then peel. Puree in a food processor then push through a small colander or sieve to get rid of the seeds. Combine with the orange juice and orange slices with orange water in a heavy sauce pan and bring slowly to a boil.


Prickly pear puree with froth on the top. Look at the beautiful color of this marmalade!

Turn heat to high and boil quickly for 5 minutes, skimming off any froth that rises to the surface.  Stir in the sugar, clove and lemon juice. Bring up to a boil again, lower the temperature to a medium heat and continue boiling and skimming until mixture thickens to almost a jam consistency. Taste to make sure it is sweet enough. Add more sugar if necessary. It will thicken more as it cools.

Prepare jars by and lids by running  them through your dishwasher to clean and heat the jars. Spoon marmalade into jars, leaving 1/2 inch at the top for the seal.

Prickly pear marmalade in the pot and…
… a bit of it on a scone. Yum!






Makes about three jars.

Nutrition Info per tablespoon of jam:
Calories: 13  Fat: .1 g  Net Carbs: 2.9 g  Protein: .2 g