If you are like me and you grow things, your worst fear in life this time of year is letting your hard-grown fresh produce go to waste, especially the produce you pick from the garden.

Tomatoes tend to have a pretty short shelf life and recently I've been looking for ways to use them for other longer-lasting kitchen items.

(Townsquare Media photo)
(Townsquare Media photo)
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After being reminded of my love for tomato jam, I quickly decided to turn all of my tomato backstock into a delicious treat. I know it sounds weird and funky, tomato jam. The two things don’t seem to go together, but if you try it once, I promise you you will make it again and again.

Source Adobe Stock
Source Adobe Stock
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It is so easy. I make it without jalapeño because my family really can’t tolerate spicy foods. But I added it to my recipe here because even though WE are a bunch of wimps most people I know enjoy the kick of the jalapeño.

So here’s how you make the jam and what you’ll need:

1 ½ lb of ripe tomatoes

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. fresh grated or minced ginger

1 tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. cinnamon

⅛ tsp. garlic cloves

1 tsp. salt

1 jalapeño seeded and minced

Once you have all of these ingredients, it’s time to cook and the best part is it will probably be the easiest thing you’ve ever made. All you have to do is combine the ingredients and cook over a high heat until it boils and then simmer.

The ingredients will then need to thicken up until the jam forms which will probably take a little over an hour. When the jam is done you want to let it rest, putting it in the fridge is sometimes best.

As soon as it's set and chilled time to use it on literally anything. My favorite thing to pair with tomato jam is actually cheese as it adds a subtle hint of sweetness, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I’ve also had it slathered on a grilled cheese sandwich, and paired with fish.

Save your tomatoes and make jam! You won’t regret it.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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