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I've been growing spearmint for herbal tea for several years now, but until recently I have never tried making jelly with it. Mint jelly is very easy to make and has a wonderfully delicate mint flavor.
2 c. fresh spearmint leaves
4 c. water
5 c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 box powdered pectin
Green food coloring
Wash and sterilize your canning jars, lids, and screw bands. The easiest way to do this is run them through the sanitize cycle in the dishwasher and remove them from the dishwasher to use when they are still hot. Place your boiling water canner filled with water on the stove to start heating up.
Use only fresh spearmint leaves that have not been treated with any pesticides. Chop finely.
Wash spearmint leaves and place leaves and water in a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Add liquid if necessary to equal 4 cups. Return liquid to stock pot.
Add green food coloring until you achieve the desired color (optional). Add lemon juice.
Stir in the powdered pectin. Bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in sugar. Add 1 tsp. margarine or butter to reduce foaming, if desired.
Bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat. Boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
Quickly ladle jelly into sterilized canning jars, within 1/4 inch from the tops of the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth. Place canning lids and screw bands on the jars.
Place jars on elevated rack in boiling water canner. Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Cover, and bring water to a gentle boil. Process jars for 10 minutes.
Remove jars from canner and place upright on a towel on the kitchen counter to cool completely. After jars are cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If lid springs back the lid is not sealed. Unsealed jars can be placed in refrigerator to be eaten in the next couple weeks. Sealed jars can be stored for at least 1 year. Enjoy!
Yield: 3 pints or 6 half-pints
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