I’ve found the best tasting, most unique, local, sustainable organic fruit preserves on this planet. Wanna know where this picture came from? Keep reading!🙂
Food for Thought is a Michigan-based company founded by an ex-human relief worker who served for years in war torn regions of the world.
Through his experiences, founder Timothy F. Young realized that “[he] could not return home and simply be another naïve member of the mass consumer market in the West that wallows in an indulgence of anonymous consumption, blind to the connection between how we choose to eat and others ability to simply live.”
Food for Thought not only protects our environment through their commitment to organics, they also donate a percentage of their gross earnings to non-profit organizations that work to preserve and protect our human and natural environment. As if that were not great enough, FFT also encourages their staff to take what they call “paid volunteer days” whereby workers can volunteer to work for a non-profit organization while FFT keeps them on the payroll.
What an incredible company to work for.
So what do they make? Everything from jarred fruit preserves (including wine-infused, herb-infused, and fruit juice sweetened), to salsa, pickled leeks, coffee, maple syrup, mustard, hot sauce, and even organic tee shirts!
As you read the reviews, please do keep in mind that this company is still a small family-owned shop that is supporting local farmers, sustainable farming, eco-friendly, and healthy products! I would certainly rather pay $6 for a jar of preservative-free jams from Food for Thought than a $5+ organic jam made by a corporate giant.
Strawberry Basil Preserves
“Basil grown on our organic farm combines with strawberries grown by Bernie and Sandy Ware of Ware Farm in Bear Lake, Michigan. This preserves transcends breakfast. Bernie and Sandy pick these Morning Glow strawberries early in the morning and deliver them to our facility where we sort and wash by hand to assure gentle handling and that only the best berries get used.”
Ingredients: Organic strawberries, organic fair trade sugar (evaporated cane juice), pectin (from citrus), organic lemon juice, organic basil.
Tastiness: 9.5/10. Definitely one of the best jams I have ever tasted, though I was weary at first of what the basil would add to the classic strawberry. The sweet preserve is smooth in texture, not overly thick and jelly-like, but more of an extra-thick and goopy-in-a-good-way consistency. There are small mashed pieces of beautiful organic strawberries that add a slightly chewier and seedy dimension to the preserve. I loved the hint of basil as an aftertaste, which added a whole different complexity to the jam flavor. I appreciated the fact that a wonderful balance was struck where the herb didn’t overwhelm the fruity flavors at all. This preserve makes the BEST almond butter and jelly sandwich I’ve ever had – very much the grown up version of your childhood PB&J!
Apricot Chardonnay Preserves
Ingredients: Ingredients: organic apricots, organic fair trade sugar (evaporated cane juice), pectin (from citrus), organic chardonnay wine, organic lemon juice.
Tastiness: 8.5/10. Apricot Chardonnay is a delicious, fresh, and sweet tasting preserve that is probably one of the most versatile flavors possible. I’ve never been one to love dried apricots, but the fresh fruit used in this flavor was mind-blowing delicious. The Chardonnay flavor is almost unnoticeable, which is a plus in my book. The preserves itself were extra chunky with bands of fresh apricot strewn throughout, almost like a marmalade. I would definitely recommend having this over toast, or even baked with brie cheese, or as a glaze for grilled meats and vegetables like they suggest on the website. I did find this jam a little more sweet than I’m used to, but paired with a savory food or unsweetened nut butter, this is really a treat!
Blueberry Lavender Preserves
“These Blueberries come from the farm of John VanVoorhees and Joan Donaldson, 2 off-the-grid farmers that when I met them many years ago they were in their 17th year of organic blueberry farming. We combine those [blueberries] with lavender flowers from our gardens.”
Ingredients: Organic blueberries, Organic Fair Trade Sugar (evaporated cane juice), Lavender Flowers, Lavender Oil.
Tastiness: 7/10. I normally love blueberries, but made into a jam with herbs, I’m not so sure. Flavor-wise, I was shocked at how well lavender works with the berries. Again, not overwhelmingly herby, but definitely noticeable in terms of the dominance of the floral flavor. It was a little confusing to eat when I topped my oats with this jam due to the complexity of the flavors, but once you get used to it, the floral flavors really bring a lot to the flavor party. The major downside to this flavor was the consistency. It was far lumpier and chunkier than any other preserve I’ve ever had, more gelatinous than the picture shown above. It’s also more difficult to spread than the other Food For Thought Preserves, hence a tad off-putting initially.
Organic Cherry Salsa Atento
Taste the simply fantastic balance of fresh Michigan tomatoes, Montmorency cherries, lots of love and pure intention. Try as a traditional dip or as a grilling accompaniment.
Ingredients: organic diced tomatoes, organic tomato paste, organic sugar (organic evaporated cane juice), organic yellow onions, organic green onions (scallions), organic diced jalapenos, organic chopped garlic, Organic Pale ale, organic red wine vinegar, organic lemon juice concentrate, sea salt, organic cilantro, organic thyme.
Tastiness: 8/10. I’ve never had salsa with cherries inside, but my first experience was a good one, though it took a little time to get used to. It is rare that you find a salsa with fruit chunks LARGER than the tomato chunks themselves. I absolutely love that so many fresh organic ingredients went into this jar to make the flavors as bold, complex, and delicious as it was! Slightly tangy, a little spicy, and sweet, this salsa is such a unique product with a refreshing and exciting flavor profile! It tastes absolutely DELICIOUS stirred in to chili to give that extra kick, and also served chilled with chips. Once the jar is open though, be sure to eat it up quick or this preservative-free product will likely grow mold within a week.
Blueberry Lavender Banana Vegan Overnight Oats
Overall, I’m a sucker for spicing up regular food with fruit preserves with a twist to it (see above). I think Food for Thought is an ethical, creative, FUN company with the highest morals and standards of practice. I would love to see more companies like this flourish!!
At the moment, these products can be ordered online and in select stores. Please click here to find a store near you!
To learn more about Food For thought, visit Food For Thought!