Are you looking for How To Make Strawberry Preserves Without Sugar? Look no further! The very best sugar-free strawberry jam recipe is in this article. It’s healthy, easy and delicious.
Strawberry season is quickly approaching. Those big red berries appear in the store and you may think that this means your jam making days are coming to an end. You would be wrong though because I have a little known fact for you: You can make jam without sugar.
How to Make Sugar-Free Jam or Preserves
There is nothing quite like homemade jam. When you make it yourself, it tastes so much more like the fruit it came from rather than the overly sweet confections you find at the grocery store. If you’ve always wanted to make your own jams or preserves but were daunted by the process, there are a few easy methods you can try. Most involve boiling without a thickener or boiling with a gelatin thickener.
Making jams and preserves without sugar can be a bit tricky since sugar not only acts as a preservative but provides the finished product with its characteristic “jammy” mouthfeel.1 Sugar-free jam will contain less carbohydrates than regular jam because it is made without sugar.
Some people who are monitoring their carbohydrates may prefer sugar-free jam for this reason, however, keep in mind that sugar free jam is not carbohydrate free jam. All jam will contain some carbohydrates because it is made with fruit. With a little practice and the right choice of fruit, making a sugar-free jam is not only easy, it may become part of a new family tradition.
Best Fruits for Jam-Making
Of all of the fruits you can use, berries are probably the best for a lower-carb jam. They are naturally lower in carbohydrates and sugar than other fruits and contain pectin, a water-soluble fiber that makes jellies and gives jams their consistency. Some fruits contain higher levels of pectin than others. Higher pectin containing fruits work better in boiling methods of making jam
You can make jam without pectin, but you will need sugar. You can make your jams lower in sugar by using less sugar. Strawberries and blackberries have among the lowest carbohydrates overall. The latter contains 9.6 grams of carb and 5.3 grams of fiber.2 Raspberries are also an excellent choice, with 14.7 grams of carb and 8 grams of fiber per cup.
The simplest method of jam-making is boiling. This works best with blackberries or raspberries since they have a higher percentage of pectin. Boiling helps release the pectin and evaporate some of the excess water to give the jam a more spoonable texture. To make a boiled jam:
- Place two cups of berries in a non-reactive, non-aluminum pan and crush them lightly.
- Add a cup and a half of water and two tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Add an artificial sweetener like liquid Splenda which doesn’t have the aftertaste or extra carbs of the powdered form. Two tablespoons should be more than enough.
- Bring to a boil and cook on a high heat for five minutes, stirring as necessary.
- Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Skim off any foam as it cooks. The jam will be ready when the bubbles get bigger and the liquid has the consistency of cream of wheat.
Two cups of berries will yield roughly a half cup of jam. If you want to make larger quantities, simply multiply the recipe. Increase the cooking times by 25% for every two additional cups of fruit you use. The jam will not be as thick as your typical preserve but will hold together nicely when chilled.
Since you won’t have any sugar in your jam to act as a preservative, you will need to store your jam (boiled or gelatin-based) in the refrigerator. Freeze any leftovers you don’t plan to eat within a couple of weeks. Sugar-free jams you find in stores have chemical preservatives to extend their shelf life.
This is the best method for strawberry jam since strawberries are full of water and have little pectin. You can choose unflavored powdered gelatin, which is simple to use but has a slight aftertaste, or leaf gelatin, which is flavorless but a bit more costly. For this recipe, you need either a 0.25-gram packet of gelatin (two tablespoons) or three gelatin leaves. Each requires a little advance preparation.
- Packet gelatins need to be bloomed. Blooming involves sprinkling the gelatin powder over water and allowing it set into a solid mass before cooking.
- Leaf gelatin needs to be soaked. Soaking softens the leaves and makes them easier to dissolve when cooking.
Both methods prevent gelatinous lumps from forming in your jam. These are not unpleasant to taste but may result in a runnier jam. To make a gelatin-based jam:
- Add two cups of water to a non-reactive, non-aluminum pan.
- If you are using powdered gelatin, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to sit for five minutes until solid. If you are using leaf gelatin, add to a separate bowl of warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes, completely submerged.
- Heat the pan over a medium heat until the liquid comes to at a slight simmer. If you’re using leaf gelatin, remove it from the water, give it a little squeeze, and add to the simmering liquid.
- Add two cups of coarsely chopped strawberries, two tablespoons of liquid Splenda, and a teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Increase the heat to high and boil for three minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and lightly boil for another five to 10 minutes. Skim off any foam as it cooks. The jam is done when the bubbles are thick and the jam is consolidated and smooth.
Two cups of strawberries cooked in this way will yield about one cup of jam. You can double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch, increasing the cooking time by 25% for every two additional cups of fruit you use.
How to Use Pectin
Sugar-free pectins, like Sure-Jell, can give your jams and preserves more body. These may be especially useful when making strawberry jam since strawberries have relatively little pectin. As you get used to making jams at home, you can experiment with pectin and see how it affects the finished product.
How to Make No Sugar Strawberry Jam with Water Bath Canning Tutorial
Enjoy this sugar-free treat and also learn how to make it shelf-stable for long-term pantry storage.
How to Make No Sugar Strawberry Jam with Water Bath Canning Tutorial
Learn how to make a No Sugar Strawberry Jam that is delicious and nutritious! You can store your homemade jam in your refrigerator and start enjoying it.
However, if you also want to make your jam shelf-stable for long-term storage in your pantry, my recipe video walks you through a complete water bath canning tutorial that’s perfect for beginners. I show you all the equipment and steps that you need to create a perfect shelf-stable jam.
*Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My videos and blog posts may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.
Why Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam?
When I shared my Low Sugar Strawberry Jam recipe with you in an earlier video, I received numerous requests for a sugar-free version. I’m happy to work on recipes that you—my sweet friends—have requested, and so here it is!
You can make jam with absolutely no sugar at all, as I show you in my printable recipe. Alternatively, if you want to include a touch of sweetness for your tastebuds, you can add an alternative sweetener, such as Stevia. For example, if you decide you want to use Stevia, you’ll need to add a 1/4 teaspoon up to a 1/2 teaspoon of the liquid sweetener until you find the taste to your liking.
My recipe and video provide you with the steps to create strawberry jam with or without water bath canning. My video also shows you how to use a water bath canner, including how to make sure your rings (bands) are just “fingertip tight”—no brute force needed—before you put them into your canner. This technique is an essential step to make sure your jars seal perfectly for long-term storage.
Strawberry Jam Made with Water or Juice
In my recipe video, I show you how to make this strawberry jam using just water. Many of you have shared with me that you are on a Keto or autoimmune protocol diet that allows you to enjoy some fruit, primarily berries, but no juice. So water will work great in this recipe.
But what if you want a bit of natural sweetener to boost the flavor of your jam without adding any sugar? You’ll find fruit juice to be the perfect addition. Just keep in mind that if you decide to add some juice in place of the water, make sure you pick a mild-flavored, light-colored juice, such as white grape juice or apple juice.
No Sugar Strawberry Jam
Preserving Method: Water-Bath-Canning
Makes about 4 (8 oz) half pints
Three ingredients – and no added sugar – for delicious homemade strawberry jam!
You will need
- 4 cups crushed strawberries
- 2/3 cup unsweetened fruit juice
- 3 Tbsp Ball®RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin
- Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
- Combine strawberries and juice in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into a hot jar leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim.
- Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled. Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.
Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam
This Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam is made with strawberries and three other simple and healthy ingredients and no sweetener added.
I find that so many jam recipes claim to be sugar free, but they actually have some type of sweetener added to them. Clearly no sugar free.
In my opinion, sugar does not need to be added to make jam. As you cook fruit for some time, its sugars begin to caramelize and become sweeter. This is how I make all my jams, marmalades, or fruit butters.