Homemade sugar-free strawberry jam has all the fruit flavor of traditional strawberry jam, but none of the sugar. While most strawberry jam recipes include equal amounts of fruit and sugar, this recipe skips the sugar and lets you enjoy jam without guilt. Just two ingredients, strawberries and an all natural low sugar pectin mean that it’s also a paleo strawberry jam.
There are a lot of reasons to skip the sugar when canning jam. It doesn’t matter whether you’re diabetic, paleo or just want to enjoy fruit without added sugar. Personally, I hate all that extra sugar in jam, and my favorite jam recipes are low sugar anyway. My kids love my low sugar strawberry jam, but sometimes I just want to add the fruit flavor without all that extra sweetness.
Until now, I thought I had to put some amount of sugar in my jams just to be able to use pectin. Most pectin requires high levels of sugar to activate the gel, and I generally use Pomona’s pectin, which is activated by calcium rather than sugar. Since the sugar isn’t required for gelling, I can reduce the sugar all I want. The trick is, if you just pour the pectin directly into the fruit it will clump on contact with the water. Generally, it’s mixed with a bit of sugar to disperse it, and that prevents clumping.
I recently learned that if I use a stick blender to incorporate the pectin into the fruit, I can make a sugar free jam without pectin clumps!
Simply simmer the fruit for a few minutes until it releases its juices, add in the pectin and mix with a stick blender until smooth. The jam thickens beautifully without hours of cooking, and there are no pectin clumps. The resulting strawberry jam can be canned just like any preserve, with 1/4 inch of headspace and a 10 minute processing time in a water bath canner.
Provided you start with a high-quality flavorful fruit, the jam is delicious without any added sugar. The trick is finding good fruit, which can be a challenge at the grocery store. Most grocery store clamshells of strawberries are just a pale imitation of what a real strawberry tastes like. If you’ve grown your own backyard strawberries, you already know this. If for some reason you can’t grow your own, look for a pick your own where you can find local fruit from a tasty variety.
Strawberries that need to be shipped long distances are selected for long shelf life, not great flavor.
Sugar Free Strawberry Jam
This quick and easy strawberry jam recipe is made without sugar. It's all natural, and paleo approved. Perfect for diabetics.
- 4 cups strawberries washed, hulled and chopped
- 2 tsp pomona's pectin powder
- 2 tsp calcium water (included with pomona's pectin)
Wash, hull and chop the strawberries.
Add the strawberries to a saucepan and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until they release their juices and begin to fall apart.
Add in calcium water and Pomona's pectin powder.
Blend with a stick blender until fully incorporated.
Fill prepared mason jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Store in the refrigerator or can in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.