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.
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Hey question, so if “Sure Gel-No Sugar” was all I had on hand do you think it could be substituted for the pomona’s pectin powder? Newbie jam maker over here and trying to make a healthy alternative with my freshly picked strawberries.
Yes, I believe you can use that with a no sugar strawberry jam, but you’ll need to follow the instructions on the box because it doesn’t work quite the same (no calcium water, different amount needed, etc). But yes, it should work.
Can you substitute other berries and fruits for the strawberries, for other types of no sugar jam? Thanks!
You should be able to use other berries and fruits with no problem as long as the fruit has plenty of flavor and of course be sure to follow safe canning guidelines if you plan to can your jam.
I just made three batches of jam, two of them using the Pomona pectin and calcium water. One batch used Ball’s low sugar pectin. All of them included some portion of the sweetener as Monk fruit with some sugar. None of the batches set. I followed the directions exactly. The Pomona pectin doesn’t require long cooking times but I’m wondering if I should have anyway. Pomona recommends blending the pectin with boiling water before adding to the pot, bringing to a boil again, then filling the jars. Is there a problem with the Monk fruit sweetener?
Did the recipe that you used call for monk fruit sweetener or did you alter the recipe?
They did eventually set as a loose jam. Yes I substituted monk fruit for some of the sugar. The Pomona packaging had this as an alternative.
What size jars and how many jars does this make?
This should make about 5 cups of finished jam.
Is it possible to make jam without sugar or pectin? I would prefer to not use either.
It depends on the fruit. I have made blackberry jam without sugar or pectin. You can also find other natural sources of pectin but some fruits will require sugar and/or pectin in order to gel.
Strawberry is the fruit of choice. I have used only sugar, no pectin, and water bathed my batches, but this year my husband is watching his sugar intake and does not want any extra sugar added. The consistency is good, but I am worried about it spoiling if I try to can it. Any concerns with it lasting if I can it without adding sugar or pectin?
The pectin in this recipe is there to thicken the jam so if you are happy with the consistency without it then you can go ahead and omit it if you wish.