Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

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Who knew making sugar free strawberry jam was so complicated?

A few weeks ago, the local grocery store was having a great sale – Buy 1 lb. of strawberries and get 2 lb. free!  So, I went to snag this and a couple other great produce deals.  Returning with three boxes of fresh strawberries, one box went into the freezer immediately, another went to creating our new logo photo (OK, so I ate most of them during the photo shoot) and the third box was hanging out in the fridge about to go bad. Not wanting to waste good strawberries, I set out to find something to make with them.

I’ve been on a toast and jam kick since we went to DaVero, an organic, biodynamic winery that has olive trees, Meyer lemon trees and wild blackberries as part of their farming practices. Their wild blackberry jam is amazing!

So I figured,  “How hard could it be to make strawberry jam?”  After finding several recipes where the first ingredient was 6  cups of sugar for 3 small jars, I began to rethink my idea.

Then, I remembered a request from my sister for some sugar free ideas. With everyone cutting down on sugar, there’s bound to be plenty of easy sugar free jam recipes out there, right? WRONG! I could only find 2 websites that had recipes in plain English and even they were hard to follow.  Never fear, I will attempt to make it a little easier for you.

From my research, there are 3 main ways to make sugar free jam. The first is the easiest way and uses sugar free strawberry Jell-O, the second approach uses unflavored gelatin and the third uses sugar free pectin. Now, I have been all over San Jose and for the life of me I can’t find sugar free pectin. So I decided to try the other two…

By the way, don’t forget the mason jars to put the jelly in! Not only is it a very effective way to naturally preserve your creation, but it adds to the experience of making your own jam! When I was growing up, mason jars could be found at Wal-Mart and every grocery store starting in April. Here in Cali, the ONLY place that carries them is Ace Hardware. Trust me, I’ve been everywhere else.

Sugar Free Strawberry Jell-O Jam (adapted from All Recipes)

2 cups of strawberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup of water

1 pkg of Sugar Free Strawberry Jell-O

Instructions:

  1. Wash, dry and hull fresh strawberries. Cut into chunks. (I didn’t do this and my jam has big pieces of strawberries.)
  2. Stir Jell-O into the cup of water and pour into a medium sauce pan. Add strawberries and stir over medium heat. Smash strawberry pieces on side of pan with a fork or mash with a potato masher.
  3. Bring to a boil and stir continuously for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Pour into jars and let sit until cool. Cover and place in refrigerator or freezer. If freezing, leave a ½ inch space for expansion.

Makes 3 – 8 oz. jars. Jam should keep 2 weeks in the fridge or several months in the freezer.

 

Sugar Free Strawberry Jam I

2 cups of strawberries, fresh or frozen

½ cup of water

¾ cup of sweetener (used Splenda)

1 pkg. unflavored gelatin

Instructions:

  1. Wash, dry and hull fresh strawberries. Place strawberries and water in a blender. Pulse 5 – 10 seconds; the strawberries should be chunky. Complete blending will lead to jam that does not set up properly. Figured that out the hard way.
  2. Place strawberry puree, gelatin and sweetener into a medium sauce pan and heat over medium. Smash any large strawberry pieces with a fork against the side of the pan.
  3. Bring to a boil stirring constantly for 5 – 7 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Pour into jars and let sit until cool. Cover and place in refrigerator or freezer. If freezing, leave a ½ inch space for expansion.

Makes 3 – 8 oz. jars. Jam should keep 2 weeks in the fridge or several months in the freezer.

So how was it?

-The Jell-O jam turned out very firm and bright red. It had large chunks of strawberries due to an incomplete mash while cooking. It was good, but I could definitely taste the Jell-O (which is probably why the husband loved it).

-The Gelatin jam was very soft, but I believe that’s from the strawberry “soup” used. The color was surprisingly pink but the taste was great, light and sweet.

If I ever find the sugar free pectin, I’ll probably give it a try, but for now I’m sticking with the gelatin jam. Yum!

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Comments: 2

  1. Sewana November 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm Reply

    Unbelieavlbe how well-written and informative this was.

  2. Aviva February 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm Reply

    Am so excited i saw this recipe. I am making a cake for my birthday and the one thing i was feeling guilty about was this thick layer of strawberry jam it has,but thanks to you i won’t feel as bad when i eat it made with your sugar free jam!

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