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Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

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This Low Sugar Strawberry Jam has such a bright flavor. It’s the flavor of June preserved to enjoy all year long. Can be made no sugar too!

Spoonful of strawberry jam spilled over onto white board.Pin

When I was a kid, I remember my Mom and my Aunt making jams and preserves. As an adult, life got in the way and I always said I was too busy to make homemade jams.

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In the last 15 years, I have gotten into making a plethora of jams and preserves. You name it, every fruit imaginable. This Strawberry Jam is a family favorite!

Since I resumed making my own jams, I absolutely can not eat store bought! It is pure sugar! This Low Sugar Strawberry Jam literally tastes like a bit spring, anytime of the year! Just like biting into a fresh, juicy strawberry in June!

Close up of chunky jam.Pin

Making jam has a bad reputation, as far as the difficulty of the process. With a few specialized tools, jam making can be fun and easy. This set of canning tools is cheap and saves so much time and so many burns! Which, of course, is key!

The only other tool you need is a canning pot, which is cheap, as well.

One great trick that I have found is that you don’t have to make all of the jams in the summer when it is hot and humid! Freeze your strawberries whole and make a batch any time of the year.

Learn how to freeze strawberries here.

What you need

  • strawberries- the fresher the better. If you can’t get to them right away, freeze your berries.
  • sugar – can use sugar substitute according to package directions. raw sugar instead of white sugar. (This jam can easily be made with no sugar to make it diabetic friendly! Use a sugar substitute or simply use just fruit!) To use honey or corn syrup, this recipe would have to be modified. The sugar content that you choose is totally up to you.
  • bottled lemon juice or citric acid
  • water or mild flavored juice like apple or white grape. Any liquid will work. cranberry juice, strawberry juice and the like.
  • pectin – if you are doing low sugar jam, make sure you use low sugar pectin or jam may not set and it is important for the preservation of the fruit. You can not use regular pectin.
Ingredients for jam strawberries, pectin, sugar, lemon juice.Pin

Don’t miss our complete step by step guide to canning.

How to make it

Prepare water bath canner. Wash jars and lids thoroughly in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Add jars to to canner and cover with water 1 inch above the jars. Sterilizing jars is no longer recommended if processing 10 minutes or longer but start heating the pot because it can take up to 40 minutes to boil. Let jars sit in hot water until ready to use.

Pour boiling water over lids and let sit in hot water until ready for use.

  1. Rinse berries well.
  2. Hull the berries.
  3. Cut up strawberries into small pieces.
  4. Combine the fruit, juice or water and lemon juice in a large saucepan.
  5. Add pectin and about 1/4 cup sugar to bowl.
  6. Mix well.Step by step photographs of the process for making strawberry jam. See details in recipe below.Pin
  7. Gradually stir in pectin.
  8. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (one that can’t be stirred down.), stirring constantly. Berries can be mashed down with a potato masher for a smoother jam. 
  9. Add remainder of the sugar, if using. Return mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  10. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary.
Step by step photographs of the process for making the jam. See details in recipe below.Pin

Ladle hot jam into hot jars, use of a canning funnel helps makes this process really easy.

Wipe rims clean with damp paper towel. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight. Cool to room temperature, if not canning. Then refrigerate immediately. 

Important! If jam is not processed it MUST BE kept refrigerated. It is NOT shelf stable!

How to water bath can strawberry jam

  1. Ladle hot jam into the half-pint or pint hot mason jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  2. Wipe rims clean with damp paper towel.
  3. Center lids on jars.
  4. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight. Place filled jars in canner ensuring jars are covered by over 1″ water. Bring to a gentle, steady boil.
Step by step photographs of the process for canning the jam. See details in recipe below.Pin

Process jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat. Let jars rest in hot water for 5 minutes before removing from canning pot.

Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down in the center, when pressed. Store jars in a cool place.

Important recipe notes

  • when making low sugar or no sugar jam yield will be considerably less than jams made with full sugar.
  • Make sure that the jam comes up to a full rolling boil (one that can’t be stirred down) before adding remainder of sugar.
  • Once all of the sugar is added, make sure you let it return to the full rolling boil and then boil for at least one minute. (If you don’t do this, the jam may not set properly.)
  • Do not increase this recipe more than 5 times. Jam may not set properly.
  • If you open a jar that is discolored, has any signs of mold or has an “off” smell, discard that jar. Serious health problems could be caused by spoiled jam. It is best to err on the side of caution.

How long will jam last?

If jam is processed in a water bath according to directions, it will last a minimum of a year.

If jam is not processed, it is best to use it up within a few months.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe for Low Sugar Strawberry Jam today! Give it a try! it’s not as hard as you think! Here is another great article to explain the canning process step by step.

Spoon resting in jar of strawberry jam.Pin

Tools I Use to Make Strawberry Jam

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Pint jar of chunky Strawberry Jam on barn wood boardPin

This recipe for homemade strawberry jam is so much better than the stuff you buy from grocery stores.

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Low Sugar Strawberry Jam JAr of opened jam next to a blue plate with a piece of toast with jelly and fresh strawberries on the sidePin

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

This Low Sugar Strawberry Jam tastes like biting into a fresh strawberry all year long.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
4.84 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Processing time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 32 tablespoons
Calories: 17kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $6

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Prepare waterbath canner. Wash jars ad lids thoroughly in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Add jars to to canner and cover with water 1 inch above the jars. Sterilizing jars is no longer recommended if processing 10 minutes or longer. Let jars sit in hot water until ready to use.
  • Pour boiling water over lids and let sit in hot water until ready for use.
  • Combine the fruit, juice or water and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (one that can’t be stirred down.), stirring constantly.  
  • Add sugar, if using. Return mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary.
  • Ladle hot jam into hot jars. Cool to room temperature, if not canning. Then refrigerate immediately. 
  • If preserving, ladle hot jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims clean with paper towel.. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
  • Place filled jars in canner ensuring jars are covered by over 1″ water. Bring to a gentle, steady boil.
  • Process jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat. Let jars rest in hot water for 5 minutes.
  • Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down in the center, when pressed. Store jars in a cool place.
See all of my favorite tools and gift ideas on my New Amazon Store!Check out Binky’s Amazon Store!

Notes

Makes 2 half-pint jars.
Recipe can be multiplied, but don’t do more than 5 times the recipe. The jam has a tendency not to set properly. 
Test lids for seal. Press center of lid down in the middle. If it flexes up and down, jar is not sealed.
If lids have not sealed, store those jars in refrigerator and consume those jars first. You can reprocess the jam. Use new lids.
Store in a cool place.
Use up to 1/2 cup sugar. I usually use over 1/4 cup but under 1/2 cup of sugar.
Adjusting for altitude
0-6000 feet above sea level process half pints  or pints for 10 minutes.
above 6000 feet process half pints or pints 15 minutes 

Nutrition

Calories: 17kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.002g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.004g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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52 Comments

  1. I just made the recipe. I tripled the ingredients to get 6 pints out of it, but it still only gave me 2 pints. I’m very confused. I used 3 pounds of strawberries, 1 cup of water, 9 tsp lemon juice, 1 & 1/2 cups of sugar and of course tripled the pectin. I should have gotten 6 pints, but somehow I still only got 2. Can you help me figure out why that would be? Are you sure your original recipe gives you 2 pints (and not 1/2 pints or smaller jars)?

    1. You’re right. It should say 2 half-pint jars. It is edited now. The other thing that will effect the output is the quantity of sugar you use.

  2. 3 stars
    Didn’t set up for me at all, which was disappointing, but at least it was a small batch and can be used for other things :-).

    1. There are a few common reasons that low sugar jams won’t set up.
      1. The pectin wasn’t measured correctly.
      2. Too much liquid to pectin ratio.
      3. The jam wasn’t taken to a full rolling boil both times.
      4. Classic pectin was used instead of low sugar pectin.

      You can heat it up again and add more pectin. Then let it come to a full rolling boil and reprocess. In lieu of of that, use it as a strawberry syrup. It’s great in baked goods and as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese or cheesecake. Sorry it didn’t set up for you but I’ve been making it for years and have never had a problem.

  3. Can you use peaches instead of strawberries (or any other fruit)? Also is it ok to use Splenda as the sugar substitute? My husband is afraid that boiling the Splenda will break it down wrong.

    1. I have not tried Splenda brand, but I have heard it works fine. You can also use honey. Here is a recipe for peach jam and here are recipes for all of the different fruits we have covered on BCC. Thanks Susie! Thanks for checking out the recipe!

    1. Hi Donna! 64 tablespoons equals 2 pints. I do the servings in tablespoons, for nutrition facts purpose. I mean you would never eat a pint of jam! Thank you for stopping by!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi my strawberry jam is not as thick as it should be. I used one pouch of liquid pectin. Will it thicken with time ?

    1. No it will not. Liquid pectin is different from powdered pectin. You should always base your pectin amounts on the manufacturer’s instructions. The good news is you can use it as strawberry syrup on pancakes, waffles, ice cream. It’s awesome!

  5. wow! Strawberry jam is my favorite! An d love the fact that its homemade! Thanks for this recipe.

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