Food Preservation

How to Make a No Sugar Freezer Jam from Fresh Fruit

If you’ve never made a no sugar freezer jam, but don’t know what to do with all your fresh fruit, you have to check this out.

No sugar freezer jam? Yup. I know the first year I had a bumper crop of strawberries, I didn’t know what to do with them all. There was no way I could use them all before they went bad, no matter how many strawberry-rhubarb pies I made and gave away to friends. 

It was the same with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and even the peaches a friend harvested from a few trees. Not that I’m complaining. There’s nothing like the sweet joy of eating a sun-warmed strawberry right off the plant. 

Still, I had to figure something out. And I didn’t want to use a ton of extra sugar; fresh fruit already has enough sugar for my taste. So I came up with a super simple no-sugar freezer jam. Sometimes I add honey for sweetness, but if you’re avoiding it all together you don’t have to add anything and it will be a very simple jam. Using peak-season strawberries will make all the difference if you’re going totally sugar-free.

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Easy does it – No sugar freezer jam you can make with just three ingredients

The great thing about a no sugar freezer jam is that you don’t need very many ingredients. And compared to canning, you don’t need any special equipment or know-how. The most “unusual” thing you’ll need is a sugar-free instant pectin, which you can find pretty easily in the baking section of most grocery stores. 

In this recipe we are using instant pectin, but if you don’t want to use it, you can use chia seeds. Chia seeds turn into a bit of a gelatinous texture upon absorption, and they work really well because you’ll easily mistake the chia for strawberries seeds. This is the chia recipe I use, and what it looks like when it’s ready:

Otherwise, to make your own no sugar freezer jam the old fashioned way:

  • Clean two pints of fresh fruit and slice them, then crush them with a fork or potato masher. Optionally, you can add honey to your liking for sweetness. Let sit out an hour.
  • Stir in one package of sugar-free no-cook fruit pectin, mixing for a couple minutes or until the jam is as smooth as you like it. It will begin to set as you stir.
  • Make sure everything is incorporated, then place into containers and let set on a cool counter overnight, or a cupboard.
  • Freeze!
  • Pro Tip: Leave a little space at the top of the container as the jam will expand. 

Once in the freezer, your no sugar freezer jam will be good for about six months. If you use glass jars, thaw the jam slowly in the refrigerator. 

Now what? 

I love to use this jam on toast, but it works well as a topping for ice cream on a hot summer day, or on waffles for an extra special breakfast treat. 

A few hints I might add: Because there are so few ingredients in this, the quality and taste of what you use really stands out. As much as possible, use the freshest, tastiest fruits you can find. If you’re growing strawberries, this is how you can use them before you lose them!

What do you do with all the fresh fruit you harvest? Do you like to make jam or do you prefer to can your fruit?

Discover 7 top tips for growing, harvesting, and enjoying tomatoes from your home garden—when you access the FREE guide The Best Way to Grow Tomatoes, right now!

By Amanda MacArthur

Amanda MacArthur is Senior Editor & Producer for Food Gardening Network and GreenPrints. She is responsible for generating all daily content and managing distribution across web, email, and social. In her producer role, she plans, edits, and deploys all video content for guides, magazine issues, and daily tips. As a best-selling cookbook author, Amanda cooks using ingredients from her outdoor gardens in the summer and from her indoor hydroponic garden in the winter.

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