Low Sugar, No Cook Freezer Jam

A quick, simple and delicious recipe

jam-freezer-recipe

Ahhhh, fresh berries. They’re my favorite part of summer because I get to make my incredibly yummy freezer jam recipe. I love to be in the middle of a field of berries, listening to the birds chatter, popping warm luscious berries in my mouth, just letting my mind wander. It’s a sensory delight; taste, touch, smell. It’s all good (except maybe the thorns!).

It’s when I get the berries home that the real work begins. Jam is usually first on my list.  On a cold day in December nothing quite hits the spot like homemade bread, fresh out of the oven, piled high with homemade jam.

For years I made cooked jam, slaving over a hot stove in an oven of a house, so that I could give it away as gifts. After many years I realized that cooked jam was a whole lot more work than freezer jam. I also realized that I preferred the taste of freezer jam. The berries weren’t cooked. They were fresh and bright in color. The taste was reticent of an actual berry instead of a mushed up, cooked to extinction berry-like creature.

My major problem with most jam is that it is loaded with sugar. And I’m here to tell you that it just doesn’t have to be. I mean, we eat and enjoy fresh berries, right? They don’t generally need sugar to taste good, they’re good on their own.

And yes, I tried the pectin box that allowed the jam to be made with alternative sweeteners or juice. Still, it just didn’t turn out to my liking. It left the berries with a dull lifeless flavor.  I wanted to taste SUMMER in a jar. Is that asking too much?

 

Ball brand instant pectin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally I found this pectin, Ball Instant Fruit Pectin and it’s now the only one I use. It’s relatively low in sugar, you can use alternate sweeteners if you like (which I haven’t tried, because it’s hard to get the consistency with alternative sweeteners and I refuse to feed my family chemicals, ahem, I mean artificial sweeteners) and it’s super easy. I mean seriously EASY.

Here are the steps for strawberry freezer jam. (You can use whatever kind of fruit you want.)

 

Strawberries being washed

Wash berries. Even if you use organic strawberries, wash them. They grow low to the ground and are FILTHY!

 

cut strawberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hull strawberries and cut into small pieces

 

Mixing Freezer Jam

Crush strawberries I use my potato masher

 

add pectin to bowl

In a separate bowl mix pectin with sugar (preferably organic)

 

stir strawberries

Add strawberries to pectin and stir for 3 minutes

 

add strawberries to glass jar for canning

 

Ladle strawberry mixture into sterilized GLASS jars. Please, please, I am begging you, Do not use plastic containers to store your jam in. Plastic leaches, especially when it comes into contact with anything acidic, and you don’t want to feed your family toast with plastiscines (we’re going for toast with jam). Use straight sided glass jars (even old peanut butter jars with their original lid work great!) so they don’t swell and burst in the freezer.

You can store in the fridge if you’ll be using the jam right away, or, store in the freezer for up to a year.

Note to all you cooked jam fanatics: I will be expecting a thank you note in the comment area below after you have whipped up a batch of this delectable toast topper without breaking a sweat. 😉

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Comments

  1. Penny T. says:

    The amount of sugar on the pectin instructions, in my opinion, is too much.  I’m going to cut it down to 1/2 c. sugar.  I hope it works okay (I bought the instant pectin).  Previously I’ve only used the low sugar/no sugar pectin.  I guess if it doesn’t work, I’ll be going back to the other type of pectin so that I can use less sugar.  I don’t think jam needs lots of sugar… the fruit is sweet enough.

  2. Familylanders says:

    Nice production, I saw the video. Nice photos too. You don’t say HOW MUCH sugar, pectin and pulp to mix together to make it work. That would be very useful info! Hope to see it when I check back.

    • Thank you! It all depends on the pectin you use. Follow the directions on the back of the packet or box exactly. I personally prefer the Ball instant fruit pectin that I show in the video. Pomono Pectin is also great but more expensive and a little fussier.

      -Alison

  3. I love freezer jam! I will try this recipe once I get a flat of fresh berries!

  4. Have you tried this with blueberries yet? I am going to make my first attempt at jam using fresh picked blueberries.

  5. I love freezer jam! I’ve never done no-cook, but I will definitely give it a try. Are there any differences between cooked vs. no cook in terms of how long it will remain fresh?

    • You know, there isn’t really a difference regarding length of time that they will stay fresh. In both cases the directions say “Use within one year.” One consideration would be if you don’t have much freezer space and want to store them in a pantry, that would be the deciding factor. Hope you give it a try! Let me know how it turns out!

  6. Stacy Correia says:

    Ha! I have been researching this subject, but haven’t tried it yet… I didn’t know about the special pectin you used. Have you tried using gelatin? That’s what I was planning to do, since I already have some. Your sentiments about picking berries reminded me of picking lingonberries with you at the bus stop corner. 🙂 Some things never change…

    • That is so funny. Now that you mention it, I too remember doing that with you. So fun!
      I haven’t tried using gelatin, although I was just watching a gal on You Tube who was making no cook, low sugar freezer jam using something called Ultra gel (I found it at http://carnetfoods.com). It’s a modified food starch that is apparently very versatile. It says it’s made from waxy maize, so a type of corn. Regular Knox brand type of gelatin is derived from collagen inside animal skin and bones (or so says Wikipedia). Different from pectin that’s usually extracted from fruit.
      I have a box of Pomona Pectin that I’m looking forward to trying as it doesn’t require sugar in order to gel. However, it is cost prohibitive and I’ve heard it’s rather fussy. The Ball pectin I showed on the video was purchased at Fred Meyer, the only store I’ve found so far to carry it. I’m sure it could be ordered online as well.
      Let me know if you use gelatin. I’d be interested to know the outcome!

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