How to Can Some Sugar-Free Jam: A Simple Method

37 Reviews / 4.7 Average
Canning your own jam is easier than you think! I took a class led by Ashley Eller with Sweetie Pie Bakery and now I'm sharing all the tips and tricks so you can make your own homemade, sugar-free jam. Follow along with my step-by-step process to can this Strawberry Honey Jam.
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Three cans of sugar-free jam.

I hope this will be my first of several posts about how to “can” and preserve fresh foods when they are in season. I am a beginner canner myself, but have always been intrigued by and interested in the whole process.

So I recently took a “Canning Class” (led by Ashley Eller at Poplar Ridge Farm) and have also been reading through some other resources, including the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Prior to my class, I knew absolutely nothing about canning except that I thought it sounded confusing, complicated, and like something that would take an entire day to do (not true!). The recipe I’m sharing today is without pectin, (refined) sugar, or artificial sweeteners.

Featured Comment

I LOVE this jam. It’s really tasty, and the fact that it’s all natural is even better. I’ve never made jam before, so this made it super easy. 
– Nicolle

From one beginner to another, a few key points:

  • In simple terms, canning food is cooking recipes (which most of us already know how to do) and then “processing” the results by putting them in sterilized canning jars and boiling or pressure “cooking” them for a designated amount of time. It really isn’t as complicated as I originally thought. :)
  • It is important to use canning recipes from reliable sources. Especially as a beginner these are not recipes you want to modify or adapt in any way because each ingredient as well as both the length of time and temperature at which the jars are processed can be key components to ensuring food safety.
  • You must use jars that are in fact suitable for “canning” with two-piece metal lids, which does not include old washed out Ragu spaghetti sauce jars. The most widely used brands of jars for canning are Ball and Kerr, and while the jars and bands (that go around the lid) are reusable you must always use brand new lids to properly can foods. Now I know why I see those packs of lids for sale.
  • It is necessary to sterilize the jars and lids before pouring in your jam (or other recipe). You can do this in hot water (180 degrees F), or if you can time things right run the jars and lids/bands through the dishwasher so they are hot and ready right when your recipes are done.
  • According to the Ball Blue Book Guide to Canning to process high-acid foods like berries and tomatoes you simply boil them (in the jars), but you actually need to pressure can low-acid foods like asparagus, peas, and corn. So my personal plan is just to stick to the high-acid produce for a while until I really get the hang of things.
  • If you aren’t sure if your foods “canned” properly your nose and/or a quick taste test should confirm whether a jar spoiled or not when you open it.
  • You certainly can spend your entire day preparing big batches of recipes in order to preserve in-season produce when it’s fresh, but it does not have to be a huge production. In fact, I made a small batch (half the recipe) of the strawberry jam posted below in just over an hour…and I am a newbie.
  • Please share your canning tips in the comments below…I know some of you have been doing this for many years!

Some helpful tools to make the canning process easier:

Jam Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food

The “need to have” canning tools…

  • Jars (of course!) – I personally like the versions without shoulders so they are freezer-safe as well. (Hint: if you use the jars for freezing instead of canning be sure to leave room at the top for the liquid to expand.)
  • Ball Utensil Set – This set includes a jar funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, and bubble remover/headspace tool. I found the first three of these items to be invaluable, although I could probably live without the bubble remover/headspace tool (for now).
  • A large pot – You’ll need one big enough to hold several sealed jars that could be covered with 1 – 2 inches of water. This does not have to be a “canning” pot (sometimes called a water bath canner)…any big old stockpot will do.
  • A ladle – This is necessary to get your jam (or whatever you are making) from the pot to the jar.
  • A digital or analog scale – Some recipes call for ingredients in weight measurements, but not all. I have an extremely basic analog scale and to be honest it totally does the trick.
  • Potato masher – This was a necessary tool in order to turn my cooked strawberries into yummy, mushy jam.

The “nice to have” tools…

  • Basic thermometer – To test the temperature of the water before sterilizing jars/lids.
  • Canning rack – This is to lower the jars into and out of the boiling water when you are processing them and to provide space between the bottom of the jars and the pot (you can use other things like jar bands, silverware or even a dish towel to create that space). I don’t personally have one and I survived, but I can see the value if you are going to be doing a lot of canning. Just make sure the size you buy fits your pot if you aren’t getting a set!
  • Dissolvable labels – I seriously love these things, but if you can’t justify the expense some regular old masking tape will definitely get the job done.
  • Pressure canner – As I mentioned above I don’t see myself “pressure canning” anytime soon, but if you want to preserve low-acid veggies then this is a necessary piece of equipment.
  • Immersion blender you could use this as an alternative to the potato masher, to blend up the ingredients

6 Easy Steps to Can Strawberry Jam

  1. Follow homemade jam recipe (as stated below).
  2. While it’s cooking sterilize the jars and lids/bands in hot water.
  3. Ladle the completed jam into hot, freshly sterilized jars one-by-one.
  4. Add jar lid to the top while keeping the inside sterilized.
  5. Screw on the bands and add jars to boiling water for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove jars and listen for the “pop” sound to ensure jar lids have been properly sealed. It’s that simple! :)
Jam Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food

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564 thoughts on “How to Can Some Sugar-Free Jam: A Simple Method”

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Recipe Rating




  1. Hi Lisa,
    Love to see when people tackle Jam. I have been making jam a long time and use a Product called Pomona’s Pectin. super product that can be purchased online and in my local Health food shop. It uses calcium powder to gel so you can use Honey, sugar, or no sugar at all.
    They have a great company and I think they are located in Massachusetts

  2. I just need to make a quick comment I am a Master Food preserver, and have home- preserved for years….You NEVER taste home preserved foods you think may have spoiled or failed to seal!! Jams,jellies,fruits may be refrigerated,and may be used,if they fail to seal directly after prosessing( after cooling) .If you haven’t heard the “pop” and the little dome on the lid isn’t down…it isn’t sealed.Remember when in doubt…throw it out!

    1. There is nothing in the linked article that suggests that baking or cooking with honey is “harmful”. Heating honey may reduce the minor nutrients slightly, but this is not a staple food, it is a treat, right? Honey still adds lots of flavor, and is a good substitute for refined sugar in cooking and baking.

  3. 4 stars
    Just want to mention that boiling the jars and lids is not sterilizing it, it’s disinfecting. It will kill some bacteria, but not even close to all of it and especially not the endospores. If canning, I’d highly suggest using a proper canner since it’s similar to autoclaving, which is a form of sterilization.

  4. Trying to convert 6 lbs into cups. Can you help? A converter on line suggest like 10 cups. I don’t own a food scale.

    Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      I just made this, and it was unreal. Best Jam I have ever made. I had 5 quartz of strawberries, with 2 1/2 cups of honey. The rest of recipe I kept the same. Just turned out amazing! Very happy. I froze mine.
      Nicole

      1. When you say you froze yours, did you not do the hot bath at all? Thanks!! I love freezer jam but wasn’t sure if I could do that with this recipe.

  5. Hi there, my daughter cannot have lemon lime or orange juice… what is th purpose of the lemon juice and how would it be with out it or is there a substitute?

    1. I read that the “sugar” helps preserve the jam. Also, people used to make their own pectin, from apples. When I called my grandmother when my chokecherry jelly didn’t set up she told me to add apple juice, but make sure it’s 100% juice. Also the reason (besides the wish to get away from processed foods, where the food has become inferior), to use organic (non gmo) honey as sweetener & apples as the pectin is that you don’t have pesticides in your food. I am overjoyed to have found this recipe & can’t wait to try it today! The lemon juice gives it the acidity it requires for keeping the fresh fruit color.

  6. I see a few people mentioning that the honey is overpowering, and cutting back. Will that affect the acidity of the recipe and change the safety of it?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Ronica. We’ve not tried making those changes so we can’t be sure how it would effect the outcome.

  7. Hello! Has anyone tried using maple syrup instead of honey? I am making a batch now but it is very liquidy. Just wondering if I need to add more syrup.
    Thank you!

  8. Gwyn, you can’t taste the apple, but for me the honey was way too strong. If you have picky eaters I would start with less honey and see how it tastes. You always add more. You can’t take it away.

  9. You can’t taste the apple, but the honey was way overbearing. I suggest adding maybe 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups of honey to start out with. You can add more, but you can’t take it away. Or maybe try the last cup of sugar instead of honey. My husband is the sweetest tooth I’ve met and even he won’t eat it until I ‘fix it’.

  10. This might sound like a dumb question but can you taste the apple in the jam? I really want to convert to a healthier recipe but have picky eaters. Also since you leave on the peel is that noticable in the jam? Thanks!

  11. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this! I have been canning strawberry jam for the past 2 seasons (with pectin and sugar), and since I started my quest to eat clean, I have struggled with the idea of giving up my jam but now I don’t have to! I cannot wait for the strawberries to be ready, still a little ways to go here in New England!

  12. 5 stars
    This looks so much easier than making my own pectin with apple peels before making the jam. Thank you! I’m hoping to score some tasty, ripe strawberries at the Farmer’s Market this weekend. If I do, I’ll use your recipe to make the jam. So looking forward to it, as we used up our last jar of homemade months ago.

    Btw, this is the recipe of the day today on Cooking with Whole Grains & Real, Whole Foods on Facebook.

  13. Wendy McEntire

    Especially keep in mind with tomatoes/products. As long as you follow temperature and time it is fine. Tomatoes don’t normally smell/look bad when not done right.

    I do have a couple questions. Is there a temperature to cook the jam to? How long do you cook? You day when the jam is done, but don’t actually tell us how to get it done.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. You must have just over-looked it. It is in no. 2 of the directions: “Once the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and allow the mixture to continue to boil lightly for approximately 30 – 60 minutes.” :)

  14. Good summary article overall.

    Just a few corrections/clarifications –

    1. You need to also leave some room at the top of your cans (called headspace) prior to canning them. Most recipes will specify how much headspace you need to leave. This allows for movement, changes in volume and pressure during the canning process.

    2. The sniff/taste test should not be relied upon. While it may let you know if something is spoiled (due to spoilage microorganisms degrading your food), it will not tell you if a product is safe or not to consume. Pathogenic microorganisms will generally cause no observable changes to food – therefore a food item may look fine, but may in fact be contaminated.
    Foods which have an off-odour, taste or appearance have generally been affected by spoilage microbes (which are non-pathogenic in nature).
    Therefore, when canning it is extremely important to make sure you use the right temperature and time combination.
    The main pathogen of concern when it comes to canning is Clostridium botulinum (which can form spores and survive at high temperatures). Consuming even a few of C. botulinum cells or spores can lead to an infection or intoxication which can result in paralysis and even death.

    Canning is a great way to extend the shelf life of many food items, but make sure you are doing it correctly and safely!

    1. Thank you Audrey!! Especially your second point. I cringed when I read about the sniff/taste test. Botulism poisoning is so dangerous! Kuddo’s for your great explanation.

  15. I can’t wait to try this! Our strawberries have gone crazy this year, and I predict we’ll have more than we know what to do with! I picked about a quart just today! (And I pick every day! )
    My question is- do you have a reliable strawberry rhubarb jam recipe? Or could this one be changed? (Obviously, after your recommendation to follow trusted recipes, I don’t want to just try to “adjust” it.)
    Thank you!

  16. Melissa Carden

    Do you know how many pounds of strawberries are in a gallon? I want to make sure I use the right amount of berries for the recipe. Thank you!

  17. hi there, I live in a country where the organic fruits are not freshly grown locally. Do you think frozen berries would be ok to use? Many thanks

  18. What kind of apple does everyone prefer for this recipe? I would think a granny smith might be too tart.

    Thanks.

    1. Cook it longer and add some lemons. My jam with out peptin is thick. Havnt tried with apple yet but use lemons grated peel and juice to thicken and cook till sheets back of spoon. No matter how long. Just some things I’ve tried.

  19. I really appreciate finding an easy jam recipe that doesn’t use sugar! I’ve made batches of jam several times. Because of crohns I stay on a specific carbohydrate diet, it means I can’t digest sugar or pectin, honey is acceptable b/c it’s a monosaccaride. I use knox gelatine to add some body to my jam recipe ( still a little looser than store bought sugar laden jam though! Thought I’d share that tip for those trying to avoid pectin!

  20. 5 stars
    Lisa what a great explanation about canning. I grew up with a yard ull of fruit trees, from peaches, nectarines, to figs and pomegranates. My mother was canning all summer long.

    You mention in your article that your Strawberry Honey Jam was not as thick as store bought jams? The reason why is you are not using pectin, which thickens the fruit, along with the sugar used.

    I am going to try this, but in place of honey, I will use coconut sugar. Have you thought of making your Strawberry Honey Jam using Raw honey?:)

  21. I would think boiling up the honey would be slightly better than white sugar (but not much. What do you do if you need a low carb solution.

    1. David, just use raw honey. Contrary to popular belief, honey in the raw will not raise your blood sugar, and the body uses raw honey as energy, and when spreading this Strawberry Honey Jam over some 100% whole grain bread with the fiber in tact, you will have a slow digestion for the optimal energy, and the calories are burned, so long you are active.

      In place of honey, you can also use coconut sugar. Just use the same ratio 1:1 of the coconut sugar as you would the honey.

      Lastly David, don’t worry about the calories, worry about eating Good Fats, Protein, and Complex Carbohydrates, and if you are an active individual, you will burn the calories.

      But if your lifestyle includes junk food, prepackaged foods, fast foods, then worry. :)

      1. This is an older blog and comments section, but as I found it today in 2019, I beg you to please stop spreading such dangerous misinformation. Honey equals sugar to the body and to someone who must eat low carb (diabetic for instance), honey most certainly does spike blood sugar levels.. Stay in your wheelhouse and don’t give nutritional advice that honey and grains are just fine, because no they are not!

  22. 5 stars
    I did this today with grapes. It came out PERFECT. {though I do love the strawberry recipe too, my husband isn’t a fan of strawberry jam}

    I did some research first and I found that people said to do grapes in smaller batches.

    I bought the dark red grapes (organic & seedless) that almost look black. I used about 1 bag.. might have been 1-2lbs. It made 4- 8oz jars of jam.

    Ingredients: Organic Grapes
    1 1/4 cup honey
    1 1/2 cup shredded apple (not peeled)
    2 table spoons lemon juice

    I put it all in a pot and brought to a boil and mashed the grapes with a potato masher.

    I then let it simmer for 2 hours

    After it was done simmering I put it all in a blender and blended it up really well skins and all.

    Then I put it back into the pot and brought it back to a boil and let it simmer maybe 20 more min.

    Then I followed the canning directions from the strawberry jam
    It came out pretty thick (thicker than when I made the strawberry) and once you put it in the fridge it thickens up some more too. I wish I could leave a picture with this comment because it really set up well. :)

  23. Hi, can I half this recipe? I have all of the ingredients and Im ready to cook, but I didn’t know if that was possible. I read above that it might not be safe to half it.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Katy. We are rarely able to answer recipe questions in real time. Sorry about that. How did it turn out? ~Amy

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Olga. Heating honey does destroy some of its medicinal value (enzymes) but, to my knowledge, it is a myth that it is actually toxic when heated. ~Amy

    2. Beekeeper here: Honey does not become toxic when boiled. In fact, if you have a jar that has developed granules in the top, any beekeeper will tell you to boil the jar to melt the sugar granules back into the honey.

  24. This recipe looks great and just what I was looking for. Although I do not currently “jar”… I would love to try this recipe though, could I prepare the recipe as above and tupperware it for a few days/weeks?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Lindsay. If you aren’t canning it, I would freeze and pull it out as needed. Otherwise you can only eat it safely for a few days after preparation just like most other foods. You need a really high sugar:other ingredient ratio to keep bacteria away. ~Amy

  25. I mad blueberry jam without pectin. Just used sugar and lemon juice. How long can I store the jars in pantry

  26. Hello there, It is strawberry processing time again around here. I used your recipe last year and it was a HUGE success! Everyone loved it, in fact the only downside was that I didn’t make enough.

    This year we doubled our picking and are making tons of Jam. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  27. I plan on making this recipe today with blueberries. Do you need to slice the blueberries in half or is that step just for strawberries?

    1. You do not need to cut your berries, especially small ones like blueberries. When I made this, I used frozen, whole strawberries that I had allowed to partially thaw. Worked like a charm.

  28. I have black spanish grapes (Lenoir) growing in my back yard. The only recipe for jam I can find calls for pectin and sugar. Can I substitue grapes for strawberries in your recipe? Thanks.

    Ashley

      1. Kathy – would you be willing to share your recipe for the grape jam? My oldest daughter only likes grape jelly, and I would love to make a healthier sugar free version for her. Thanks so much!

  29. I followed this recipe for amounts exactly and when I tasted my jam’s liquid, all I could taste was the honey. Is this normal or does my local honey supplier have Herculean-strength honey? I’m hoping that once the jam sets and I can get a mouthful of both the “liquid” and some strawberry chunks, the taste is more strawberry, but right now I feel like I have a ton of jars of red honey.

    1. 2 stars
      So I had more people taste the jam. All you can taste is the honey. I’m going to try and open my jars and add more strawberries. I’m hoping this works. If not, I have a ton of red honey. No idea what may have gone awry since I used the correct ratio of honey to strawberries. What a disappointment this will be if it doesn’t work.

  30. First time canning and i loved this recipe. So far I’ve made three batches this summer. The first time I used three cups of honey and the last time I used one cup per batch. It tastes great and my girls love it. Thanks!

  31. stacey (momma of 5)

    i recently came across a strawberry jam recipe that used Chia seeds as the thickener. It needed to be refrigerated to allow the Chia seeds to expand. Have you ever tried this?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Stacey. I use chia as a gel all the time but I’ve not tried it in a jam. I bet it will work. ~Amy

  32. Heyo! First timer here! Made this exact recipe, just cooked it longer (over 2 hours or so) and used a big big big saucepan rather than tall pot, so there is a larger surface of heat. Came out wonderful! As it states in the recipe, its not going to be you-can-turn-the-jar-upside-down thick, but I like it better that way. With this consistency i can use my jam on crepes, pancakes, in yogurt, on bread… Anything really! LOVE it!

  33. Strange as this may sound, I only use wooden spoons to stir the fruit while heating when I make jams. Since I have switched to not using metal utensils, my jams firm up nicely every time. This recipe is a no-fail go to recipe for all my preserves now.

  34. I used this recipe today to can strawberry jam (we picked the strawberries at an organic farm yesterday!), and it worked out perfectly. I read through some of the replies and followed what some said:

    I cut back very slightly on the honey. Next time I’ll cut back even more.
    I also ran back to the store and bought a granny smith apple.
    I “baked” my jars and lids in the oven rather than sterilizing in the water. It was just easier to do it that way for me. 225 degrees F for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven off and leave everything in the oven until ready to use. I took out two at a time.
    Last change I cooked the jam on the stovetop for over an hour. That helped it really gel well.

    Very much a success! My 7 year old son helped me and enjoyed the whole process!

  35. 5 stars
    O.M.G. This is absolutely delicious and easy. I normally hate the taste of honey, but it must cook long enough that it takes away the honey flavor. Now I used whole, frozen berries and made a half batch. I also used the Ball Freezer Jars. A half recipe filled 2 of the 16 ounce jars with a smidge left over that I put in a small container to use right away. Yummy lunch of whole wheat toast with butter from Organic Valley and homemade jam.

  36. I tried this recipe 2 years ago and it failed. I thought maybe it was because I was a newbie to canning. Well I tried again this year. Fail again! There has to be something wrong or missing with this recipe! Boiled it for 2 hours, added more apple, and it’s still runnier than heck- like soup!

    1. Perhaps try a half recipe like I did. I used 3 pounds of whole, frozen berries (they were still semi frozen and I left them whole), 1.5 cups of honey, a whole apple (I used a Gala), and juice of half a lemon. I let it cook an entire hour. I then turned the heat off, but left the pot on the burner while it cooled. Mine got nice and thick, although not as gelatinous as the stuff in the jars on the store shelves. I also didn’t do traditional canning. I used the Ball Freezer Jars. A half recipe fills two 16 oz jars with a little bit left over to use right away. I’ve never made jam myself and this worked perfectly for me.

  37. I tried this recipe and LOVE it! The first batch I made was a half batch and I didn’t can it. I put some in the freezer and some in the fridge the next day and it gelled nicely in the fridge. The second batch I canned using the canner and it’s still not gelled (day 4). I know some recipes say it can take up to 2 weeks to gel. Do you recall how long it took yours to gel?

    Thanks!
    Julie

  38. Thank you so much for this recipe!! I’m transitioning to whole unprocessed foods and have been looking for a recipe to make my own jam/preserves! I’m really excited to try this!!!

  39. Omg I love this! I gave up sugar 3 months ago and was trying to figure out how to can the overabundance of fruit from my small urban farm without sugar. I adjusted the amount for my trial batch. 4 little green containers of strawberries, one apple, juice & rind of one lemon, & 1/3 cup lavender. I used my immersion blender until it was mostly blended, but still chunky. Simmered it until it passed the cold plate test. It is soooo good! It will not be thick. It is more like french jam or my grandmas jam pre pectin days. It is wonderful in yogurt or I even put it on meatballs that were a bit dry. Wonder if this will work on apricots?

      1. Hi Gina, I like that your recipe uses less honey, but do you know roughly what weight of strawberries you used? We don’t use the little green containers in the UK so I have no idea how much they hold! Is that the same a standard punnet (200g or so)

  40. 5 stars
    Has anyone tried this with rhubarb? We just discovered 5 huge patches of rhubarb in our yard, and I want to take full advantage! I have LOVED the strawberry and mixed berry versions I’ve made of this recipe.

  41. 5 stars
    Thank you for this amazing recipe! I am first time canner and am so pleased with the results! I followed the recipe exactly and it was not soupy and does not taste only like honey. I could eat it by the spoonfuls! I cooked it for an hour and then started boiling my water (a little late!) for the processing part, so the jam ended up cooking for an hour and a half total. I then used a hand immersion blender since my kids don’t like “chunks” and it is just perfect! I ended up with 10 jars of jam! My husband is pretty picky and he said I am not allowed to give any of this batch away because it is so good!

  42. I cut the recipe down some. I used 4pounds of strawberries, 1.5 cups of honey, 1T of lemon juice, and 1 Granny Smith apple. I had to cook it at least 1hour and 30 min. before it thickened. It made 5 pints exactly. Still pretty sweet and will probably reduce the honey even more next time.

  43. Kelly Schaefer

    I made this today and it taste way too much like honey and is way too runny. I am going to buy pectin tomorrow to try to save it.

    1. I completely agree. I’m trying to save mine with some pectin right now. My beautiful hand-picked strawberries were turned into strawberry soup! I think I’ll stick with pectin and make my traditional freezer jam from now on.

  44. Sorry, Lesley.

    I had really high hopes for this recipe. $28 dollars worth of strawberries, $15.00 worth of raw honey, down the drain. We don’t eat ice cream, so I can’t use it as a topper and there is such a strong taste of honey, no one will like it. I couldn’t give it away! What a waste!

  45. 1 star
    Why does the recipe not specify granny smith apples if that makes such a difference??? Approaching 1 1/2 hour mark of cooking with $30 worth of organic berries and honey in pot and all I have is RUNNY SOUP. NOT happy!

  46. 5 stars
    Mine turned out great! It does have the honey taste, but that is what it was made with. I can’t wait to have my kids try it! I just found your blog and I am learning a lot and loving it. Thanks for all the great new recipes!

  47. Yes I used Granny Smith apples it wasn’t the fact that it was runny that was bad it was the fact that it tastes like honey not strawberry! All you can taste is honey. I still believe the honey measurement is wrong it’s way too much honey, It’s way to sweet and all you can taste is honey like an earlier post said…an overwhelming honey taste. It’s not the consistency that’s the problem it’s the honey taste! Could you please ask Lisa to review the measurements to make sure it’s correct and not a typo?

  48. Yes I used Granny Smith apples it wasn’t the fact that it was runny that was bad it was the fact that it tastes like honey not strawberry! All you can taste is honey. I still believe the honey measurement is wrong it’s way too much honey I would say 3/4 of a cup would be enough not 3 3/4 cups! It’s way to sweet and all you can taste is honey like a earlier post said…an overwhelming honey taste. It’s not the consistency that’s the problem it’s the honey taste!

  49. $19 in handpicked berries $14 in honey hrs wasted in the kitchen just to throw it out! The honey measurement has got to be way off! Did anybody actually make this? Epic fail! Before anybody else waste as much time and money as I did please dont make this as directed!!!! Very upset and disappointed!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Daanna. Sorry that you had a bad experience and that we are rarely able to answer recipe questions in real time. The measurements are correct as Lisa made her jam. Green apples have more pectin and set up better. Curious if you used green apples? Again, sorry. ~Amy

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Belinda. Lise gives all the details above and you could just cut the recipe in half. :)

  50. I’ve got a dumb question, really–I blame it on being a beginner, both in the Real Food World and the Canning world. But… for the apples… the recipe says 1-1/2 unpeeled apples, grated. Does it matter what size apple? Given that a certain amount of acid and natural pectin is necessary, should I be looking for a certain amount of grated apple or is the size of the apples I choose going to matter?

    Also… I read in one of the comment replies that green apples contain the most pectin. Are those recommended for this recipe or do they tend to make it a little more tart than sweeter apples.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Stephanne. Just look for medium size apples. Green apples do have more pectin. ~Amy

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Deborah. We’ve not tried this is a crock pot but I’ve seen similar recipes that are prepared that way. ~Amy

  51. I was wondering how sweet this jam is, I really like that you do not add any extra sugar to it but I was wondering because I plan on making it to give away for Christmas gifts :) And I wanted to know if it was sweet?

    Thanks!

  52. Hi Angie G,
    I have been experimenting with no sugar recipes using dates or dried fruit instead of sugar to make a fruit spread. I use about 1/2 cup whole dates and 1 cup frozen blueberries or strawberries, combine and let sit in fridge overnight while berries defrost and moisten dates. Then blend in a high powered blender. I am still perfecting the ratio of dates to berries. Tired with dried apricots instead of dates and they didn’t seem to blend up as well it stayed a little grainy but flavor was good. Haven’t tried it yet but I think you could just add a little hot water to some dried fruit and blend it up. Store in fridge. Sadly, I don’t think you can something like this although it is easy to make I do miss the stock piles of jars in the pantry. It is good though. Kids have not complained!

  53. I’m Allergic To Pectin And Apples And Pears, Etc. If Anyone Sees A Basic RecipefFor Jam Or Jelly Without Those Fruits Please Comment. I Have Crossover Allergies And Tree Fruit And Nuts Are Off Limits For Me. I Can Eat Berries And Bananas And Some Citrus Fruits. I’d Love To Try Your Poptart Recipe If I Can Find A Jam Recipe. So Far If They Don’t Have Sugar In The Recipe, Then The Recipe HAs Apples. Thanks!

    1. I make strawberry jam without adding pectin or high-pectin fruits such as apples. It takes longer because basically you are cooking the liquid out of it. I put hulled and halved berries in the pot, add sugar or honey and a little lemon juice (it brightens the flavor and adds a little acid to ensure safe waterbath canning) and then just cook it until it tests ready (see above recipe for cold plate and spoon tests). Sugars concentrate as the jam cooks down, so keep that in mind when adding your sweetener. Good luck!

  54. Just in case someone is monitoring this right now- I need help. I have been cooking my jam for an hour, and it is still WAY too thin. Is there anything I can do? Thanks!!!!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jennifer. Sorry. We are rarely able to answer recipe questions in real time. Did it turn out? ~Amy

  55. I have been wanting to start making jams for a while now and this information is so helpful for a beginner! I know that berries are one of the most important fruits to buy organic but we don’t have any certified organic farms anywhere near us! There are plenty of local farms that are pick your own but I am concerned about them not being organic. Does it matter as much when you are canning??? Would love your input! Thanks!!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Shell. The skin contains natural pectin which adds to the texture. Green apples have the most. ~Amy

  56. I cannot use a pressure canner because of my solid burner electric stove…so I use the water bath method. But I have the canner that looks like it’s upside-down similar to this one…(http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Back-To-Basics-400A-7-Quart-Aluminum-Home-Steam-Canner-Cooking-Kitchen-Bar-/351065931316) It heats quicker because it uses less water. It is only for acidic foods or recipes with acid added eg. citrus juices or vinegar. I’ve been making tomatoes and relishes for years with no problems of improper sealing or spoilage. It’s a great tool!!!

  57. Loucrecia Hollingsworth

    I appologize if someone else has already asked this, but I wonder if this could be put in the freezer if you don’t have a canner? I have made strawberry freezer jam a lot of times, but would love to try it with this recipe.

  58. 5 stars
    Thanks for an awesome recipe. We went strawberry picking at a local farm with our kids this week and my mother and I made this tonight. It is so delicious – I really couldn’t believe how simple it is to can! Usually when we do PB&J we actually just use fresh sliced strawberries but when they aren’t in season it will be great to pull this out and have a decent substitute that I don’t feel bad about.

    1. Sliced strawberries…such a great idea! I have done sliced bananas and PB but never thought of this. Thank you!

  59. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi Tracy. Crofters is one brand to look into. You might find it easier to order online, though I find it locally. There are a few things I stock up on that way instead of searching a bunch of stores to find one item. :) ~Amy

  60. I have been looking for the all fruit spread and I can’t find one without sugar or less than 5 ingredients…what do you recommend?

  61. Does anyone have a Strawberry/Rhubarb adaptation without sugar?? I have a rhubarb patch that grows like crazy and I don’t know what to do with it all every year!!

  62. This is amazing, I’ve been looking for a simpler way to can my jams without sugar and I think this is it!

    I just have a question:
    Since sugar is used to act as a preservative in most jams, how does this jam stay preserved without it? Is it the sugars in the honey?

    Also, I’d like to say DON’T be afraid of canning low-acid foods like asparagus! If you pickle them, you don’t need a high-pressure canner. I make pickled asparagus, pickled garlic, pickled beets, pickled eggs, all without a pressure canner. It’s all super delicious, though I very much recommend NOT using pre-made pickling spice. Make your own to taste. I find the premade stuff too limiting.

  63. Thanks so much for sharing. This is now my new favorite jam, along with some family members as well. My 7 year old and 4 year old nephews loved the jam and asked me to make more, we tried it today with blueberries, still great but I loved the strawberry best :)

  64. Could I use organic cane juice instead of the honey? I’m one of those weird people who doesn’t like the taste of honey, and I think the flavor of maple syrup would be too strong. Would I use the same measurement for all natural sweeteners as what is called for in the recipe?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Teresa. Can juice is not a sweetener we use. Also, Lisa hasn’t adapted this recipe, so I can’t advise as to how it might turn out. ~Amy

  65. I just want to point out that there are tutorials online that you can use to make your own liquid pectin (which is a fiber made from boiling down apples,the tarter the better, so technically this recipe does have pectin in it), and you can keep the foam from bubbling up by using a tsp of butter or other fat (this summer i will be trying it with grapeseed oil, so that i can share it with my animal protein allergic cousin! I made one batch of blackberry jam this summer without the butter and forgot to skim it and it looked like i had bottled “fizzy” jam in the jar!

  66. 5 stars
    I have been searching for awhile for a jam recipe without sugar, so I was pretty excited when I came across this one! I cut the recipe in half and let it boil for a little more than an hour because I wanted it to be nice and thick, and it turned out perfect. I wish I would have skimmed the white foamy stuff off the top, but I’ll know for next time. I will definitely make this again!

  67. Just curious … what is “wrong” with pectin? It’s a plant product, correct? Why is it not considered “whole”? Thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Katie. Lisa avoids adding processed pectin. The pectin that is natural in the peel of an apple (used here) is what she prefers. :) ~Amy

  68. 5 stars
    We do a ton of canning at our house, but have never made jam/jelly. I ran out of store bought jelly today and needed a solution. I didn’t want to go to the store. So, since we have our own hives and have quarts and quarts of honey sitting around I went looking for a jelly recipe that used honey. I found your recipe, made it and love the jelly that I made. Thanks so much for giving me another way to use honey and for giving me yet another way to feed my family a healthy choice. My jelly got very thick, but I cooked it for over an hour.

  69. I have a bunch of peaches that I would like to use to make jam. What modifications if any would you recommend? Also, about how many cups of cut peaches would you recommend for this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi. While Lisa recommends not adapting this recipe for food safety issues as it is meant for high acid fruit, many readers have used this method for other fruits. You might take a look through the comments. I don’t think you would need change the amount of fruit that the recipe called for. ~Amy

  70. 4 stars
    Well just made the jam tonight and I am a jam maker but it didn’t set very well it is more like sauce… I may reprocess with pectin tomorrow night if it does not set up better in 24… the honey was very expensive but is so tastey in the jam and bonus of free berries was helpful. would I make this jam again? Definitely but I would adjust apple and lemon juice and would cooked down the fruit a bit before adding honey I think. Thank you for the recipe!

  71. I have been using jars from the grocery purchased jams and jellies and they are all good for one or two canning. As a medical professional and scientist I have learned the difference between “sterile” and “clean”. In your technique what you are calling “sterile” is in fact only “clean”. The can becomes sterile only after it has been boiled or pressure cooked, before that it is only clean. So some of your procedures are not really necessary, they do reduce the amount of contaminants and help with the sterilization process, but if you have basic understanding of microbiology you will know what I mean.
    Another thing is refrigeration or freezing of fruit. As soon as the fresh fruit is cooled down or frozen it loses certain flavors. The whole purpose of canning is to preserve without freezing. The more you cook, the more taste changes and sterilization process is in fact cooking time, so if you plan to just refrigerate your jam or jelly you need to cook it thoroughly, yet if you plan to sterilize it, you could deduct the sterilization time from the cooking time and will still succeed saving flavor.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Kay. The apples provide a natural source of pectin in this recipe which binds and creates the correct consistency. ~Amy