If you've never made strawberry jam, it is way easier than you may think, and fresh strawberry jam is so much better than store bought. Once you try this, I swear you'll never want to go back. This sweet, low sugar strawberry jam is a small batch jam and perfect for enjoying those freshly picked summer strawberries.
This would make a great housewarming gift (especially with a batch of freshly made Light Biscuits) or summer activity with kids. My daughters helped me make this, and they were so proud. It is a tasty, healthy, and delicious summer treat.
Healthy Strawberry Jam
This low sugar strawberry jam is half the calories and half the sugar compared to traditional store bought jam. At only 22 calories a tablespoon, this jam is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to make a lighter but still delicious homemade strawberry jam. For those on Weight Watchers, this strawberry jam is only 1 WW SP per tablespoon (a typical store bought strawberry jam is about 3 points).
No pectin strawberry jam
Pectin is not required for this jam to set. Instead, I am using the natural pectin in apple and lemon to thicken this jam. For those that don't know, pectin is a naturally occuring starch that gives jam its jamminess.
The shredded apple in this recipe not only adds some sweetness, but it naturally thickens the jam while not overpowering the strawberry flavor.
How to make strawberry jam
For this recipe, we are using 1 pound of strawberries, 1 apple, half of a lemon, and 3/4 - 1 cup of sugar. First, wash and hull all of the strawberries. Next, add all of the ingredients into a pot and bring it to a boil. You won't need any additional liquid, because the sugar and heat will break down the strawberries pretty quickly.
Bring this to a boil and stir occasionally until the jam is reduced by half. This process will take about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your pot. You do need to keep an eye on it; stir occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn and so the jam doesn't boil over.
I like my jam chunky so I mash my strawberries halfway through with a whisk. If you like a smoother jam, you can fully mash with a potato masher or put your strawberries in a food processor before combining and boiling.
How to know when jam is done
You don't need a candy thermometer to know when jam is done, especially when you are not processing it for canning. The easiest method of testing jam is seeing if it passing the frozen plate test. Take a plate and put it in your freezer for ten minutes. When the jam has decreased its volume by half, put a little jam on the cold plate and tilt it. If it doesn't run, it should be set.
If you do have a candy thermometer, you will know if the jam is ready when it reaches 220°F.
Once it is done, transfer jam to a jar. Allow jam to fully cool before covering and refrigerating.
Storing homemade jam that isn't canned
Homemade jam can last several weeks in the refrigerator or three months in the freezer. You can process this jam for canning, but truthfully I do not have that kind of expertise to give out properly.
This recipe makes approximately three cups of fresh, low sugar strawberry jam. I made it last night, and we have already gone through about 1/4 of it.
- 1 lb. strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and quartered
- 3/4 - 1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness preference)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 large apple, shredded or finely chopped
- small pinch of kosher salt (1/8 tsp)
- Add all ingredients into a pot and mix.
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Allow mixture to boil for 20-30 minutes (depending on how large the pot is) until the mixture has decreased by half.
- Test jam with a candy thermometer or with a frozen plate. Pour a small drop of jam onto a plate that has been in the freezer for ten minutes. Tilt the plate and see if the jam stays. If the jam runs a lot, keep boiling. If the jam stays in place (see blog post), you are good to go.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a jar.
- Allow jam to cool, cover, and refrigerate.
The jam will stay fresh for several weeks in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. This is not shelf stable and must be refrigerated.
Serving Size:1 tbsp.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 22Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 0g