Ditch all the added sugar by making your own homemade sugar free strawberry jam! This simple recipe makes incredibly fruity jam that is suitable for low carb and Keto diets. No pectin!
Did you know that traditional jam recipes use sugar and fruit on a 1:1 basis? I have always wondered why this is necessary. Ripe fruit contain so much natural sweetness in form of fructose!
The sugar is supposed to help with the gelling of the fruit, making the jam nice and thick. It also acts as a preservative. Oh, and it's a really cheap ingredient, adding to the profit of jam companies.
I've been making sugar free jam ever since I started eating low carb. Guys, it's so simple. All you need is quality fruit, which you simmer gently until enough liquid has evaporated. Then you add a bit of extra sweetness such as erythritol, stevia or Swerve (if necessary) and a little bit of thickener such as chia seeds, gelatin or xanthan gum (if necessary). That's it!
How to make sugar free strawberry jam - step by step:
1. ) Chop your strawberries and place them in a saucepan. Add 2 tablespoon of water (3 if your saucepan is large). This is so the strawberries don't burn whilst you soften them.
2.) Bring to the boil, lid on, then turn the heat to medium and let it bubble away for around 15 minutes. Now your strawberries look like in the image above. They are soft and have begun to release their own liquid. Mash with a potato masher.
3.) Continue simmering the strawberry puree over a low heat for another 30 minutes until the mixture is reduced by half. As the liquid evaporates, the bubbles become smaller.
Stir continuously towards the end using a spatula, making sure the jam does not burn. Once the mixture has the texture of jam, you're done!
4.) Taste the jam. If the strawberries do not contain enough natural sweetness, add up to 1 tablespoon of powdered erythritol or another sweetener of your choice. Instead of pectin, use 1 teaspoon of ground chia seeds to fully set the jam.
Fill into a sterilised container and store in the fridge.
How long will my sugar free strawberry jam last?
This recipe made 200g of strawberry jam, which is just under 1 cup. If you store it in the fridge, it should be good for at least one week. However, if you have a family, it will probably disappear much quicker.
To increase the shelf life of this jam you can add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice during cooking. The acids does not only help with the gelling of the jam, it also prevents the growth of bacteria during storage (source). This way, you can easily keep it in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
If you use REALLY RIPE fruit and reduce the liquid as much as possible, you may not even need additional sweetener. I made this recipe in February. The strawberries available right now are imported and a far cry from the amazing local varieties we can buy here in the UK during strawberry season in June and July.
Using the lemon juice, however, will mean you'll most probably have to add a spoonful of sweetener such as powdered erythritol, Swerve or stevia.
How to make sugar free strawberry jam set without pectin
In this recipe I chose to set the jam with ground white chia seeds. You can either grind them with a pestle and mortar, of you take a whole bunch and blitz them to a fine powder in a food processor or in the attachment of a stick blender. Fill it into an airtight jar and use to thicken sauces and anything else that needs thickening!
You could also use whole chia seeds to thicken low carb jam, as long as you don't mind the gloopy bobbles. The jam will taste the same, but some people don't like the texture. If you use whole chia seeds, I recommend doubling the amount to 1 tbsp.
Other pectin-free options for thickening jam are gelatin and xanthan gum - even sugar free jell0.
I'm using this jam in my sugar free strawberry shortcake trifle pots - one of my favourite summer dessert recipes!
See my other sugar free jam recipes:
- Sugar Free Blueberry Jam
- Easy No-Cook Sugar Free Raspberry Jam
- Sugar Free Orange Marmalade Recipe (Keto)
This strawberry jam recipe only contains 1.4 grams of fruit sugar per serving (1 tablespoon), which won't spike your insulin levels like regular jam. To keep your blood sugar levels stable do make sure you eat it as part of a meal.
We had it for breakfast with these Keto breakfast buns (see photo above) and with some Greek yoghurt. If you want to make a quick low carb bread for your deliciously healthy strawberry jam, try these microwave English muffins. It would also be awesome with grain free scones or as the filling of a Victoria sponge cake.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating below!
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Sugar Free Strawberry Jamfrom Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 400 g / 14 oz strawberries, diced
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds ground
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice optional
- 1 tablespoon powdered sweetener optional
- Chop the strawberries and place them in a saucepan together with the water.
- Bring to the boil (lid on), then turn down the heat medium and let it bubble away for 15 minutes. Only add the lemon juice if you want to store the jam for longer than 1 week - it prevents the growth of bacteria.
- Mash the strawberries with a potato masher (or with a fork), then continue to cook on low-medium for another 30 minutes until reduced by half. You want it to bubble peacefully. Bubbles will become smaller as the liquid evaporates. Stir regularly with a spatula to prevent the jam from burning. Towards the end of cooking, stir constantly.
- Taste. If necessary, sweeten with 1 tablespoon of powdered erythritol.
- Add the ground chia seeds and stir. Cool and fill into a sterilised jar. Store in the fridge.
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Would I be able to jar this?
I haven't tried it. But my gut feeling is probably not. Sugar acts as a preservative and we're not using any here. It does keep in the fridge for a while though if you add lemon juice 🙂
I just got a Pampered Chef cooking blender that has a setting to make jam. I made fresh blueberry jam combining this recipe and the Pampered Chef instructions for jam It turned out pretty tasty. I really appreciate your ideas about using ground chia seeds and lemons as a more natural substitute.
Glad it was a success!
Does ground flax seed substitute very well for ground chia seed?
I don't think it would work well. Try xanthan gum instead!
I was wondering if this could be made with blueberries or raspberries?
Yes, absolutely! If you use raspberries, you could even strain the mix at the end.
Hi there I'm getting ready to make this for my first time and was wondering if splenda would be ok to use? What do you think?
Of course! I think Splenda is quite powdery, isn't it? I've never used it. If it's granular, I'd grind it up in a food processor first.
Delicously good and simple. Much better than normal jam.
Hi! Is it okay to use stevia as my sweetener? Would love to try this recipe!
Hi! I was just wondering, could I add some agar agar to make it more “jelly” like? If so, how much would you recommend ? Thanks!
I don't have any experience with agar agar. I know it's used as a one-to-one substitute to xanthan gum. If I used xanthan, I'd probably go for 1/2 tsp and see what happens. You can always add more later if you think you want it thicker.
Jan & David Freeman
You have the best recipes! Everyone I’ve tried has been a hit.
Thank you for all your efforts!
Your comment has just made my day! Thank you!
Hey! I am curious if any was had used like a honey or coconut sugar and how much they used? I am trying this today with preschoolers although I wasn’t sure if I was going to use ground up chia seeds or can’t bum gum or how much to use of xanthum gum? Thanks!!
Hi Lydia, you can replace any sweetener with coconut sugar. I think it would work better in terms of taste than honey. A sprinkle of xanthan gum would be sufficient. I think probably about 1/4 tsp. But ground up chia seeds work just as well. Your choice!
Thank you for this delicious recipe. I used frozen strawberries and it turned out great. Since being told I was pre diabetic, i am cutting out sugar and carbs and I've really enjoyed your recipes.
Hi, I also just made another batch of this jam using frozen strawberries. Perfect for Easter breakfast!
I freeze mine in small containers and then I just take out as needed. I have no problem, still tastes great!! I also make blueberry jam, using the same recipe.
That's a great idea. I guess you could even freeze it in an ice cube tray to have single portions!
Thanks for posting this: great recipe. For some reason i got some crunchy crystals in the jam which i assume is from the powdered erythritol i used. Have you ever come across this issue?
Hi Rob, it’s the erythritol. If your fridge is very cold, you’ll get some crystals over time. Xylitol behaves more like sugar in that respect, if the crystallisation bothers you.
Great recipe, but people don’t add sugar only to jam for sweetness and frugality - it helps preserve the fruit! Hence why a 1:1 ratio is used and it lasts a lot longer than a week, or a few weeks.
This isn’t to have a go or complain, but this was conveniently not mentioned 😀 if I ran a sugar free blog, I wouldn’t mention it too !
hi Paul, you are absolutely correct. The good thing is that if you add a bit of lemon juice, this keeps it good for longer, too 🙂
Yes, and the negative effects of sugar far outweight any advantages of added shelf life! Thanks so much for these lovely sugarfree recipes!
Absolutely! I'm glad you like my website 🙂
Hi, I saw this and thought I'd mention that before 'jam sugars' were around, it was usually Bramley apples that were used as a gelling aid, as they naturally contain pectin, which is the item that is added to jam sugars. You can buy sachets of pectin if you wish, but I find that the apples aside from being natural, create a smoother flavour, you can also use citruses, lemon, orange, lime, etc as they thicken very well, they can also give a tang to your jams, using apple/citrus flavours as a bacvkground can slso give interesting twists to your jams. A final note, gelatins and starchs such as corn/rice flour can also be considered
That's really interesting! Thanks for the comment 🙂
Fiddler it is important to note that pectin contain 90g of carbohydrates per 100g, and thus adding pectin would not make this recipe keto friendly. Starches and apples create the same problem. I have tried this recipe multiple times and the low carbs per serving make it worth making fresh batches frequently.
Looking forward to making this. Do you add lemon in the first stage while it's boiling or when mashing the strawberries? Thank you!
I would add it while it's cooking.
I tried it with the frozen ones because the ones at my grocery store were not ripe enough. It worked! I figure the frozen berries were picked at the peak of ripeness so they were perfect for jam. Also, I didn't have to add any sweetener. But I did add the lemon juice. Will definitely make again! Thank you!
Alice E. Abbott
Chris, did you use the same amount of strawberries that Katrin used and did you thaw them out before slicing them?
Can I use frozen strawberries ?
Of course, though I think fresh ones always taste better 😉
can i use honey as the sweetener?
Yes, of course you could. Any type of sweetener would work.
Do you think this recipe can be made in bulk and canned for long term shelf life?
I would not recommend it. Traditional jams are about 50% sugar and sugar acts as a preservative. I think it's safer to make smaller batches and eat within a few weeks.
Came across your sugar free strawberry jam.
Couldn't imagine how easy it is to prepare it!
Thanks so much for the idea to use ground white chia seeds instead of pectin to get the mash jellied, thus adding some more invaluable health benefits.
I also met with your low carb strawberry trifle. Wow! How lovely and delicious they look! Just the sight of it makes my mouth water.
Will prepare them next Tuesday on my husband's birthday.
Can't wait to see how they taste!
How long would shelf life be using lemon juice?
I think it would be good for a few weeks. If you use a sterilised jar, fill the jam in while hot and store it in the fridge and only go in with a clean spoon. I work on the basis that if it smells good and tastes good it definitely is good.
I did this with mixed frozen fruit and created a delicious topping for Keto Cheesecake! a really good versatile recipe.
That sounds delicious!!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
If using sugar free jello, how much do you use?
You probably only need very little, maybe 1 tsp. There isn't much liquid to set, seeing as you can in theory make the recipe without any thickener, as long as you cook it down for long enough. And you don't want the jam to be rock-hard!
Why not use pectin? I used a product that uses calcium and pectin
It's not necessary in this recipe - strawberries actually contain natural pectin.
If you use gelantine do you use the same measurement?
That's a good question. I'd check the amount of liquid your gelatine packet can set and take it from there. I got 200 ml of jam from the recipe. From memory, one 7g pack of gelatine sets about 1 pint / 500 ml of liquid, so you'd only need 1/3 of a pack.
Have you tried using citric acid as the preservative? Isn't it used as a preservative in some products on the market? And although it has a citrus taste, probably not as much as the lemon juice.
No I haven't, I must check it out 🙂
Can you something else
Besides chia seeds?
Yes, I've also used xanthan gum to thicken before.
Hi I really want to try this today but only have the xanthan gum and no chia seeds. How many grams would be the right amount to add?
That depends on how much you have reduced the strawberries. I'd say between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp should be enough.
Sooooo delicious!!! I used ripe, sweet strawberries with only a little sweetener and the jam turned out amazing. Much fruitier than anything you can buy in the supermarket.
So glad you like the jam Margot!
Can you freeze the jam?
I have not tried it, but I don't see why not. You can freeze fruit, so freezing jam should work! Maybe even do it in an ice cube tray, so you can get small portions whenever you need it.
When do you add the Jello if using? Thanks!
I would stir it in towards the end.
Nicole M Foster
This looks delicious - I can't wait for strawberry season! Thank you for the lemon juice tip! I hate to waste jam but can't always use it up within a week.
Let me know what you think when you've tried it 🙂