The Best Homemade Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

By Alexandra Caspero on June 18, 2018
Sweet, homemade low-sugar strawberry jam. A must for late Spring and early Summer.
Makes 8, 1/2 pint jars

This strawberry jam is the best! Sweet and smooth, this homemade low sugar jam is made with whole strawberries, lemon juice, and pectin for a yummy jam you can add to toast, biscuits, cookies, cake, and much more. 

It’s not summer until we’ve been strawberry picking.

The official start of summer in my mind; ditching the cooler days of Spring for shorts, sun, and all-you-can-eat strawberry fields. 

What to do with all of these berries? Fresh strawberries naturally lead to my vegan strawberry shortcake, strawberry lemonade scones and strawberry basil margaritas. The possibilities are endless. I think I ate 5 cups of fresh sliced strawberries the moment we got home. Still warm from the sun, these are the berries I wait all year for.

strawberries

Strawberry jam feels like the gift that keeps on giving. We made two batches of this low sugar jam recipe, allowing me to stockpile jars of homemade jam for effortless gift-giving and thank you’s. Neighbors who took our trashcans in while we were gone? A jar of jam for you. A friend who picked up Van while I was running late from a meeting? Two jars of jam! Strawberry jam is really good currency.

Since having kids, I’ve become more conscious on how much sugar and salt we’re consuming. Therefore, it was a no-brainer that this jam would be lower in sugar than traditional recipes.

Spoiler alert- you cannot tell. It’s not as cloyingly sweet as some jams can be, but who wants that anyway? This jam tastes like summer! I swear I can still taste the sun-kissed strawberries straight from the garden in every bite.

homemade strawberry jam in jar with knife

Ingredients for homemade strawberry jam

  • Strawberries: I crushed up whole strawberries for this jam so it would be smooth and easily spreadable. You can use either fresh or frozen strawberries that have been thawed.
  • Pectin: To keep this recipe low in sugar, be sure use to find pectin specifically for low-sugar canning. It can be harder to find at some grocery stores, but you can purchase online.  
  • Sugar: White granulated sugar is needed for this recipe for best success. If you use alternative sweeteners, the final jam may not thicken the same. 

Should I use pectin in my homemade strawberry jam?

If you want your homemade strawberry jam to be thick, then you will want to use pectin! Without pectin, your strawberry jam will be cooking for a very long time until it sets. 

strawberry jam on toast on plate

How to Can Homemade Strawberry Jam

  1. Sterilize the Jars

    Boil clean mason jars in a water bath for ten minutes, then remove. Not only does this help sanitize the jars, it also warms the jars before you put the hot jam in.

  2. Prep the Strawberries

    Wash strawberries and remove the stems and hulls. Crush the strawberries either by using a food mill or potato-masher. If you want jelly, then blend the strawberries in a blender and strain the juice, discarding any seeds and pulp

  3. Cook Strawberries

    Place strawberries, water, and lemon juice in a large stock pot. Stir in pectin and heat the mixture over high meat until it comes to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Keep stirring the mixture to prevent the bottom from burning.

  4. Add in Pectin and Sugar

    Stir in pectin and heat the mixture over high heat until it comes to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Keep stirring the mixture to prevent the bottom from burning. Add in the sugar and return to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for a minute, while stirring then remove from heat.

  5. Can the Homemade Strawberry Jam

    Ladle the hot jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4″ head space. Place sealed jars into a boiling water bath and foil, fully submerged, for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

strawberries

Have you canned before? Years ago when we lived in our first apartment in Sacramento, I thought I was going to be one of those people who canned everything. We were living in the middle of salad bowl, with fresh grown produce of every variety on literally every corner. Why not learn to can?

That lasted all of two months, but long enough for me to buy a few tools. A giant stock pan for holding a dozen mason jars, a funnel for easy filling and a magnet for placing the lid on top. Though, you really don’t need any of this. A funnel will make things easier, but you can do without. You will need a large enough pan to place the jars in, mason jars and that’s it!

You can find low-sugar pectin in most grocery stores, or online. The regular pectin won’t work, so make sure you find the low-sugar one.

FAQs

Why do you put lemon juice in strawberry jam?

The lemon juice allows the pectin to set quicker and also neutralizes the flavor of the jam. 

What happens if you cook jam too long? 

If you cook the jam too long, then it will form into a solid rather than soft jam. 

How long does homemade strawberry jam last? 

If you are not immediately opening the jars, then the jam will last in a cool dry place for up to a year or two. If not canning, you can store homemade strawberry jam for a year in the freezer in an airtight container! 

Will my jam thicken as it cools?

Yes, the jam will thicken as it cools. Be patient! 

homemade strawberry jam in jar

If You Like This Strawberry Jam, Then You Will Love These Strawberry Recipes: 

sourdough toast with strawberry jam on plate

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

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sourdough toast with strawberry jam on plate

Homemade Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: ~8 half-pint jars
  • Category: breakfast, jam, sauce
  • Method: canning
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This healthy strawberry jam is the best! Perfect and subtly sweet, this freezer-friendly recipe is so easy to make and tastes delicious with almost anything! You will love this strawberry jam made with lemon juice, pectin, and just a little bit of sugar!


  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: ~8 half-pint jars
  • Category: breakfast, jam, sauce
  • Method: canning
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: ~8 half-pint jars
  • Category: breakfast, jam, sauce
  • Method: canning
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If you are canning your jam, then sanitize and prepare the jars. Boil them in a water bath for ten minutes, then remove. Not only does this help sanitize the jars, it also warms the jars before you put the hot jam in.
  2. Wash strawberries and remove the stems and hulls. Crush the strawberries either by using a food mill or hand potato-masher. If you want jelly, then blend the strawberries in a blender and strain the juice, discarding any seeds and pulp.
  3. Place strawberries, water, and lemon juice in a large stock pot. Stir in pectin and heat the mixture over high heat until it comes to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Keep stirring the mixture to prevent the bottom from burning.
  4. Add in the sugar and return to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for a minute, while stirring then remove from heat.
  5. If you don’t plan on canning the jam then let cool for a few minutes before pouring into containers. Cool completely, then place in the fridge to harden. You can store jam that hasn’t been canned for ~5-6 days.
  6. If you are canning the jam, place a funnel in jar, then ladle the hot jam into the warm jars, leaving a 1/4″ head space. If any jam got onto the lid space, clean off then top with lids and rings.
  7. Place sealed jars into a boiling water bath and boil, fully submerged, for 10 minutes. Carefully remove jars (I use tongs or my special canning tongs) and place on a cooling rack to cool. Once cooled, the lids should seal. You can check this by pressing down on the center of the lid- if it is able to be pushed down, then it hasn’t sealed correctly. The one’s that haven’t sealed (if you have any) can either be reprocessed in a water bath or just placed in the fridge to eat immediately.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 18
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol: omg

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Homemade Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Melanie Pina
      July 31, 2022 AT 3:48 pm

      JUST MADE THIS TODAY IM SUPPER EXCITED THE LEFTOVER I PUT IN FRIG WAS GREAT STRAWBERRY WAS THE FLAVOR NOT SUGAR. HOW LONG IS THIS SHELF STABLE? AND QUICK QUESTION I HEARD A LOT OF POPS AFTER I SAT THEM TO COOL THEY STILL ARE BUT I WAS RUBBING MY FINGER OVER THEM AND 1 WAS STILL UP BUT THEY ARE STILL COOLING AND IT POPPED DOWN IT’S STILL DOWN HOW DO I KNOW IF IT SEALED RIGHT? AND THAT’S FOR SHARING IM A DIABETIC AND I HAVE TO WATCH MY SUGAR AND THIS IS GREAT

      1. Alex
        August 1, 2022 AT 8:11 am

        Hi Melanie, yes– as long as it’s sealed (you won’t hear them all pop) then it’s safe. Any that didn’t seal, you can reprocess

    2. Trina
      July 10, 2022 AT 3:28 pm

      I made this exactly as written and OMG!!! SO GOOOOD! Tonight I am making batch 2. Crisp and fresh tasting, plenty sweet without the 5lb bag of sugar (exaggerating, but still) usually required. Thank you.

    3. Elaine Chin
      July 8, 2022 AT 9:26 am

      Best recipe for low sugar strawberry jam! Can I use this recipe for apricot jam?

      1. Alex
        July 8, 2022 AT 9:28 am

        Apricot is lower in natural pectin so it might not set the same. You can play around and see if it works, but might need to tweak the ratios!

    4. CYNTHIA
      June 14, 2022 AT 9:31 am

      Could you use this recipe for blackberries as well? I can’t seem to find a good low sugar recipe for blueberry jam,

      1. Alex
        June 14, 2022 AT 11:14 am

        Not sure why blackberries wouldn’t work for this recipe, but i haven’t tried it to say with 100% certainty.

    5. Holly
      May 21, 2022 AT 9:03 am

      I have “jam” berries, and want to make a quick, low sugar jam (no canning). Can I still use this recipe?

      1. Alex
        May 21, 2022 AT 11:39 am

        Hi Holly, I don’t know why it wouldn’t work with jam berries. Thanks!

    6. Audrey
      March 9, 2022 AT 12:06 pm

      I don’t use pectin or water in my strawberry jam. I use whole strawberries halved or quartered depending on size. I use 5 cups of sugar to 18 cups of strawberries. (About 6 lbs). I add the sugar to the cut strawberries and let sit for a couple of hours. The strawberries and sugar make their own juice. Then I cook and jar it bi have had rave reviews using this recipe

    7. Tammie
      March 6, 2022 AT 10:06 am

      New at canning and venturing into more things.

    8. Pam
      February 22, 2022 AT 6:56 pm

      I plan to make this soon. I was wondering if you could use frozen strawberries?

      1. Alex
        February 24, 2022 AT 9:45 am

        Hi Pam– I’m not sure if frozen strawberries will work as they may be too watery. For frozen strawberries, I like my frozen berry chia jam!

    9. Carolann Guilford
      August 1, 2021 AT 10:13 pm

      What is your thought about using older frozen fruit in low suga.

      Would using more sugar/pectin make it possible?
      Or should I just throw out the fruit?

      Thank you
      CG

      1. Alex
        August 2, 2021 AT 3:55 am

        Hi Carolann– I haven’t made this jam with frozen fruit so not the exact ratios to increase as freezing fruit may reduce the jelling effect of the natural pectin. You may need to increase the amount of pectin added to this jam to make sure it sets properly. If you are going to throw out the fruit anyways– I’d make it and see, but make sure to thaw all the way first and save any juices that thaw with the berries. If it doesn’t gel enough, you can always reboil and add more.

    10. Carolann Guilford
      August 1, 2021 AT 10:11 pm

      What is your thought about using older frozen fruit in low sugar/pectin recipes?

      Trying to salvage some Oder berries.

      Would using more sugar/pectin make it possible?
      Or should I just throw out the fruit?

      Thank you
      CG