Naturally Sweetened Strawberry Jam

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September 27, 2010
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Chicken & Mushroom Risotto
October 17, 2010
 

Interested in a delicious, naturally sweetened jam  that only takes 8 minutes to make?  Well, here it is! 

For a long time I couldn’t bring myself to make jam – it just uses so much sugar and is sickly sweet (and as you’ve probably figured out by now, I don’t like refined sugar)!  

I’d heard that if you wanted to use a natural sweetener (or no sweetener) to make jam, you needed apple pectin (which I couldn’t find anywhere) or you could make your own from apples (which I couldn’t be bothered doing)…  Then I found a jam recipe in the “My Way of Cooking” Thermomix cookbook that solved the problem for me!  Amongst the variations listed, it said you could use honey or other sugars, or even no sugar, if you used *agar-agar powder.  Yippee!!  I immediately made about four batches of apricot and honey jam with some organic apricots I had in the freezer, and it was lovely… The only problem was I made too much at once, and it didn’t keep well in the cupboard – a lot of it went mouldy, despite being in sealed jars.  This is because the sugar in the jam is what preserves it, and the small amount of honey I used just wasn’t enough.  

So I learnt my lesson, and now I only make small batches at a time (500g of fruit), and keep them in the fridge.  When jam only takes eight minutes to make, it really isn’t a hassle to make some whenever you need it.  (If you have an abundance of fruit, you can prepare it and freeze it in 500g amounts, ready to thaw and make jam when needed.)  

The strawberry jam in the photo above was made just before some visitors arrived – I whipped up some spelt scones in the Thermomix, popped them in the oven, and the jam was ready by the time the scones were cooked.  It was still hot and a bit runny when the visitors arrived, but we didn’t mind – we just spooned it over the scones and it tasted delicious!  After about an hour in the fridge the jam was nice and firm (see photo above).  I love the way the natural flavour of the fruit shines through in this jam – it doesn’t taste like flavoured sugar, it tastes like strawberries!  The only problem is that you may not be able to stop eating it – we ate the whole batch in one day – half of it on scones, and the other half on a strawberry shortcake. 

You can of course use any fruit you like, and any sweetener to taste, or no sweetener at all!  Some fruits are nice with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to add some tartness.  

Update: I now make this jam with powdered gelatine, same amount as the agar, as gelatine is very healing for the gut. Either will work.

* You can buy agar-agar in small packets from health food shops, and the health food section of some supermarkets, or online. 

 
Strawberry Jam
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Ingredients
  1. 500g strawberries (or other fruit)
  2. 100g Rapadura or 50g honey
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons agar-agar powder or good quality gelatine (eg. Great Lakes)
Instructions
  1. Before you begin, place a saucer into the freezer for testing the jam on.
  2. Wash out your jam jars thoroughly with hot soapy water and rinse well with hot water. Set aside.
  3. Place fruit in Thermomix bowl and chop roughly on speed 4 for 3-5 seconds, depending how chunky you want it.
  4. Add rapadura or honey, and agar or gelatine powder and cook 8 mins/100C/rev/speed 2.
  5. Test if the jam is set by placing 1/2 tsp of jam onto the cold saucer. When it is cool, push it with your finger. If the jam wrinkles, it's ready. If not, add a pinch more agar/gelatine, and cook for another 2 minutes, then re-test.
  6. When jam is set, pour into 2 hot rinsed jars with twist-off lids and close immediately. Turn jars upside down for 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. If you prefer your jam smooth, cook without the reverse, and puree on speed 8 when you're done.
  2. Store jam in the fridge for up to one month. This jam cannot be stored in the pantry.
Quirky Cooking https://www.quirkycooking.com.au/

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Don’t you love how simple it is?  I’m so glad I can make my own, healthy jams now with seasonal fruits, instead of buying the commercial, over-priced, naturally-sweetened jams!

Leave a comment and let me know what variations you try and what you like best!

54 Comments

  1. Tanya Mills says:

    Would this recipe work with other fruits like peaches, for example? Thanks.

    • LYNDSAY LOWE says:

      I use Chia Seeds – they help “gel” and set the jam and are good for you!

      • Nic says:

        Lyndsay, do you use chai seeds rather than gelatins? How much do you use?

      • Zoe Louise Gillis says:

        Hay Lyndsey
        Did you use Chia seeds instead of agar agar? And how much did you use?
        I have both chia seeds and agar agar flakes but I think I would prefer to use chia seeds so any information would be great
        Thank you 😊

  2. Jo Whitton says:

    Yes, you can use any fruit, really – just choose a sweetener which suits the fruit you use, and sweeten to your taste. Rapadura can overpower some fruits – I liked it with strawberries, but not so much with cherries. Agave syrup or raw honey would be nice with peaches, not sure about Rapadura.

  3. Sparkles says:

    If you only knew how long i had been trying to find a sugarfree jam you would know how much this means.

    Would this work with Erythritol or something similar?

  4. Jo Whitton says:

    I know just how you feel – I was so excited when I found out you could use agar agar and any or no sweetener to make jam!! I’ve avoided jam making for years because of the amount of sugar in it.

    Yes, I’m sure it would work with erythritol – I’m not sure how much you would use, but I guess if you just use a little, then add more at the end if you need more, you could figure it out.

    Have fun! 🙂

  5. tracey says:

    Hi Jo,
    Thanks for this easy recipe. I have never used agar-agar before so will give it a bash. Can Xantam gum be used?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jo,
    Thanks so much for posting the healthy jam with agar. I have made both your strawberry & an apricot batch, very suscessfully with a small amount of our honey only. Yum.I love the recipe & like you have avoided making jam in TM due to all that sugar required to set it etc. Blessings to you.
    Kathryn.

  7. Jo Whitton says:

    Hi Tracey, sorry, just saw your comment! I don’t think xantham gum would work, as it’s more of a binder than a gelling agent.

    So glad it worked well for you Katherine. 🙂

  8. aussiebarra says:

    Hi Jo, Just bought a kg of rosellas. Have removed seeds and have cooked the pulp. Then read your blog! Mmm what do you suggest?
    Anna – Townsville

  9. Jo Whitton says:

    Hi Anna, I think if you just weigh the pulp into the Thermomix and go ahead with the recipe as above it should work fine. You can double it, just takes about 12-15 mins. Just do the saucer test to check if it’s done. 🙂

  10. NikiG says:

    I made this today using 250g frozen raspberries and 250g fresh strawbs, and instead of agar agar I used guar gum powder. After 8 mins cooking it didn’t set so I added another 1/4 t guar gum and cooked 2 more mins, still didn’t set. Another 1/2 t guar gum and another 2.5 mins and I could tell it was thickening up! I realised that I should have added more cooking time anyway cos of the frozen berries, so next time I might just add 1.5t guar gum at the start. It is very sweet so I will also use less rapadura next time, maybe only 100g. It’s a gorgeous dark maroon, can’t wait to have some on my porridge tomorrow! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, Jo 🙂

  11. Jo Whitton says:

    Oh, well done Niki!! I wondered how it would go – must try it myself now! Thanks so much for letting me know.
    Jo xx

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jo, I found another recipe (Tenina.com) that uses sliced apple and am going to give that a try today as I don’t have any agar-agar. She also adds a vanilla bean so I will, of course, HAVE to whip up some scones to try it out on 🙂 Have you heard of just using the apple before? Angela Hudson

  13. Melissa says:

    Hi Jo, So I made a batch of this today successfully, to give away as christmas gifts, as part of my Thermomix homemade present baskets. It was super easy.

    2 questions though:

    When at the shop buying the agar agar, I couldn’t remember if it was powder or flakes I was suppose to use, so bought both. I used the powder today, but also have a bag of the flakes. Do you know what quantity of flakes one would use to get the same affect as the powder?

    On the website you linked to, for the description of agar agar, it says that some fruits won’t work, including two I was wanting try out for some different flavours of jam (ie mango and peaches). Have you ever tried using agar agar with these?

    If I was say to make the jam that is on the Recipe Community which has mango, passionfruit and strawberry, would the other fruits override the problem with the mango?

    Thanks heaps in advance

  14. Jo Whitton says:

    Hi Melissa, I haven’t used the flakes before so I don’t know, but probably it would be the same amount. I have made peach jam and it seemed to work – I may have added a bit more agar agar. I would have to try the mango one and see – sounds like a delicious recipe! Let me know if you make it, and how it went 🙂

  15. Filippa says:

    Thanks so much for this jam recipe. We are fairly new to the thermomix and it’s fantastic to be able to make sugar free jam. I’ve just made plum jam sweetened with honey. Previously made some apricot jam which the kids don’t really like (too much agar agar I think) and I’d like to use it up in cooking. Aside from curries and slow cooked meat dishes, is there a cake recipe it would work in?
    Filippa

  16. Melissa says:

    Just thought I would leave a note on some of the recipes of jam I have tried recently. The kids can’t have nuts at school, so peanut butter is out and I don’t do vegemite, so jam is the next best option. They just love the jams I have been making and they are so healthy. I just make them sugar free these days, using 500grams of fruit and a slightly heaped teaspoon of agar flakes. They love plum and apple, but since organic plums are now out of season, I have been making pear and apple, spiced with a bit of cinnamon and a touch of vanilla bean paste. OMG, my 2 year old eats it out of the jar he loves it so much. I attempted to make a custard apple jam the other day and it was horrid. I mixed it with a bit of apple and pear, but didn’t take the seeds out, as it was too time consuming… eeks not a good result!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I got a bit excited and had to make some strawberry jam today & it is so yummy. I got a bit heavy handed when my jam didn’t set initially & added a little too much agar, making my jam more like strawberry paste! Apart from the fact that I paid $10 for 2 punnets of strawberries, I am a happy Thermomixer!
    Jenny

  18. Kathryn says:

    I’m a new Thermie member.. Have you tried this recipe with oranges to make marmalade? We eat so much St Dalfour Marmalade so I’m looking for an economical option.

    • I’ve been making sugar free marmalade for some months now for my diabetic partner. It doesn’t keep long because there is no sugar and needs to be stored in the fridge. Eating it straight out of the fridge means a significant reduction in flavour, at room temperature it surpasses any ‘shop’ marmalade. I use one orange and one lemon cooked (I steam them in my electric pressure cooker for speed then take off the skins which I slice by hand because it looks nice but you could more easily chop and cook inthe thermomix). To this I add 2 Hartley’s sugar free orange jellies, so much cheaper than buying gelatine plus 2 tablespoons off sucralose based sugar substitute. All this plus the steaming water comes to just above the top of the blade unit spindle. I then put it reverse, speed 1for 6 minutes to dissolve the gelatine, then pour into 2 heated jars, cool then put into the fridge. The one in use lives in the cupboard. The marmalade is packed with fruit and intense in flavour. Sorry not to be more precise with regard to measurements, the recipe has evolved through trial and error though I haven’t had any failures.

  19. Jo Whitton says:

    Sorry Kathryn, I haven’t tried marmalade – I think you’d have to use a lot more sweetener!! Have a go and let us know! 🙂

  20. Sonia Shepherd says:

    I love my cherry berry jam I get from New Zealand so I decided to give it a go with this recipe. I used frozen mixed berries and fresh cherries. I actually left the pips in during cooking and picked them out at the end. It is a rich mahogany colour the pips are light brown so very easy to see. Only top is count the number of cherries going in because that is how many pips you will need to remove. I also cooked it for 12mins, due to the frozen berries used, as read on the top above. Also used just over a tspn of agar agar this time.

  21. Jo Whitton says:

    Thanks for the tips, Sonia, hope you liked it! 🙂

  22. Lissy says:

    Hi Jo! Loved the idea! I’m planning on making aplle and carrot jam with a bit of honey… would it work without the thermomix?

  23. Jo Whitton says:

    I’m sure it would! Great idea, let us know how it goes!!

  24. Jo says:

    just made this with mulberries fresh picked from the grandparents yard. Not very sweet (maybe I should try more rapadura? or stevia?) but still very yummy! What a great recipe! We love jam and haven’t been buying it for probably a year- to save money and avoid the sugar- so I’m very excited about this recipe! thanks!!

  25. Jo Whitton says:

    Hi Jo, well done! Just add a bit more sweetener next time – even some honey would be nice. Taste it before you pour into jars and add more if needed. 🙂

  26. mummaloulou says:

    Hi Jo – have you ever used Citrus Pectin instead of Agar Agar? I am making apricot and peach jam and would like to do it without sugar – I am also thinking of using apple juice concentrate… thoughts please!! thanks, Louise

  27. Mmmmmm yummmy Jam its looks very nice too,i want to taste now and try to prepare

    natural sugar substitute

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jo, this recipe sounds great but I’m just wondering if the process and cooking times would still be the same in the Thermomix if you used frozen berries? My Thermomix is only a week old so I’m still coming to grips with it:-) Thanks

  29. Jo Whitton says:

    Ok, maybe just give it 2 minutes more with the frozen berries. 🙂

  30. Cassie Green says:

    Jo you mention it only lasts in the fridge 1 month… but most jams will last a year. Have you put 1 month because you’re not sure, or because it has less sugar does it not keep as long?
    Our family loves spiced plum jam & I like to have it stored in the cupboard for warm drop biscuits in the midst of a cold winter. I wasn’t sure whether it was meant to be kept that long… but it still tasted good after a year apparently. Thanks 🙂

  31. girlpower says:

    Hi Jo, I just love your recipes and have tried a few now…you are such a creative lady and thank you so much for sharing with us all. Im a fairly new TM owner and love, love, love it!

    I also don’t like using processed sugar and haven’t made jam because of the huge sugar content…I would like to try your jam recipe very soon, just need a couple of jars first.

    Can you tell me which fruits would require a squeeze of lemon juice to add tartiness please and roughly how much…ie Tbsp or tsp? Thank you 🙂

  32. Katrina says:

    Hi Jo, Just wondered if grapes would work with this jam recipe. I’ve been given an abundance of homegrown small red grapes (the seeded variety).
    Love your work!

  33. Anonymous says:

    I made a marmalade by cooking the oranges for 10 minutes with 150g water. I used black sugar because I had it on hand and out about 200g in. I also cheated and used jam setta because I want to use it up before buying agar agar. Tastes a bit molassesey but I think my dad will love it 😉

  34. Felicia says:

    What’s the secret to it setting Jo?
    I made a pear & choko jam recently (with 1/5 the amount of sugar the recipe asked for) and although delicious (albeit still too sweet) it’s more of a sauce than a jam.

    I was wondering if the sugar not only helped preserve but also set it?

    I also added Jamsetta & a bit of citric acid. Yet still runny.

    Any ideas?

  35. Aly Petulla says:

    I made this today with 100g Rapdura and 1.5g of citrus pectin (as well as the agar agar). It’s fantastic! My husband loves it and has decided we’re better off making smaller quantities more frequently if it means he tastes the fruit that much! It was his first introduction to Rapdura and I think he’s hooked! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Nadine Gillett says:

      Hi, did you make your own citrus pectin? I remember making marmalade at school and adding the the pips to cooking wrapped in cloth….
      I was given a bag full of cumquats and itching to try the same thing 🙂
      Thanks

  36. Anonymous says:

    I unfortunately don’t have a Thermie and was wondering how this would work on the stove top??

  37. Jo Whitton says:

    Catching up with questions!

    Anon: You could make this in a pot on the stove, stirring with a wooden spoon.

    Aly: That’s what I love about it – being able to taste the fruit, and how quick it is to make!

    Felicia: The agar agar sets this jam – in regular jam you need all that sugar to set it and preserve it. You can’t really put this jam in the cupboard as it doesn’t last because of the lack of sugar, so keep small batches in the fridge and just make more often.

    Anon: Well done!

    Katrina: Grapes would be lovely 🙂

    Girlpower: Any fruit that is blandly sweet would need a tsp of lemon juice – eg. mango 🙂

    Cassie: This jam won’t last as long as it doesn’t have the sugar to preserve it, so you can’t really keep it in the cupboard, it will go mouldy. 1 month in the fridge is about the limit.

  38. TNT says:

    I just used about 600g fresh mulberries and two apples with this recipe. 2 dates for sweetness. No sugar. Oh and about a handful of fresh strawberries. Fruit was from mums garden. Threw it in, blended a few seconds then cooked as per above recipe… I wasn’t aiming for a jam, but more of a stewed fruit purée to add to yoghurt and use in chia pudding for the kids for school and daycare. I put it in 70ml baby food containers (bpa free) in trays. Three trays of eight were frozen for future use. Three in fridge for now use and made some chia pudding with this and coconut water. Yummo! Couldn’t believe it set so well like a jam before I got it to the freezer! Happy happy! Thanks Jo for your brilliant ideas!

  39. Bec says:

    Thank you for this recipe. I have so many nectarines and wasn’t sure what do do with them. Have just used some to make a batch of Jam and it is awesome. I think I will be making my own Jam from now on.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Made it with grapes off my own vine & YUM!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Does it keep only for a month once it’s opened or in total??
    Thank u so much for a great recipe.

  42. […] the chia such a lovely colour, but it will taste fine without. Try stirring in some homemade (sugar free) strawberry jam instead – my friend Emma suggested this, and it’s delicious!!   – Try a coconut […]

  43. […] have some raw veges (pg 78 of my cookbook), homemade cranberry sauce to go with turkey (use my jam recipe for this, with frozen cranberries, swapping the agar for gelatine), and paleo bread rolls made […]

  44. Nicole says:

    I am making peach and apple jam but it just doesn’t seem to be setting I have put in nearly double the amount of recommended gelatine. I live rurally so there is very limited selection in local supermarket, only one type of gelatine available. What can I do?

  45. Angela says:

    Hi Jo,
    When you suggest to store an abundance of the fruit in the freezer in 500gm batches for later use for jam, should it be cooked first, or just put in as is? I have a few figs to get through..
    Also, when you say ‘when jam is set put into jars’ does that mean when you get the desired wrinkling when you press it and then fill jars straight up out of thermie, or do you leave in thermie for a bit to ‘set’ Many thanks, for your recipes, and your time to reply. Really appreciate it. xx

  46. Sarah says:

    This is a lovely jam. I made it using a mix of strawverries and rosella’s. It turned out wonderfully with the perfect amout of sweet/tart ratio. Definitely using it again.

    • Jo Whitton says:

      Hi Sarah, that’s wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for letting us know. Very happy that you enjoyed it! 🙂

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