This sugar-free berry jam recipe is easy, healthy, and most delicious! This Dreena Burton plant-based recipe is a favorite, make it anytime of the year.
Sugar-free jam is one of the easiest things you can make – really!
And with an abundance of local berries now, this is the best time to make my sugar-free jam.
But, not the only time.
Since this recipe works equally well with frozen berries, you can make this delicious, healthy jam any time of the year.
I tend to make either blueberry jam or strawberry jam. Of course, you can use any berries you like, and combine them as well. To me, raspberries benefit from being combined with strawberries. Likewise, blackberries combine very well with blueberries.
When using frozen berries, they can be a little trickier to measure. If you can get sliced frozen strawberries, they are easier to measure than whole or halved frozen berries. That’s because the smaller pieces are easier to measure, especially when frozen.
But that’s just a small thing to keep in mind. This is quite a flexible recipe.
In that, if you measure generous on the berries, it will be a-ok! It’s not like baking where measurements need to be quite precise. So, just have fun with it!
As you know reading the title of this post, there is no added sugar in this jam.
I know that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have natural sugars. Yes, it does, from the fruits. There is no added sugar or sweetener.
Sugar-Free Jam: Natural Sweetness
The sweetness in this recipe comes from the berries, and also from chopped dates!
The beauty of using dates in this sugar-free jam is that they also lend thickening. There is a small amount of chia seeds for thickening as well, but the dates have their role here.
The other thing I highly recommend in this jam… the lemon zest!
Ohhhh, I am a huge fan of using citrus zest in dishes. Guys, it boosts the flavors, elevates them, highlights them!
Use zest from organic citrus. Since we don’t always have organic citrus on hand, I share a trick:
Tip: What I try to do is zest the organic lemons/oranges when I have them on hand, then store in small containers in the freezer. I don’t always have organic lemons and oranges. So, when I do, I collect the zest (using a kitchen rasp) so I can have that to use when I don’t have the organic lemons, limes, or oranges at the ready. Plus, it’s super handy to just take a few pinches of zest from the container when making a recipe.
That’s about it, my friends!
Give this jam a try. I know you’ll really enjoy it! x Dreena
Recipe reprinted from Plant-Powered Families by Dreena Burton.
Natural Berry Jam
- 3 – 3 1/2 cups (roughly 1 lb) whole blueberries (can substitute raspberries, sliced/chopped strawberries, or a combination of the three; see note)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pitted dates see note
- 2-3 pinches sea salt
- 2 tsp ground black or white chia seeds
- 1/2 – 1 tsp lemon zest to taste
- Extra sweetener to taste optional; see note
- Combine the berries, dates, and sea salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Allow the mixture to heat up so the fruit breaks down and begins to bubble, then reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer until the fruits break down further, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chia and lemon zest, and let cook for another 3–5 minutes until the chia helps the jam thicken.
- Taste, and add extra sweetener if desired. Let cool, then refrigerate. Makes about 1 3/4 – 2 cups.
Photos by Nicole Axworthy.