Jam Recipes w/o all the Sugar? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 06-13-2007, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

Could you all share some of your alternative jam recipes? Meaning, is there any way to do this without mounds of white sugar? The strawberries are here and I'm ready for my first full season on preserving....

Thanks!
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#2 of 20 Old 06-13-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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Another MDC member has a fabulous site and she has a sugar free recipe for strawberry jam on it. Here's a link: http://cookingnt.blogspot.com/2006/0...berry-jam.html

It's a freezer jam, I don't know if it could be preserved with canning or not.

Jessica, wife of Marc and Momma to Nikolai (10) and Nathaniel (9) and Olivia (3).
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#3 of 20 Old 06-13-2007, 12:15 PM
 
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You can buy things like sure jell and use their recipes for lower sugar jam, or like the pp said, do a freezer jam, but you cannot make sugarless jam in canning jars. Sugar is required for safety, basically the high sugar/pectin content keeps the water content low enough so bacteria cannot grow. So either make freezer jam (that only lasts for a couple months at most I think), or use a pectin product and use their lower sugar recipes, but remember never to adjust a recipe for canning, it's important the recipe is followed exactly for safety reasons.
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#4 of 20 Old 06-13-2007, 12:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
You can buy things like sure jell and use their recipes for lower sugar jam, or like the pp said, do a freezer jam, but you cannot make sugarless jam in canning jars. Sugar is required for safety, basically the high sugar/pectin content keeps the water content low enough so bacteria cannot grow. So either make freezer jam (that only lasts for a couple months at most I think), or use a pectin product and use their lower sugar recipes, but remember never to adjust a recipe for canning, it's important the recipe is followed exactly for safety reasons.
That's good info to know....thanks!

Jessica, wife of Marc and Momma to Nikolai (10) and Nathaniel (9) and Olivia (3).
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#5 of 20 Old 06-13-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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but in the store they sell jam sweetened with apple juice. there must be a way to make it without using refined white sugar.

i'm really interested because this year is going to be my first year making apricot jam and i was planning on using apple juice.

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#6 of 20 Old 06-13-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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so, i found these links at this website: http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/hgic3200.htm

and the pp was totally correct about sugar being a needed preservative and being needed for jelling. it seems like these mostly use artificial sweeteners (while i'm interested in fruit juice sweeteners) but it's a place to start.

it took some time but i found the info after googling sugar free preserves recipe. the second item down, extension.tennessee.edu/publications/spfiles/SP325-F.pdf
also had some good info.

Check out the following web sites for information on making jams without sugar.

www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can7_jam_jelly.html
www.splenda.com or call 1-800-7-SPLENDA
www.equal.com or call 1-800-323-5316
www.sweetnlow.com


Information on pectin for making sugar-free or low sugar jellied products can be found at these sites:

www.homecanning.com
www.kraftfoods.com/surejell/
www.mrswages.com
www.pomonapectin.com

good luck!

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#7 of 20 Old 06-13-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
You can buy things like sure jell and use their recipes for lower sugar jam, or like the pp said, do a freezer jam, but you cannot make sugarless jam in canning jars.
That's actually not true. I have made sugarless jams in canning jars without any problem. They can't be wax-sealed like sugar jams, but that's not a big deal.

Check out Pomona Pectin. I get this at the HFS and it is the only pectin I use because I don't have to use tons of white sugar. It gives you the option of "Low Sugar or Honey", "All Fruit", "Artificial Sweetener". It also tells you how to go about developing your own recipes. Sure, it's not as cut-and-dry as other pectins because you're removing the sugar, but it's not that difficult either.

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#8 of 20 Old 06-16-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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I'm going to try the strawberry freezer jam this weekend from jessicas post. Anyone know if you can use the same recipe for raspberry jam?

And how long does freezer jam keep? Do you just freeze it in little jars with room for expansion? Never done a freezer jam before!

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#9 of 20 Old 06-16-2007, 10:02 PM
 
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Well, what I guess I meant was, you can't just go making jam without sugar and no pectin product and can it and have a safe product. I don't make jam with artificial sweetners, and I do use pectin products for low sugar jams, but making no sugar jam and just using juice won't work unless you have a recipe for it. In the case of using pectin, the pectin is what makes your product safe. As for making jam with juice, I am sure it can be done (but then juice IS sugar), but the thing is the jams that you can buy in the store use a completely different and more effective canning method. So they are safe. You can make freezer jam sugar free, not a problem, but when you go canning for long term storage you need to be sure you are using a tested recipe and not just guessing, as there is a science to it. And low sugar still means you are using sugar, same with honey, it's still sugar in the end. I have seen recipes for honey jam, just be sure to use a recipe.
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#10 of 20 Old 06-16-2007, 10:34 PM
 
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First time poster in this forum....

I just did a big batch of low sugar strawberry freezer jam today using the low sugar Sure Gel pectin. I don't know how it turned out because it's still setting.

I am curious about the apple juice sweetner.....don't apples have pectin in them?

BTW - according to the Sure Gel insert, you can keep freezer jam in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or freeze it for up to a year.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#11 of 20 Old 06-16-2007, 11:05 PM
 
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yes, apples have pectin, apple juice not so much. You can use NO-sugar pectin (pink package) for no sugar jam, but it does require splenda. You can use juice to make jam, there are recipes out there, but they still require sugar or splenda, at least all the ones I have seen.
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#12 of 20 Old 06-17-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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i just checked the pomona pectin site and it lists all sorts of sweeteners that can be used but doesn't require splenda or any other sweetener to gel, just calcium ions.

it seems like it might be fairly difficult to get but you can order it on-line.

i've never done jams before but i think i'm going to try the freezer jam if there is any good fruits at the farmer's market on tuesday.

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#13 of 20 Old 06-17-2007, 01:31 PM
 
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I've seen pomona pectin in health food stores.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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#14 of 20 Old 06-17-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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I did this yesterday AM:

4 c mashed berries (measure AFTER mashing)
1 c apple juice
1 pkg low sugar pectin
1/2 t stevia

Mix all in pot, bring to boil, boil for 5 mins. Fill hot jars & seal jars, process in canner.

It turned out AWESOME. I have diabetes, so I'm always trying to make stuff w/stevia instead of splenda or the other chemicals.
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#15 of 20 Old 06-19-2007, 02:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay. I found Ball low/no sugar pectin, and last night I made a batch. It had a sugar guidelines chart for artificial sweeteners and honey. I did:

4 cups mashed strawberries
1 package low sugar pectin
1 cup unsweetened apple juice ( I think you have to use this)
1 cup honey (optional)

It turned out great. We're just processing a batch of regular recipe jam with all 7 cups of sugar, to compare and contrast. I have no problem with a little sugar but 7 cups??? We'll see....

So, another question....Is there some sort of problem or something less desirable about using commerical pectin and their recipes? Is it more ideal or healthy to not use them at all? And if so, what's your recipe?

Thanks. Looking forward to a summer of striving for jam-making perfection!
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#16 of 20 Old 06-19-2007, 09:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmomma View Post
I did this yesterday AM:

4 c mashed berries (measure AFTER mashing)
1 c apple juice
1 pkg low sugar pectin
1/2 t stevia

Mix all in pot, bring to boil, boil for 5 mins. Fill hot jars & seal jars, process in canner.

It turned out AWESOME. I have diabetes, so I'm always trying to make stuff w/stevia instead of splenda or the other chemicals.
Did you use liquid stevia?

TIA!
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#17 of 20 Old 06-20-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahuva View Post
So, another question....Is there some sort of problem or something less desirable about using commerical pectin and their recipes? Is it more ideal or healthy to not use them at all? And if so, what's your recipe?
I suppose i depends on what you mean by "commercial pectin". The pectin that I can buy in any grocery store is usually one of a couple mainstream brands. I happen to have a box of MCP sitting here that my grandmother gave me. It's ingredients list: Dextrose, Fruit Pectin, Citric Acid.

The box of Pomona's Universal Pectin reads: Low methoxyl citrus pectin and monocalcium phosphate (packed separately).

Personally I'd rather use the latter... adding Dextrose to my jams is not something I'd rather do. And making a jam that is 50%+ sugar is also something I'd rather not do. I much prefer the Pomona's because I can adjust the amount of sugar to the sweetness of the fruit and still expect it to gel... the pectin is reacting to the presence of the monocalcium phosphate, not the presence of sugar.

As to making jams without pectin alltogether... that's a lot of work. More than I really want to put into the matter.

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#18 of 20 Old 06-21-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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Another vote for Pomona's!!

You can also give them a call and give them a regular recipe and they will help you convert it. It is so yummy because the jam actually tastes like fruit instead of sugar!! I have noticed that once the jar is opened it doesn't last as long as jam made with regular amts of sugar - it will mold faster. But it is so good that I usually just eat it right away. I also try to can it in smaller jars since I noticed that.

~~Mama to DS1 6/05 and DS2 12/07~~
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#19 of 20 Old 06-25-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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I can get Pomona's for $2.70/box if anyone is interested. I'd run a coop for it but I don't know how much interest there'd be (I'm about to close the coop I'm currently running).
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#20 of 20 Old 06-25-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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I've seen Pomona's at Whole Foods. I've also called them directly and they were super helpful and nice.

It's so neat to read about so many people interested in making jam. How cool!

B.
Mama to : July '06
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