How To Make Low Sugar Healthy Strawberry Jam Without Pectin

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This healthy strawberry jam recipe is low sugar, no pectin, and absolutely delicious! Strawberry jam is a MUST stock item in our house as my kids devour it! Because they eat so much of it, I wanted to make sure it is as healthy as it could be. This recipe uses natural sources of pectin so the sugar content can stay low, which means they can eat until their little hearts are full!

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What Makes This ‘Healthy’ Strawberry Jam?

Normal jam recipes have a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar. That means for this quantity of jam, you would be putting in 8 CUPS OF SUGAR! For only making 4-5 half pint jars, that would be a TON of sugar! Talk about a glucose spike!

This recipe also uses lemon juice or apple as a natural pectin source. This allows you to be more self-sufficient. There’s no to worry about spending the extra money on a box of pectin, going to the store for the pectin, or relying on being able to get pectin in the first place! Boxed pectin is also a man made ingredient (we prefer God made), with additives, unsafe growing practices, and requires a lot of sugar be added in order to set your jam.

Healthy Strawberry Jam Troubleshooting

An important aspect of a good jam is its consistency. If your jam doesn’t set up, you may think it’s trashed or must be used as a syrup instead. Follow these tips below to avoid a loose jam in the first place and know how to fix it if you do get a runny consistency.

Frozen Spoon Test

First off, in order to check the consistency of your jam before it gets jarred up, do a quick setting test after the recommended boiling time. To do this, place a metal spoon in the freezer before you get started with the jam making process. After boiling, drip a few drops onto the frozen spoon. If it runs off the spoons surface quickly, it needs more time in the pot. If it slowly drips or doesn’t run at all, it’s safe to pour into your jars and move on to the next step. Jams typically don’t set until it’s cooled completely so the frozen spoon allows that process to happen quickly and test the jam while it’s hot!

How To Fix A Runny Jam

If you process your jam, allow it to cool, and still find that it’s loose, simply open all the jars and dump them back into the pot. Bring to a boil again for another 5 minutes and try the setting test again. If still loose, you may need to add more of your pectin source before processing the jars again.

How To Make Healthy Strawberry Jam

You Will Need:

  • 8 Cups hulled and washed strawberries
  • 3 Cups organic cane sugar
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Or 1 medium apple, grated, in place of the lemon zest and juice


  1. Wash and sterilize 4-5 half pint jars, lids and rings. How many jars you are able to fill will depend on how long the boiling period goes for your particular batch, and thus how much liquid is boiled off. I always prepare more jars, rather than less. Start your water bath canner on a medium heat.
  2. Make sure your strawberries are hulled (remove the greenies) and washed before measuring out 8 cups. Place the strawberries in a pot over medium heat. Allow them to heat for a few seconds before you begin to mash them. Consistency is entirely preference. Mash more for less strawberry bits and a looser jam, or mash less for more of a preserve with delicious strawberry chunks.
  3. Add sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice to your strawberries. Stir to combine and allow to come to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent the sugar from scorching.
  4. After it begins to boil, turn down the heat to medium and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. After 20 minutes, check your jam using the frozen spoon method mentioned above. If it hasn’t set after being on the frozen spoon, allow it to boil for another few minutes before doing a second test. Once set, it’s time to move on to jarring up the jam!
  6. Place your sterilized jars on a dish cloth next to your pot of jam. Using a canning funnel, spoon the jam into the jars until there is about a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe down the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth. Place the lids on and twist the rings until just finger tight.
  7. Place your jars into the water bath canner, filling so the water is a few inches about the jars, and set to high heat. Once it begins to boil, set your timer for 10 minutes. Make sure it always stays at a constant boil and the water level is always above the jars.
  8. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water bath and place onto a clean towel. Allow the jars to sit for at least 12 hours before checking the seals, labeling, and placing in storage. Any jars that don’t seal can be placed in the fridge to be used within a month.

That’s all there is to it folks! We hope you enjoy this healthy strawberry jam recipe as much as we do and find it as a good alternative for the sugar loaded, synthetic filled options on the market!

Happy Jammin!

Healthy Strawberry Jam – Low Sugar, No Pectin!

Ditch the massive amounts of sugar and store bought pectin in this low sugar, no pectin healthy strawberry jam recipe that is absolutely delicious!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Servings: 4 Half Pints



  • 8 c. Strawberries, hulled and washed
  • 3 c Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1/4 c Lemon Juice
  • Zest From 2 Lemons


  • Place your washed and hulled strawberries in the pot and turn on to high heat. Mash the strawberries with a potato masher until at desired consistency.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar to the pot and allow it to come to a boil.
  • Once boiling, turn down the heat to medium and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Test your jam using the frozen spoon method mentioned above.
  • Fill jars with the jam, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
  • Wipe the rim of the jars with a damp cloth, place on lids and rings to finger tight, and place in water bath canner.
  • Fill water level to 1-2 inches above jars, bring to a rolling boil before setting a timer for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, turn off heat and allow jars to rest for a few minutes before removing from the water bath and setting onto a towel. Allow to rest for at least 12 hours before labeling and storing.

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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