Preserve low- and no-sugar jams and jellies

Enjoy jams and jellies even if you have diabetes or are just watching the amount of sugar and calories you are consuming. There are four ways to make low and no-sugar jams and jellies.

Is there anything better than fresh homemade jam on bread? You can enjoy jellied products even though you have diabetes or are trying to watch the amount of sugar and calories you consume. You simply need to use methods that require little or no sugar to make your jellied goods.

Sugar is the main ingredient that safely preserves most jellied products. Jams, jellies and preserves made with so much sugar are often not a preferred choice if you have diabetes or you just want a low- or no-sugar choice.  The good news is that there are special pectins and recipes designed to make jellied products with little or no added sugar.

Low- and no- sugar jellied products cannot be made by leaving the sugar out of regular jam and jelly recipes. Use one of following four methods to make your low and no sugar jellied products:

  1. Look for packages of jellied products at the grocery store that say “light”, “less sugar” or “no sugar needed” on the label. Very specific directions for making these kinds of jams and jellies are in the directions on the package insert.
  2. Using regular pectin and adding an artificial sweetener.   You must use a special recipe for this .Regular pectin does contain some sugar so this would not be completely “sugar free.”
  3. Unflavored gelatin can be used as a thickener for jellied products using specific recipes.  Artificial sweeteners may be added if you so choose.
  4. Boiling fruit pulp until the pulp thickens will resemble a jam.  You can also add a sugar substitute if you want.

Follow directions closely when making any kind of jelly product.  Not following directions may get you into trouble.  The jam or jelly may not set when directions are not carefully followed.

Some no-sugar jellied products need to be processed longer in a boiling water bath and some need to be kept in a refrigerator. Process your jellied products as directed in the recipe.

If your jam or jelly has mold, throw it out. Low or no-sugar jellied products and those that were improperly processed are more likely to ferment because of yeast growth. Throw anything out that is fermented.

Low and no sugar jams and jellies are not crystal clear like those made with sugar, but they still have a wonderful flavor. You can make a wide variety of jellied products from Michigan’s fresh fruits and vegetables for your enjoyment now and in the cold Michigan months.

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