This easy homemade strawberry jam has only one ingredient necessary (bet you can’t guess what it is!), and is so healthy you won’t mind your kids heaping it on their sandwiches!
Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam.
Canning and making jams and preserves has always been intriguing to me. I love fermenting veggies, but for some reason the making of jams and such has always seemed so much more complicated to me. I admit, I’m super lazy when it comes to foods and if a recipe has a bunch of steps I automatically skip over it. But recently I found myself with no strawberry jam for my kids sourdough sandwiches and no desire to go shopping (I never have that desire). So off to the internet I went in search of a simple way to supply this staple to my family without leaving the house.
Now all the recipes I found online had sugar. Lots of sugar. And I hate adding lots of sugar to anything, let alone something that’s naturally sweet like strawberries! So I endeavored to create a jam with little to no sweetener added. Here, my friends, is my offering: easy homemade strawberry jam with only 1 ingredient. And that ingredient is strawberries. The end. No sugar necessary, though I’m also gonna give y’all instructions for adding a little, if you want.
Like I said, strawberries is all you need. You can use either fresh or frozen here. No need to be super specific. I actually usually just use frozen cause then I can stockpile and always have them on hand when I need to make some jam for the fam. I like to get organic, and I usually get them from Aldi. If you don’t have an Aldi near you, you can literally use whatever strawberries you want. Nobody cares more than you do.
If I add sweetener, I use organic coconut sugar from Azure Standard. I started out adding 1/3 of a cup to 24 ounces of strawberries, and gradually cut back on that amount to see the difference it made in the final product. While using a little sugar does change the final texture of the strawberry jam, my family unanimously agreed that they liked the jam better without the sweetener!
If you’re going for a thicker, stickier jam, add a little sweetener. Four tablespoons seemed to be the perfect amount to get a good thick, sticky texture without overwhelming the strawberry flavor with sugariness.
If you don’t care about the texture, but just want some healthy strawberry spread for your bread or whatever, leave the sugar out. The end result will be more like a thick syrupy jam.
Homemade strawberry jam by steps.
Step 1 – Canning jars. First off, though it’s not really a cooking tip, per se, you absolutely NEED to make sure you have good canning jars with canning lids for this recipe! You cannot make strawberry jam that is shelf stable without them. If you just plan on using your jam within a few days, you can forgo the canning jars. But I like to make a few jars at a time (a 24 ounce bag of strawberries usually makes 2 – 12 ounces jars of jam), so I can one and stick the other straight into the fridge for use.
If you’re planning on canning (it rhymes! ha!) stick your clean jar(s) on a cookie sheet and place into a cold oven. After your jars are in there, turn the oven on as low as you can get it. I do 150F. Let your jars stay in there the entire time your making your jam. This will help not only sterilize them, but it will also help suction the lids on once the jam is in there.
Step 2 – The mush stage. The first stage of making the jam is to slowly cook down the fruit to a mushy, syrupy consistency (see above picture). This needs to be done on low heat to prevent burning and to get a nice syrup. Cooking the strawberries on high to get it done faster won’t produce the same result. So just do low and slow. I usually dump the berries in the pot and just leave them there for like an hour (thought it doesn’t necessarily take that long, especially if you’re using fresh berries). If you’re using sugar, it will be added in at the same time as the strawberries.
Step 3 – The texture stage. After the mushy, syrupy consistency is reached, the next step is to get the mushy mixture to the desired chunkiness or smoothness for your family. My family likes their jam to have mushes of strawberries in it, so I pour the strawberry mixture into the blender and just pulse it a couple of times to leave some chunks. If your family likes really smooth jam, you’re gonna want to puree the mixture. Of course, you don’t have to use a blender, you can just mash the strawberries with a fork or potato masher.
Step 4 – The boiling stage. Once your strawberry mixture is the desired consistency, pour it back into the same pot and turn the heat up to medium. You want to bring it to a boil to thicken up some. You’ll know it’s done when you can scrape your finger (or another spoon – it is hot!) across a spoon you’ve dipped into the mixture and the scraped part leaves a clear trail (see above picture). Once you reach this point, you can turn off the heat and let your strawberries sit while you get your jars out of the oven.
Step 5 – Canning. As soon as your jam is done cooking, take your jars out of the oven and set them on the stove or counter. Carefully spoon or pour your hot jam into your hot jars. As soon as you can, screw your lids on all the way. Do not use plastic lids!!! Please, use metal so you don’t get potentially melted lids. Leave your jammed jars there on the counter until they are completely cool. The lids should suction and not be “poppable” on top when they’re done.
In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam
Free from gluten, grain, diary, eggs, with sugar-free option.
- 24 ounces* fresh or frozen strawberries (please use organic if you can!)
- 2-6 tablespoons of coconut sugar
If using fresh strawberries, remove leaves and stems and wash well.
Place clean canning jars** on a cookie sheet in the oven and turn on to 150F or lowest setting. Set metal canning lids aside on the counter for later.
In medium-sized saucepan, heat strawberries over low heat until they begin turning mushy and a syrup begins to form on the bottom of the pot. If using sugar, it will go in at the same time as the strawberries. Stir the strawberries every so often so they all get heated and turn to mush.
When you have a good few tablespoons of syrup on the bottom of the pot and all the strawberries are soft enough that you can smash them with a fork, pour strawberries into the blender and pulse to the texture you want.
Pour mashed strawberries back into the same saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to keep the mixture from burning. When the mixture is cooked thick enough to coat a spoon and leave a trail when you scrape across it, then it’s done!
Remove pot from the heat and let the mixture cool a minute while you remove your jars from the oven.
Ladle/pour the strawberry jam into the hot jars.
Screw lids on all the way while the jam is still hot and set your jars on the counter to cool completely.***
Store in the fridge or in a cabinet.
*A whole 24 ounces is not necessary. Just note that to fill a 12 ounce-sized canning jar you need at least 12 ounces of strawberries. So 24 ounces of strawberries will get you 2 – 12 ounce jars of jam.
**Please don’t use jars that aren’t made for canning! They will not withstand the pressure of heating and suctioning. Believe me, you don’t want to waste your jam (or your jars).
***If you stick the hot jars into the fridge they will crack! Don’t ask me how I know….
Need more healthy condiments? Check out these other DIY ones!