I promised recipes, and here is the first one.
After canning Apricot Jam with my Mom, I decided to try a Diabetic-friendly version using mixed berries and Sucralose. This cuts down on the amount of processed sugar, and in portions, does not increase my blood sugar.
This particular jam can be made for canning and long term storage, or it can be chilled and used immediately. I made five jars and sealed them so that I could keep them for a long length of time.
2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries
4 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup sucralose, or other artificial sweetener
1 cup of water
5 half-pint jars with rings
5 NEW lids
Large stock pot
If you are planning to can, we are using a hot-packing method, so begin by placing your jars in the oven at 200 degrees, we will leave them in there until we are ready to use them. Leave the ring and the lids aside for later use.
Begin by pouring your mixed berries, strawberries and water into your large stockpot. Mix in your artificial sweetener. Heat your berries at a medium to medium – high heat until they are just at a boil. Turn your heat down to let the berries simmer, stirring frequently and let the berries reduce to a thick gooey consistency. (With this recipe, I found that after reduction, I had a soupy consistency, so I added a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken the juice.) The reduction should take about an hour.
If you are not canning, you can chill the jam at this stage and enjoy!
When your jam reaches the appropriate consistency, start heating your lids. You can do this by filling a small pan with water and heating the lids on low – medium heat. DO NOT BOIL! Allow the lids to heat through and leave in the hot water until you are finished filling your jars.
Now it’s time to begin the actual canning process. Begin by moving one of your hot jars from the oven. Insert your canning funnel, and slowly pour in your hot jam. Watch for temperature consistency, if the jam begins to sizzle when it is poured into the jar, your jar is too hot. If the jar cracks without sizzling, the jar is not hot enough. Fill the jar to the ridge line, a little less is fine, a little more will affect the seal.
After your jar is filled, take one of the hot lids and place it on top. Tighten the jars ring and set the jar aside to cool. Continue the filling process until all of your jars are filled, lids are on and rings are tightened. When you hear your jars POP you will know that the seal is complete, and your jam is good to go!
All that’s left is to clean up and enjoy your homemade sugar-free jam!