I’ve never been a big fan of jam. It’s always so sickly sweet that I feel like I’m just eating flavored sugar from a jar. My partner, on the other hand, loves it. But since kicking the refined sugar, jam has been crossed off the ‘can-eat’ list and dumped into the ‘no-go-zone’.
So I thought about it and researched a whole lot of recipes on other blogs to get some inspiration for a sugar-free jam. Most of them just replaced the sugar with artificial sweetener (after a trip to Coles I decided no sugar-free jam is worth the artificial price tag) and the ones that didn’t, used artificial pectin as a thickener. I don’t know about you, but when I’m eating food, I like to know there aren’t a whole lot of artificial ingredients messing around with it.
I could have used Gelatin, but, well…we all remember the time in primary school when we discovered what those innocent Jelly cups REALLY had in them.
AND THEN I FOUND IT!
I heard of this thing called ‘Agar Agar’ – some weird ingredient that is used in asian cooking. Derived from a form of seaweed, it’s completely plant based and is equivalent to the ratio of 1:8 when compared to gelatin. It’s so cool that it even has small amounts of vitamins and minerals that your body needs (iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium etc) and can even help with weight loss! (WHAATTT??).
Although it does give a different consistency (a firmer rather than a ‘creamy’ jelly), when used in proportion to the rest of the ingredients, it’s pretty much the same thing.
So I tried it, and it worked out pretty well. For those of you who are looking for a less ‘sickly-sweet’ spread and more of a fruity jam with a subtle tang and sweetness then this is for you! I made it with strawberries and vanilla, but any fruit would work. For example:
- Peaches and vanilla
- Vanilla Mango
- Orange Marmalade
- Raspberry and Rhubarb
- ANY OTHER FLAVOR COMBINATION
A quick google search of ‘good jam flavors’ will give a good idea of just how unlimited the choices are. The blog ‘Not Quite Nigella’ actually has a bacon jam recipe – so if you’re keen for that, that’s a thing.
The only negative with this sugar-free jam is because there’s no sugar, the jam isn’t preserved, therefore, you’ve got about a week or two before it’s no longer good to eat. But if you’re an avid jam connoisseur, chances are, it won’t last that long anyway 😉