fresh or frozen low sugar jam recipe made with mixed berries
This recipe includes Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries & Blackberries!!
Low Sugar Mixed Berry Jam is my All-Time Favorite! I use less expensive strawberries and blueberries with the more expensive raspberries and blackberries to make a delicious blend of flavors. You may use Fresh or Frozen Berries in any combination.
This jam recipe is perfect for biscuits, rolls and peanut butter & jam sandwiches! It is also beautifully delicious on pancakes, waffles and French Toast!
I love freezing all these berries in the summer when they are at the peak of harvest and then making jam in the fall and winter.
I rarely have the time to make jams in the summer with all the other busy gardening, household and homestead activities.
I do make time to freeze all these berries as they ripen in the summer but then I wait until fall when the days are cooler, as this seems to be the perfect time, to make jam.
Here is an easy way to Freeze Summer Berries
Combining all 4 of these berries makes a super delicious Low Sugar Mixed Berry Jam Recipe. I am able to grow Fort Laramie Strawberries, at 7000 feet but need to buy the blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Freezing berries simply buys time with regard to preserving the freshness and quality of these berries especially raspberries. Soft fruits like raspberries are delicate and do not have a long shelf life.
It is important to freeze or process raspberries within a day or two of picking or purchasing as they will quickly mold and lose their quality.
Blueberries, Blackberries and Strawberries are firmer berries. Blueberries being the firmest then Strawberries and Blackberries. All of three of these berries will hold their quality a little longer. It is very important though, to process or freeze your berries as soon as possible to maintain their superior food quality and their freshness factor.
So, quickly freezing any type of berry is extremely important. Once your berries are frozen, then you have the freedom to turn them into jam at your convenience. Fast forward to fall…..
I make our Mixed Berry Jam Recipe with Low Sugar. I love having the berry flavor without all the sugar. So, our Low Sugar Mixed Berry Jam is more like a berry spread. I usually reduce the sugar by one half by using a low sugar pectin. The recipe that I follow works well with a variety of amounts of sugar as well as a sugar substitute.
I opt to use pectin instead of the no pectin method. The no pectin method relies on the natural pectin in the fruit which is a binding and thickening agent. In order to utilize this natural pectin, the fruit or berries need to be boiled down to thicken the jam.
My favorite pectin for this low sugar recipe is Mrs Wages Lite Fruit Pectin I have found this pectin to be the easiest to use when I want a low sugar jam or more of a fruit spread.
I prefer to boil the berries for the least amount of time possible to preserve the natural goodness of the fruit. The longer anything is processed, the more nutrients are lost. So, the shorter the processing time, the more nutrients that are preserved.
It is important to always follow the suggested processing times for water bath canning and pressure canning. Never reduce those times.
But for jams that will be stored in the refrigerator, I boil my berries for the least amount of time possible. This Mixed Berry Jam comes out brightly colored and fresh tasting!
Breakfast Ideas that are perfect with Mixed Berry Jam!
Here is the simple recipe:
Please read all the way through this recipe with the instructions to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients, supplies and equipment. You will need to have everything handy and ready prior to beginning your jam.
◊You will need 10 to 12 cups of whole fresh or frozen berries.
◊This will equal 5 cups of prepared berries. I prefer to keep some of my berries semi-whole so I do not smash them into a puree as I like some pieces of berry in our jam.
◊One package of Mrs Wage Lite Pectin is the brand I use for this Low Sugar Mixed Berry Jam Recipe
◊Sugar: either 1, 2, 3 or 4 cups of sugar depending on how sweet you want your jam. Any of these amounts will work.
◊5 Half Pint Size Canning Jars with lids or 4-10 ounce jars with lids
- large stainless kettle
- wooden spoon
- canning funnel
- dinner plate
- clean jars and lids
Clean and sort berries. Remember you may use any combination of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries that you would like. You may even use all red berries or all blueberries or blackberries. I love the combine all of these berries in equal amounts.
Measure out 2 1/2 cups of each of the berries for a total of 8 cups. These berries can be fresh or frozen. I freeze all my summer berries for fall jam making so I have all frozen berries.
Next, gather all other ingredients: you will need 8 to 10 cups of whole fruit.
- Measure approximately 2 1/2 cups of each of your berries and pour into a 8 qt kettle.
- Let your frozen berries thaw and then mash slightly with a potato masher.
- If you are using fresh berries, slice the strawberries and then mash slightly with all other berries.
- Mix the entire packet of Mrs Wages Lite Pectin into the berry mixture with a wooden spoon and set aside for a few minutes.
- Measure the amount of sugar you have decided to use in a separate measuring cups. I use 2 cups of organic cane sugar which makes more of a fruit spread. Adjust your sugar amount to your taste.
- Keep this sugar handy and close by.
Now, make sure to have the following items, washed, clean and ready to go:
- Ladle, dinner plate, canning funnel and your canning jars or jelly jars with lids.
- I like to wash my jars and lids in warm, soapy water and then rinse them. After that, I place them in a large kettle of water. Bring this kettle of water to a boil and gently boil the jars and lids for at least 5 minutes. Allow the jars and lids to remain in the hot water until you are ready to fill them with the hot jam.
- If I am making simple refrigerator jam, I just use clean jars that will be stored for a short period of time in the refrigerator. I like to make fresh individual batches on an as needed basis but,
- You may want to hot water bath your jam if you plan on storing your jars of jam on the pantry shelf.
Have your ladle, dinner plate, canning funnel and jars close to your work area as in the photo below.
The Process of making the Jam:
◊Bring the berry and pectin mixture to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Do not leave this mixture unattended on the stove as it will burn very quickly. Stir constantly!
◊Watch closely for the berry mixture to come to a gentle boil being careful to not the mixture splatter on to your hands. This mixture will sputter and pop so remove pan temporarily from heat to avoid getting burned by the splattering.
◊Once the berry mixture comes to a boil, quickly pour the entire pre-measured amount of sugar into the pan with the berries while stirring constantly.
◊Bring this berry, pectin and sugar mixture to a boil while stirring constantly
◊Once the mixture starts to boil, set a timer for exactly one minute
◊Reduce heat slightly to maintain a rolling boil but it does not need to be on high as this only boils hard for one minute
◊After boiling for one minute, remove the jam from the heat.
Ladling into Clean Jars:
◊Move the hot jam to an easy area on your counter where you can safely ladle the hot jam into your clean jars
◊Place your clean jar on the dinner plate or cutting board. I place my plate and jar right next to the kettle of jam so it is easy to ladle into the canning funnel and right into the jars.
- Once all your jars are filled, carefully wipe off any drips or spills from the edges of each of the jars.
- Next, place all lids on your jars and screw on firmly. If you are planning to Hot Water Bath your jars of jam, jump down to the Hot Water Bath Process:
- Place the hot jars of jam in a draft free area on your counter.
- Allow to cool completely if you are storing in your refrigerator.
I just made a new batch of Mixed Berry Jam with added Gooseberries:
- Strawberries – 4 cups
- Blackberries – 1 & 1/2 cups
- Raspberries – 1 cup
- Gooseberries – 1 cup
- Blueberries – 1 & 1/2 cups
I used the same recipe as above with the 2 cups of sugar……it turned out to Delicious!!!
Hot Water Bath Process:
After filling your jars with hot jam, carefully clean off the rims of jars with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel. Carefully firmly screw on the lids. Do not tighten completely, just firmly. Follow your water bath canning manual or cookbook to proceed with the recommended Hot Water Bath Canning Method.
Once the water bath has been completely, carefully lift your jars out of the hot water and cool completely on a dish towel on your counter away from any drafts. Let your jars cool. Listen for the ping as your jars vacuum seal. Once cool, test to make sure the lids are flattened and do not give or “pop” when you lightly depress the center of the lid.
The jars are sealed when there is no give or spring when touched.
Only store properly sealed jars on your pantry shelf. If any of the jars did not seal, then simply place them in the refrigerator and use these first.
Enjoy your Fresh Jam on:
….and, do not forget the Homemade Creamy Butter Spread!