No Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on June 20, 2011

No Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam |

When you accidentally come home with 17 lbs. of strawberries from a morning at the pick your own berry patch, you have to do something. And you have to do it fast.

I started to can the strawberry jam, but quickly saw that if I continued on the canning path to use up all the strawberries that I’d be up all night. While I did can many jars of strawberry jam, I needed a “quicker” alternative to help us get through all the strawberries.

This no sugar freezer jam was the answer!

(More on the canning adventures tomorrow.)

The How To

Mash strawberries with potato masher…

…one layer at a time. Let sit while you prepare the juice/pectin.

Pour the apple juice into a small saucepan and stir in the pectin. A whisk would have worked better than the plastic spatula I was using :)  Bring to a hard boil and let boil for 1 minute.

Pour straight into the mushed strawberries while it’s still piping hot.

Stir, stir, stir for a minute. Ladle into containers.  Any old plastic container will work…just be sure to give 1/2 inch headspace, as the jam will expand after it sets and then freezes.

I made 2 batches (recipe below is for 1 batch) and got this 4 8 oz. containers. 1 6 oz. container, plus a little more that I’ll keep in the fridge. (I used these freezer jam containers.)

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No Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam

From the Ball No Sugar Pectin Package

Yield – 4 8 oz. containers-ish

Preparation Time – 20 minutes

Cooking Time – 0 minutes


  • 3 lbs. strawberries, hulled and stems removed
  • 1 3/4 cups apple juice
  • 1 1/2 package no sugar, low sugar pectin (I find that using 1 1/2 package really gets the jam to set perfectly!)


  • Mash the strawberries in a large bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the apple juice and pectin to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
  • Pour straight into the mashed strawberries and stir hard for 1 minute.
  • Ladle into the freezer containers and place in the refrigerator overnight to let it cool slowly and set.
  • Then store in the freezer.
  • Good in the freezer for up to 1 year, in the fridge for 3 weeks.

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin June 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

I just made some of this last week and it is so good! I did add a little honey as directed (optional) on the ball package. I was afraid it wouldn’t be sweet enough. The u=pick blueberry farm near us has opened up, so I plan to make some blueberry jam next week!


lisa June 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I love to make freezer strawberry jam. In the past it hasn’t set as well as cooked jam but we discovered this makes it the best ice cream topping!!!


Angie June 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Thanks for posting this recipe! I am curious if it’s a bit tart or comparable to the other “all fruit” jams out there. My husband is SO picky, just wondering about the sweetness. :)


LisaE June 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Thanks so much for posting this. I never knew freezer jam was so easy to make. I will be making this soon as strawberries have been reasonably priced so far this year.


Kristen June 20, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Great recipe! I would like to confirm that it calls for half of one package of pectin rather than 1 1/2 total packages. Thanks!


Beth in Dublin OH June 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Yeah, I’d like clarification too. I’ve got enough strawberries to make this recipe, and I’ve never done anything like this before so I want to do it right!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom June 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Yes…I use 1 and 1/2 packages…I find it gels better and is the consistency I prefer.


Beth in Dublin OH June 22, 2011 at 9:55 am

Thanks, Erin, I look forward to expanding my kitchen skills to freezer jam this weekend!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom June 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Yes Kristen, It’s 1 1/2 total packages…I find that using the extra half package helps it gel and set up better. It’s the consistency I prefer. Using 1 package, or 1 1/4-1 1/3 package will also work…just have to find the consistency that you like!


Kristen June 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Thank you, Erin, for your quick reply! I’ll be making jam tomorrow!


Breanna June 21, 2011 at 3:34 am

What a great alternative to canning! No need to boil and worry about seals! Ready to try it out!


Karen June 21, 2011 at 8:50 am

THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this recipe! We have a blackberry patch in our back yard and 2 huge mulberry trees so by the end of June I’m up to my eyeballs in berries of all stripes. We made jelly last year with my mom’s help (because I’m a cooking doofus when it comes to anything “complicated” like canning) and it was just WAY too sweet. I can’t wait to try this simple, low-sugar recipe. Yahoo!


Shalene June 21, 2011 at 9:34 am

Sounds so good! We just recently eliminated all refined sugars from our diet, and I was wondering how I could make jams w/o sugar, and without using artifical sweeteners (which we’ve also completely eliminated.) Thanks for sharing that there IS a recipe that is easy and sounds delicious too!


Beth in Dublin OH June 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Erin, a heads up for you and those who live where Meijer’s are. Yesterday I discovered Ball No Sugar/Low Sugar Freezer Jam Pectin clearanced at my local Meijer for 77-cents! I’m in the Columbus, Ohio area. I bought one packet to try my hand at some no-cook freezer jam with the peaches & apricots I also picked up (99-cents per lb). : )


Tiffany July 1, 2011 at 7:46 am

I don’t have a kitchen scale. Do you have any idea how much 3 lbs. of strawberries is in a mashed or pre-mashed form? Thanks!


Laura July 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Great and easy recipe. I tasted it as is and decided it was a little too tart for me, so I added 1 cup of sugar, which is still far less sugar than other recipes.


latasha March 23, 2014 at 12:57 am

3 pounds of berries is 3 containers


Denice August 17, 2011 at 10:42 am

So how many cups of berries is 3lbs?


Lucy February 23, 2012 at 10:46 am

Please do not recommend that people pour a hot substance into a plastic container.


Tiffany June 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm

?? You pour the hot pectin/juice mixture into your mixing bowl full of COOL mashed strawberries, stir, and then pour a significantly cooler strawberry jam mixture into the freezer jars – which yes, are plastic, and are made specifically for this process. :) I’ve been using plastic freezer jam jars for several years and I promise you it’s safe.


Kim March 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm

This looks like a quick and easy recipe for no-surgar jam. Thank you for sharing as it will be that time of year here soon and putting up jams is a favorite in our house. It will be a nice change to use this recipe that will take much less time. Home made jam makes a wonderful gift too!


Shirley Schumacher March 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

I am wondering, if the recipe calls for just a 1/2 box of the pectin, does it also mean just 3/4 cup of apple juice, rather than one and 3/4 cup? To better clarify the recipe, try (1) 3/4 cup apple juice and (1) 1/2 box of pectin.


Tara April 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I had the same question, but reading the comments above, she specified that she did, in fact, mean one full packet plus one half. So, I believe it is safe to assume that she means 1 cup plus 3/4 cup of apple juice.


Corey April 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

Does anyone think it would be a really bad idea to use the organic Naked Juice (the green one) in place of the apple juice? My son’s nutritionist wants us to use drink purees instead of juices.. Maybe since its with strawberries it wouldn’t matter as much but I would like it to be as healthy as possible, if I can ? What does everyone (or anyone) think?


AndLive June 19, 2012 at 1:10 am

I wouldn’t use the naked juice in this case, plus you are making so much of it at once that the serving size barely has any juice in it. I think your Dr meant more for drinking or using in larger amounts in a serving. I think you’re safe here. :)


Jill Frank April 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I googled the amount of strawberries… 3lbs=6 cups crushed. Hopefully that is right, that is what I am going to use.


Betsy Kunz April 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

How much of the pectin should be used? Mine’s in a jar and I don’t know how much would be in 1 1/2 packets.


Sarah April 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

one packet has 3 1/4 tsp of pectin. so one and a half packets would have just shy of 5 tsp.


Dinah May 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Sarah, that is so helpful! Thank you!


colleen June 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

Actually it’s just under 5TBSP of pectin – not tsp.


Claire April 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Can’t wait till Strawberry season!


Katelyn April 24, 2012 at 3:42 am

Just made this yesterday and it worked wonderfully! I’m assuming this recipe and quantities will also work with other fresh fruit? We live in the South of France and in June it is apricot season, I LOVE the apricots here! Thanks for this awesome recipe ;)


Sue April 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Can you use a different type of juice? All I have on hand is orange juice and pineapple juice. Can get apple juice – just didn’t want to have to run out to the store.


Sue w July 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I used pineapple juice in mine and it worked I just added a little bit of splendia to each bowl for a little more sweetness but you don’t have to its whatever taste you like


sarah April 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm

could this be canned normally?


LadyJ June 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Yes just can in jars and use a water bath canning method.


melissa April 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm

how many calories per serving in this?


Lynsey April 30, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Can you use the Real Fruit Instant Pectin and yield the same quality,texture,and taste?


Gaynell May 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Thank you for posting this!! I’ve never really made it before and it turned out perfect!


Dee May 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

How long does it take freezer jam to set, mine has been in the fridge for a few hours and looks like syrup.


Dee May 13, 2012 at 11:54 am

Also I have a ton of regular certo pectin crystals, not the no sugar pectin, can i just use it with this recipe?


Rebecca Kipe June 13, 2012 at 8:30 am

Does anyone know if I can use low/no sugar Sure Jell? that’s what I normally use for jam, but it’s also all i could find in the store yesterday. I looked for the Ball pectin but they didn’t seem to have it. i’m kind of guessing the pectins are basically the same?


Jody June 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Has anybody had success with this? Mine is a very tart strawberry syrup ….


Sarah June 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Mine didn’t set. Anybody know if I can fix it by adding more pectin?


Nancy Bartee June 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Your recipe says 3lb berries I’m used to working in cups so could you tell me about how may cups are in 3lb of berries?
Thank you for your help. I ‘m hopefully to make this tonight . I’m so excited to try something without 12lb of suger.


Bill Shane June 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I made this set up just fine but is way too tart.
I am not pleased with the outcome


Adriane June 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Does using unsweetened apple sauce make any sense?


Adriane June 26, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Disappointing. Followed recipe exactly, and did not set correctly. Nor did it taste good. What do I do now? All those strawberries wasted on making syrupy mess. . :(


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom June 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Sorry Adriane, occasionally pectin doesn’t set right for a variety of reasons…sorry it didn’t turn out. Years ago I had a “bad batch”…very frustrating!



Larisa Morris July 3, 2012 at 11:55 am

I know this is a no sugar recipe, but I thought the apple juice would make it sweeter. I followed this recipe yesterday and it set up fine, but it’s really sour. Is there any way I can redo this batch and add a little sugar? I hate to see it all go to waste.


Erin P July 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Made this about an hour ago and it’s already setting! I licked my fingers before I even put it in the fridge to cool…tastes tart, but in a good way. Who needs rot-your-teeth-sweet jam anyways? This will be a great way to reduce our sugar in the morning.

I used 3- 1 pound crates of whole strawberries and only 1 package of no sugar Sur Jell fruit pectin. Hulling the strawberries with a drinking straw works like a charm. I also used my palm blender to mash up the berries and make them super smooth. My whole family can’t wait to try the jam on some English muffins tonight!

Since your name is Erin and so is mine, I’m going to make labels that read “Erindipity’s Strawberry Jam”

Thanks again!


Jennifer Gober August 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Can you use and what amount would you use frozen fruits? Since fresh fruit is not always available or affordable I am hoping this would work. I am really looking forward to making my own jelly as soon as I hear back from someone. Thanks for the great recipes!


Connie May 17, 2014 at 11:13 am

I have used frozen fruit with good results. Just need to stir it extra since the freezing process seperates the fruit from it’s juice.


Clive September 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Erin – what a fantastic recipe – thank you. Since being diagnosed diabetic I’ve been searching for no sugar recipes. Never heard of ‘freezer jam’ – so thank you for a great discovery.


Pam October 30, 2012 at 7:18 am

I used 1 1/2 packets of Certo pectin and mine didn’t set. I put back in a pan and boiled with the other 1/2 packet of Certo pectin and it still didn’t set. Hate to waste it all. Wonder if another packet of Certo will make it set?


Jamie March 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Have you ever tried to water bath it after putting it in the jars? I know you used plastic but I was thinking of using jars and doing the bath method, just to keep my freezers a little less crammed.


Rhonda Statler June 18, 2013 at 10:31 am

I also am wondering how many cups 3 lb. of strawberries is. The Ball fruit pectin calls for 2 cups of mashed berries to a pkg. of pectin. I am used to dealing in cups. I don’t have a kitchen scale to weigh the berries. I am planning on adding Stevia to the jam for more sweetness. Hope it works O.K. Also, I noticed on some of the comments, people were have “bad batches”. I have been making freezer jam for 37 yrs. and I have found that the powdered pectin MUST be this year’s batch. Never mind the expiration date on the side of the pkg. I have tried holding it over for a year and ALWAYS my jam will not set. Must be the current year’s batch of pectin. Don’t know why, just the way it is.


Ivy February 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Quick question, maybe I overlooked it. How long will this keep in the freezer as far as freshness goes?



latasha March 23, 2014 at 12:58 am

3 pound of strawberries is 3 containers


Larry April 4, 2014 at 12:58 am

Would that strawberries freezer jam recipe work on blackberries and Concord grapes. Larry Van Wa.


Connie May 17, 2014 at 11:18 am

Berries, for sure it works. The grapes I am not sure about. It may need some extra pectin, you might have to experiment a little. Make it regular strength and if it doesn’t gel, add more pectin.


janie June 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Really? You put it in the fridge to set and don’t leave it on the counter for 24hr?


Laura July 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Just made a single batch of strawberry freezer jam. I used 5 tbsp of the Ball no sugar pectin. I made my own apple juice from organic apples and was able to buy organic strawberries. I was able to make four 16 oz Ball Freezer jars plus a bit extra for my ice cream and salad dressing this week. I’m so excited. It is jelling perfectly and tastes delicious without extra added sugar. Looking forward to using the same recipe for blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Just need to order more jars since none of the stores in my area carry the freezer jars.


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