Forget the dull and laborious cooked jams — here comes a refreshing, quick-to-make fruity keto strawberry jam that tastes just like summer! Read on to find the secrets to your next favorite summer treat and how to make delicious sugar-free jam without cooking. Everyone who has tasted this jam has been raving about it. This jam is also my son’s favorite jam ever, so it’s certainly kid-approved, too.
How to make this Fresh Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam
First of all, when choosing strawberries, go for organic if you can. Strawberries are notorious of containing pesticide residues, so picking organic pays off.
Since cooking makes a thick jam, we have to use a natural thickener here as we don’t cook the jam. I’ve chosen gelatin since it provides just a perfect jam-like thickness when used as an ideal amount. Other keto-friendly thickeners like xanthan gum, guar gum, or glucomannan would just create a slimy result, so gelatin is the perfect thickener here.
In case you are after a vegan version of the jam or just would like to avoid gelatin, do not despair: I have an ultimate vegan thickener for you. You can read more in the Tips for Variations section further below.
All in all, this jam is so much easier to prepare if you compare it to a cooked jam. No heating needed, no danger of spilling and burning yourself. Just blend the strawberries and the sweetener, and add the bloomed thickener. Let thicken in the fridge, and that’s it!
So, let’s take a look at how to prepare this delicious, fruity sugar-free jam:
First, take a microwave-proof cup and add 3 tablespoons water…
…and 1 tablespoon gelatin powder.
Let bloom while you do further preparations.
Combine 1 lb (450 g) hulled and quartered fresh strawberries…
…and 1/2 cup (120 ml) powdered erythritol or other easily dissolvable natural keto-friendly sweetener to taste.
Puree with an immersion blender until smooth puree. You can alternatively use a regular blender naturally, too.
Here we go. Set aside for a while.
Heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave oven…
…until the gelatin is completely dissolved. In my microwave oven, it took 25 seconds at 800 watts. If you don’t use microwave, you can heat the mixture in a tiny saucepan over a stovetop.
Add the gelatin to the strawberry puree while blending.
Let thicken in the fridge overnight.
How I came up with this easy keto strawberry jam recipe
The idea for this jam is actually originating from my 10-year-old son. Or actually, he suggested this kind of jam when I asked what he would like to have as a filling in his birthday cake. He was describing his wish in very detail: pureed strawberries as a very thick layer.
Well, since pureed strawberries are more like a sauce that doesn’t work as a thick layer, his wish wasn’t that simple to fulfill. Obviously, I had to thicken the puree somehow. But how? Sometimes I thicken my cooked jams with xanthan, but I often just cook them until they are thick.
I pondered over different keto thickeners and thought that gelatin might be worth trying. Yes, you use gelatin for gelatin desserts, but I was wondering if it makes a jam if you use a little bit less of it, not that much so that you’ll end up with thick jelly.
Since my son’s birthday is during winter, there were no satisfactory fresh strawberries available, only half-raw foreign highly-cultivated varieties. Luckily, my parents always freeze lots of flavorful Finnish strawberries for the winter. Those I still had in my freezer. A lot of them.
I grabbed a couple of boxes of frozen strawberries and defrosted them. There was quite some liquid left in the bottom of the dish where I had defrosted the strawberries. I thought it’s just the perfect liquid for the gelatin to bloom. Otherwise, I would have been forced to use water.
First, I pureed the drained defrosted strawberries with some powdered erythritol until smooth. Then, I took some gelatin powder that I added to the liquid (strawberry juice) formed during defrosting. After letting the gelatin bloom for some 5 minutes, I heated the gelatin and strawberry juice mixture in the microwave oven until the gelatin had dissolved and the mixture was piping hot.
I combined the gelatin mixture with the sweetened strawberry puree. Then, I put my mixture in the fridge and let it thicken overnight. Now was the most exciting part: to see if the jam had really thickened — or if it had thickened too much and formed a thick jelly.
I was lucky! The consistency was beautifully thick but not totally thick and jelly-like. Actually, the jam was just perfect for making a thick filling in my son’s birthday cake. And boy, was my son delighted with the cake and especially with the filling! The thick strawberry filling was just what he had wished. Mission accomplished!
Here’s a photo of the cake I made for my son for his 10th birthday (unfortunately you cannot see the filling):
After that, I have made this jam several times. A couple of months ago, I served this jam with whipped cream and muffins to my Ketokamu colleagues. Everyone who has tasted this jam has been raving about it! Actually, this recipe will be in the package of our Ketokamu sweetener that we are going to launch soon.
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy — I bet you will totally fall in love with it!
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon gelatin powder
- 1 lb = 450 g hulled, quartered fresh strawberries (preferably organic)
- 1/2 cup = 120 ml powdered erythritol
- Combine the water and the gelatin powder in a microwave-proof cup. Let bloom while you do further preparations.
- Puree the strawberries and the sweetener until smooth.
- Heat the gelatin mixture in a microwave oven until piping hot, and the gelatin is dissolved.
- Pour the hot gelatin mixture into the strawberry and sweetener puree while continuously mixing.
- Let thicken in the fridge overnight.
- Enjoy as a cake filling, on top of keto muffins, on your breakfast bread... you name it!
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Great Lakes, Beef Gelatin, 16 Oz 4-Pack, Kosher, Paleo-Friendly, Keto Certified, Gluten Free, Non-GMO
NOW Natural Foods, Organic Confectioner's Erythritol Powder, Replacement for Powdered Sugar, Zero Calories, 1-Pound (Packaging May Vary)
Anthony's Confectioner's Erythritol, 2 lb, Non GMO, Natural Sweetener, Zero Calorie, Keto & Paleo Friendly
Swerve Sweetener, Confectioners (Pack of 2)
Tips for variations
Like in my first experiments, you can use frozen and defrosted strawberries when the strawberries are not in season. In that case, add the gelatin to the liquid that forms during defrosting so you don’t need to dilute the jam with water (not that it would really dilute it anyway, but still).
For the vegan option — which I already mentioned — you can use agar-agar instead of gelatin. Agar-agar suits well for a keto diet as it’s primarily soluble fiber. Just replace the gelatin with agar-agar. Actually, agar-agar benefits from short cooking, so you might want to combine water and agar-agar in a tiny saucepan and cook it for two minutes. Add the boiling mixture to the strawberry and sweetener puree while mixing all the time. Let thicken in the fridge as instructed in the recipe box.
If you want to jazz up your strawberry jam, there are several ways to do it. I often add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to my strawberry jam to give it a hint of delicious vanilla note. You can also replace part of powdered erythritol with vanilla stevia — or omit the powdered erythritol altogether and use only vanilla stevia.
For an even fruitier note, add 1 teaspoon freshly grated peel from organic orange before pureeing the strawberries.
A fascinating lemonade taste you’ll get by adding 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel (naturally from an organic lemon) before pureeing. Lime peel also works wonderfully, but personally, I prefer lemon peel.
Greetings from sunny Greece! I have been traveling for some days and doing some island hopping here. I have to say everything is terrific, and things have gone smoothly.
Greece is such a perfect place. I have been enjoying the sea…
…great views and sunny weather…
..excellent Mediterranean (keto) food…
…renting a car and driving around doing some sightseeing…
…and the company of the most awesome and kind people. What else can you wish for? These times will be surely remembered forever!