WFPB Berry Jam-No Sugar Recipe, My Kitchen Garden & Healthy Tips

It is very easy to make your own WFPB berry jam and you may be surprised by the flavor and texture of this recipe. Making homemade jam eliminates the processed sugars, commercial pectin, and other unhealthy ingredients generally found in store-bought jams.


Tending to my elevated bed kitchen garden in my yard.

It’s Friday which means my post is all about living the best life I can and sharing what I have learned with you and also learning from you in the comments you leave.

So… anybody reading this post, even if you don’t comment, you should read the comments as there are some great ideas and tips from other readers in them.

I am sharing a few things in this post – an update about our kitchen garden that I am attending to in the photo above. A recipe I make all the time, and what I have learned about using salt in recipes.

1. How Is The Kitchen Garden Coming?

Kitchen Garden in yard with elevated beds.

Since my last post about the kitchen garden, we added 4 arches to the climbing veggies we planted in the elevated garden beds.

We added netting over the arches and secured it with zip-ties. The tomatoes in the whiskey barrels are just getting high enough to begin to attach to it.

Lettuce and red cabbage growing in elevated beds in kitchen garden.

So far so good on how things are growing. The seedlings are popping up and the potted vegetables we bought that had a head start are doing well.

2. My Favorite Comfort Food

When I started eating a WFPB diet with no oil, I knew I could do it because I could still enjoy tea with jam and bread. Just like the lyrics in the song, Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music…. Tea with jam and bread is my favorite comfort food – actually toast, but you get the idea.

I knew that I wouldn’t stick to a WFPB way of eating if I chose to think of it as a restrictive and temporary diet. Instead, I thought of it as a way of living and eating to promote good health and well-being which included whole grain bread and fruit.

Fresh out of the oven sourdough bread.

To have my jam and bread, I make my own whole-wheat sourdough bread and when I don’t have that made, I reach for a slice of Ezekiel 4:9® Sesame Sprouted Whole Grain Bread.

Here are the two recipes I use to make sourdough bread. I prefer the second one more now as I like the added crunch of the added wheat berries. I made both of these using using Sprouted Whole Wheat flour I buy at Whole Foods.

Homemade WFPB Strawberry Jam in jar.

I spread my toasted bread with a spoonful of berry jam that I make that has no sugar in it, only fruit.

There are quite a few no-sugar added berry jam recipes on the internet. The reason – it is so good and easy to make… and better for you. :-) Each recipe may have different amounts of berries and ingredients, but this is what makes the jam so easy to make – you can add more berries, add dates or maple syrup or leave them out.

I usually use blueberries or blackberries or combine them when making this no sugar jam recipe, but yesterday when I was out and about, I stopped at a roadside stand selling strawberries.

Box of fresh picked strawberries on cutting board with knife.

I bought a whole box and decided when I got home to use some to make sugar-free strawberry jam.

toast with homemade no sugar jam on a plate.

Hot tea with jam and bread is one of my food options that I have for an afternoon snack. This recipe makes it something I don’t have to feel guilty about eating.

What is your favorite comfort food or the food that would be hard to have to give up or eliminate from your diet?

Berry Jam Recipe – All Natural with No Added Sugar or Fake Sweetener

When making berry jam, the longer you let it simmer the smoother it will get. Blueberries and blackberries boil into a smoother texture then strawberries do.

You also have the option to add a sweetener if you want. I don’t, as I find if the berries are ripe, they add all the sweetness I need. I did include the option in the recipe below of adding maple syrup or date paste to the jam.

Whole Food Plant Based – No Sugar Berry Jam

This recipe can be made with any kind of berry. When eating a WFPB diet and trying not to use oil, sugar or salt in your cooking. Perfect on a WFPB diet when trying not to use oil, sugar or salt in your cooking, but still wanting the sweet taste of berry jam on a piece of whole wheat or sourdough bread toast. It is very easy to make and only uses 3 ingredients.
This recipe makes about 6 ounces of jam. It may be less depending on how long the berries simmer.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: berries,, jam, No sugar, WFPB

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries if using frozen, thaw first
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or lemon zest
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or date paste optional

Instructions

  • Pour the berries and if using maple syrup or date paste  into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the lemon juice or zest. Bring the mixture to a simmer, pressing the berries with a fork or potato masher to help break them down.
  • Let the mixture simmer together for about 10 minutes until the fruit is totally broken down. Stir frequently while the mixture comes to a boil and starts to thicken slightly.
  • Remove from heat, then stir in chia seeds.
  • Pour the chia seed jam into an airtight glass jar, and let the jam chill in the fridge until thickened, at least 4 hours.

Notes

Keep jam covered. Will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

3. Healthy Eating Tips: All About Salt

For these Friday WFPB posts, I thought I would include a tips and tricks section about what I have learned about eating the Whole Food Plant Based, no oil, sugar or salt diet, which is a lot since I have been reading many WFPB cookbooks and websites to learn as much as I could over the past year.

One thing I learned is just how much salt is in the foods we eat and that is called for in recipes.  The healthy living guides say we should have no more than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt.

I found the list and chart below helpful when it comes to adding salt to what I make. I usually leave it out, but do add a tiny bit of sea salt or miso to a few recipes.

Sea Salt: 1 teaspoon, 2,360 mg sodium

Low-sodium tamari, 1 teaspoon: 700 mg sodium

Braggs Liquid Aminos, 1 teaspoon: 233 mg sodium

White Miso, 1 teaspoon: 115-150 mg sodium – depending on the brand

You can also check for sodium claims on food and beverage labels to quickly identify those that may contain less sodium. Here’s a guide to common claims and what they mean:

What It SaysWhat It Means
Salt/Sodium-FreeLess than 5 mg of sodium per serving
Very Low Sodium35 mg of sodium or less per serving
Low Sodium140 mg of sodium or less per serving
Reduced SodiumAt least 25% less sodium than the regular product
Light in Sodium or Lightly SaltedAt least 50% less sodium than the regular product
No-Salt-Added or UnsaltedNo salt is added during processing – but these products may not be salt/sodium-free unless stated

Here is a good article a reader, Susanne shared on salt substitutes that contain Potassium Chloride.

Do you have any tips that help you live and eat that make you feel your best?

Resources:

Homemade No Added Sugar Jam on toast on a plate.

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29 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe. I have made a ‘pudding’ with chia seeds that is so good. Adding them to the jam is brilliant!! I will definitely make this jam! Pinned!!

  2. Thanks Dianne for the info on your hat!! I just ordered one!! I measured my big head and hope it fits!! One more question–what kind of wooden planter boxes are they ie: brand? I love them too!!

  3. Hi Dianne: Freezer jam is uncooked raw strawberries mixed with sugar and pectin and then put in jars in the freezer. I would love to use less sugar but no choice in the freezer jam recipe. The freezer jam tastes amazing but lots of sugar and pectin. I am trying yours this time around!! By the way Dianne where did you get your cute hat? Perfect to keep the sun off while working in the garden–I need one!!

    1. Hi Pat – Thank you for telling me what Freezer Jam is. It does sound good. :-) I got my hat last summer. I tried to find the largest, but comfy and lightweight hat I could. I looked at many. I love this one as it can be rolled up to travel as I always need it to keep the sun off my face at all times since I have Vitiligo on my face. I checked to see if they still have it and they do… improved with a detachable strap. Here is the link: https://bit.ly/3eyqJAd

  4. Your garden is all ready looking good. I envy you the opportunity for fresh garden vegetables but I just don’t have room for a garden. The jam looks good too. I will have to try it. I love strawberries. I really look forward to your posts. Thank you for continuing to post on WFPB.

  5. Hi Diane, I would also like your sourdough recipe please. Many thanks. Suzanne (Australia)

  6. You’re garden looks amazing!! Have fun tending to it and watching it grow 👍
    PS… enjoy the fresh veggies too 🥬

  7. Hello. Just wanted to say that in order to start eating less refined sugar, I have been using half of the sugar required in homemade jam recipes. I use twice more fruit than sugar. That’s a start.
    Anyway I think the most important is to start eating less sweet foods. It is possible to “lose” the craving for sugar and fried foods.
    However, I am very puzzled by some diets. Someone I know has been on a ketogenic diet and she’s been eating very sweet foods by using monk fruit to sweeten her desserts and she eats plenty of ice cream and caramel made with monk fruit or similar stuff. And I wonder how is that supposed to help someone change their habits if they do not lose the “sugary” taste?
    But I agree that we should all use a lot less sugar in our food and make our own food as much as possible.

    1. Hi Chantal – I agree that if you still eat lots of sugar or sugar alcohols you will never lose your cravings for it. It can get so confusing about sugars, salts, oils and diets in general. So much contradicting information, that is why I go with what makes me feel the best.

      I tried sugar alcohols like erythritol, monk fruit and stevia and all make me feel sick and bloated and leave an awful taste in my mouth.

      When I do want to sweeten things, I just use fruit, raisins and dates. My splurge is adding a handful of chocolate chips to the power balls I make, but I don’t eat these on a regular basis. Since I began eating this way a year ago, I lost my cravings for sugar and found that all fruit now tastes extremely sweet to me.

  8. Miso is such a great idea; has probiotics also if not cooked. Some people who have true allergies to soy may not be aware that there are chickpea misos also. This jam is the BOMB, and I make it with frozen berries when I don’t have fresh.

  9. I’m afraid that there is sugar in maple syrup. . . That’s why maple syrup poured on clean snow is called “sugar on snow.”

    1. Hi Lyn – I had never heard that expression before. :-) My husband used to add cream and sugar to snow and call it snow ice cream.

      Adding maple syrup or date paste to the jam is an option for anyone who wants the jam sweeter. I do not use it did but optional in the recipe. It is a sweetener, but when following a whole food plant based diet it is a sweetener that comes from a natural source that is not processed and stripped of any nutrients. There are so many options for anyone eating whole foods – some eat sugar, but not oil, or vice versa – or no salt or no gluten. I like to give options for all to choose what is right for them.

    2. Yes Lyn, you are correct, maple syrup is a sugar, less processed but a sugar. Maple syrup is more than half sucrose (the same disaccharide as white granulated sugar), which means it contains about 1/3 fructose. This may mean that you have to use more in order to produce the sweetness you want. I make my jam without any sugars.

  10. Hi Dianne: Your garden looks great in the raised planters! I am going to try the jam recipe when the berries are in season here though I generally dont like cooked jam…I dont think that recipe would work without the coking. I usually make freezer jam but I will try making a jar of your jam to see whether my mind can be changed. I do like the no sugar no pectin idea! Thanks Dianne.

      1. Freezer jam- not cooked
        Standard jam – cooked
        I could not find a recipe for freezer jam that did not include either pectin or sugar/sugar substitute.
        That was only looking for 5 mins on google though.
        So they may exist.

  11. I use No Salt. It has zero sodium. Sometimes it is not available in the supermarket so I order it from amazon.

    1. Hi Shirley – I just read an article about no salt alternatives like No Salt that use potassium chloride. The brands want to change the wording to say potassium and change the word chloride to another word since many think when they read the word “chloride” that it is a chemical and it is not. :-)

        1. Hi Susanne –

          Thanks for sharing the link to the article. It is am important one. I couldn’t open it though since it looks like it is for paying members. I have read other articles about the subject though.

          For me, I stick to just using a teeny bit of salt when I make sourdough bread and use a tsp of miso from time to time. Mostly I have learned to use herbs and spices, like lemon zest, fresh garlic, fresh herbs that I have growing outside, and vinegars to season my food.