Pectin-Free Strawberry Jam Canning Recipe


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Learn how to can strawberry jam without any store-bought pectin! This pectin-free strawberry jam utilizes the natural pectin in strawberries to create a sweet and sticky homemade jam that tastes like summer in a jar. Plus, the optional addition of vanilla makes this classic strawberry jam taste just like a strawberry sundae! #strawberryjam #strawberryjamrecipe #howtocanstrawberryjam #strawberryvanillajamThis pectin-free strawberry jam canning recipe utilizes the natural pectin in strawberries to create a homemade jam that tastes just like summer in a jar. Plus, the optional addition of vanilla makes this classic strawberry jam taste just like a strawberry sundae!

* * *

Nothing says summer like the taste of fresh strawberries picked and eaten right out of the garden or field. Being the first fruit of the season to appear in most places, strawberries are a symbol of the abundance that lies ahead. And for homesteaders and home canners everywhere, they also mark the official beginning of canning and jam-making season

Of course, we live in a time when you can pretty much get strawberries year-round at the grocery store. But anybody who’s ever tasted a fresh, local, organic strawberry in season knows there’s just no comparison to the store-bought variety for sale in plastic clamshells in mid-January.

Personally I try to eat and feed my family as seasonally, locally and organic as possible, all year round. In the summer we grow a large organic garden of our own and do our best to supplement with produce from other nearby organic farms. But since most fruits and veggies don’t grow locally year-round, I try to also preserve as much as possible to get us through the year until things are in season again.

Now, I’m not perfect, and we do still rely heavily on the grocery store in the off-season especially. But there are certain items I try extra hard to preserve and put up in season so that I can avoid buying them from the grocery store, and strawberries top the list.

For one, strawberries are on the dirty dozen list, meaning that non-organic strawberries are one of the most heavily sprayed crops when it comes to pesticides. So when I do buy them from the store, I always make sure to buy organic.

But we also grow some pretty damn good strawberries where here on Vancouver Island, and I would rather buy local and support our local farmers, as well as keep pesticides out of our food and save money by buying in season, and reduce our waste and carbon footprint by purchasing local and bringing our own basket (no more plastic clamshells!), so I tend to load up on strawberries when they’re in season and preserve as many as possible for eating throughout the year.

 

Watch: How to Make (and Can!) Pectin-Free Strawberry Jam

 

If you can’t grow your own, why not pick your own?

Now, you’ll notice I mentioned that we buy our strawberries from local farmers, and that’s because, as much as we strive to grow more and more of our own food each year, strawberries are just not a crop we’ve been able to devote a lot of time or space to establishing yet.

I do have dreams for a cascading strawberry “pyramid” in the middle of our garden one day in the not so distant future. But for now, we have a few small pots around our homestead that hardly produce enough for us to eat fresh. So we are still reliant on local farms for our strawberries each year.

But that’s okay, because we’ve made a fun tradition of going strawberry-picking in June when most varieties are ready for harvest. And I’m all about these type of seasonal family traditions.

This pectin-free strawberry jam canning recipe utilizes the natural pectin in strawberries to create a homemade jam that tastes just like summer in a jar. Plus, the optional addition of vanilla makes this classic strawberry jam taste just like a strawberry sundae! #strawberryjamrecipe #howtocanstrawberryjam #strawberryvanillajam #strawberryjamcanningrecipe

Just like we visit the pumpkin patch on Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada Thanksgiving is in early October, before Halloween), or go cut down our own Christmas tree at a Christmas tree farm in December, strawberry-picking has become our early summer family tradition, and although I would love to grow enough of our own strawberries to take us through the year, I don’t half mind packing up the family and heading to a U-Pick farm with our baskets in hand:)

This pectin-free strawberry jam canning recipe utilizes the natural pectin in strawberries to create a homemade jam that tastes just like summer in a jar. Plus, the optional addition of vanilla makes this classic strawberry jam taste just like a strawberry sundae! #strawberryjamrecipe #howtocanstrawberryjam #strawberryvanillajam #strawberryjamcanningrecipe

 

Eat seasonally and preserve the rest.

This year we took home just under 25 pounds of strawberries, in addition to the 10 pounds I’d ordered earlier from another local farm in order to restock our freezer and make a couple strawberry rhubarb pies to kick off summer pie season (which just so happens to coincide with summer canning season;).

We froze a few freezer bags full (because I love having frozen strawberries on hand for smoothies and baking throughout the year), I used some to flavour my latest batch of kombucha, turned some into homemade fruit leather and last but most certainly not least, I canned up 18 jars of strawberry jam with the rest. In fact, if I’m being honest, I made sure to get my 18 jars of jam first, and then I preserved the rest by freezing, dehydrating and fermenting. But the jam… The strawberry jam is an absolute must-have every year.

While I do make a few different types of jam throughout the summer, strawberry jam is by far our family favourite, and it’s the kind we go through the quickest. And since we also make all of our own jam and don’t purchase any from the store, I always make sure to make a big batch right after we go strawberry picking in June.

This year I canned up 18 jars so that we have enough to get us through the year, as well as a few extra jars on hand to give as gifts throughout the year. Because you really can’t go wrong gifting somebody a jar of homemade strawberry jam. In fact, I’ve already given two jars away as hostess gifts!

I always use the same recipe, which I’ve adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (referred to often throughout this blog as my “canning bible”). 

I also like to add a little bit of vanilla to my recipe because it gives this classic strawberry jam recipe a bit of a “strawberry sundae” twist which really sets it apart from other strawberry jams.

 

This pectin-free strawberry jam canning recipe utilizes the natural pectin in strawberries to create a homemade jam that tastes just like summer in a jar. Plus, the optional addition of vanilla makes this classic strawberry jam taste just like a strawberry sundae! #strawberryjamrecipe #howtocanstrawberryjam #strawberryvanillajam #strawberryjamcanningrecipe

Pectin-free strawberry jam with a vanilla twist

The recipe calls for eight cups of fresh, whole, hulled strawberries, six cups of sugar, an optional tablespoon of vanilla extract (or a vanilla bean) and no added pectin. Since strawberries have their own natural pectin, it’s not necessary to add store-bought pectin.

I like to keep things as simple and natural as possible, as often as possible:)

I must admit, the sugar content is still a bit high, and I’m going to try experimenting with more low-sugar jam and jelly recipes this summer. But this particular recipe is just so good that I can’t help but stick to the same recipe year after year. It really is a treat for us, and since we tend to gift a lot of it too, I want it to be a treat for our loved ones as well. So I’ve stuck with a tried and true classic strawberry jam recipe here, with that optional hint of vanilla, of course;)

We tend to go through about one jar of jam every month for our family of three because we do try to keep our jam for special weekend breakfasts and treats like pancakes, waffles and even over vanilla ice cream. But I still think it goes best spread over a slice of warm homemade bread fresh out of the oven.

Or straight out of the jar with a spoon;)

This pectin-free strawberry jam canning recipe utilizes the natural pectin in strawberries to create a homemade jam that tastes just like summer in a jar. Plus, the optional addition of vanilla makes this classic strawberry jam taste just like a strawberry sundae! #strawberryjamrecipe #howtocanstrawberryjam #strawberryvanillajam #strawberryjamcanningrecipe

However you like to enjoy your jam, this pectin-free strawberry jam canning recipe will never let you down.

Oh, and if you’re more of a visual learner and would appreciate a video tutorial on making and canning this strawberry jam recipe, be sure to check out the following video on my new (again) Youtube channel (and subscribe while you’re at it!!)

Or, as always, scroll to the bottom for your printable pectin-free strawberry jam canning recipe.

Happy canning:)  

 

This pectin-free strawberry jam canning recipe utilizes the natural pectin in strawberries to create a homemade jam that tastes just like summer in a jar. Plus, the optional addition of vanilla makes this classic strawberry jam taste just like a strawberry sundae! #strawberryjamrecipe #howtocanstrawberryjam #strawberryvanillajam #strawberryjamcanningrecipe

Pectin-Free Strawberry Jam Canning Recipe

Yield: Approx. 8 half-pint (8oz) jars

Ingredients

  • 8 cups strawberries, hulled and washed
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare jars and lids.
  2. Mash strawberries until they form a soupy liquid, but keep some nice big chunks of strawberry. I find it easiest to do this with my bare hands! Just make sure they're nice and clean;)
  3. Pour mashed strawberries into a large, stainless steal pot (be sure to use stainless steal as other metals (such as copper, aluminum or cast iron) are reactive and can give jam a weird flavour.
  4. Pour sugar into pot and stir well to combine.
  5. Add vanilla/vanilla bean, if using. If using a vanilla bean, cut it down the centre to expose the vanilla inside and toss the whole thing into the pot.
  6. Boil on medium-high, stirring consistently until the mixture begins to thicken up (25-30 minutes on average).
  7. Do a sheet test to make sure jam is thick enough (a sheet test is when you put a spoon in ice cold water and then dip it in your hot jam/jelly mixture quickly, then turn the spoon on its side to see how quickly the jam slides off. The slower, the thicker. If it all comes off in one sheet instead of individual drips, it is definitely the thickness of jam).
  8. When jam is ready, skim the foam off the top and then fill each hot jar to the top, leaving ¼-inch headspace.
  9. Using a knife, skim around the inside of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles. Adjust headspace if necessary.
  10. Wipe jar rims, place lids on top and screw bands on.
  11. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes, then turn heat off, take lid off and leave jars in canner for an extra 5 minutes.
  12. Using jar lifters, take jars out of canner and let them cool completely on your counter. Then store in a cool, dark place and enjoy all year long!

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂SaveSave

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HOMESTEADING
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6 Comments

  1. Anne

    Do you cover the jars with water when you process them in the pot?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Yes, be sure to cover jars with water completely (about an inch or two of water) and then process. Jars should be fully submerged for the duration of your processing time.

      Reply
  2. Lish

    Thanks for the vanilla hint. This year I used the high sauté function of my Instant Pot to cook the jam. It kept it at the perfect boil, without scorching. Turned out nice and thick.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Nice! I never thought of making jam in the Instant Pot! I think I might have to give it a try!

      Reply
  3. Molly

    How much jam does this recipe yield?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Molly,

      This recipe yields about 8 half-pint (8oz) jars of jam.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

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She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

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• Preparedness tips, tricks and advice to help you be ready for anything on the homestead (and in life!)
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• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
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• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

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When I first started homesteading, I had a burning desire to become more self-sufficient and live a more sustainable life.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a rebel at heart, and learning how to homestead and become more self-reliant was a way for me to “throw a proverbial middle finger to the system” and live life on my own terms.

As a teenager, I was the girl who drove around town with punk rock music blaring from my car, Misfits sticker on the back and studs around my wrists. I felt misunderstood and angsty and like I desperately didn’t fit in with the world I grew up in.

I always knew in my soul that I wanted something different; Something more.

Today I’m the mama with stretch marks on my belly and battle scars on my heart. I’m the woman who gardens and cans food and makes her own tinctures and believes in something greater than herself and fights every day to stay free in a world that feels increasingly engineered to keep us hopelessly dependent.

Today I feel whole and at peace, and connected to a higher power and a higher purpose. I feel like I’ve finally found the place where I belong.

This journey has been about so much more than homesteading for me, and I've learned, lost, gained and loved so much more than I ever could have imagined.

Because, as I've said before, homesteading doesn't happen in a vacuum. Life is always happening at the same time.

This is the full, raw and unfiltered story of my homesteading journey, and how I've gained so much more than a pantry full of food along the way.

Click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to read more or check it out here >> https://thehouseandhomestead.com/how-it-started-how-its-going
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The news we’ve all been waiting for…

IT’S A BOY!!!

After so many years and too many losses, our hearts are so full and it feels like we are inching closer to our family finally being complete.

I’ve always known in my heart and soul that we were meant to have a girl and a boy. I know, it sounds cliché and very “nuclear family,” but years ago I saw a psychic who told me I would have a girl who loved to be centre stage and had a personality larger than life, very much how our daughter has turned out!

She also said I would have a boy who would be much more introverted and in tune with nature and with his own intuition. That’s yet to be seen, but I’ve always had this unwavering vision of a son and a daughter that fit these descriptions, and my heart has been set on a son ever since we had Evelyn.

Of course, things went sideways for a few years. Shortly after Evelyn was born, I became pregnant again, but we made the heartbreaking decision to terminate that pregnancy at 24 weeks due to a severe medical diagnosis. We lost our son, Phoenix Rain on June 15, 2018. Our hearts were shattered and have never fully healed.

Over the next few years, I had 3 more early miscarriages. None of the doctors knew what was causing them as most didn’t seem to have any sort of genetic explanation. We were told it was “something environmental,” but weren’t given any clues as to what that could be.

After pushing to see several specialists last year (after our most recent loss), and being told once again that there was “nothing wrong with me,” I finally got another opinion and found out I had something called Chronic Endometritis: A low-grade infection in my uterus that I believe in my heart was caused by my c-section with our daughter; A c-section I didn’t want and probably didn’t need, but felt I needed because I was under pressure to make a decision before the surgeon went off duty.

I’ll never know for sure, but when I pushed for more testing and finally got a simple round of antibiotics, the endometritis cleared up. I got pregnant again almost immediately and so far we now have a healthy baby boy on the way.

(Continued in comments…)
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556 43

We’re living through interesting times. Many people have even used the term “unprecedented times,” and while that may be true in that there has perhaps never been another time in history when we’ve faced so many existential threats all at once (ie. a global pandemic, climate change, political divisions, AI advancing at an incredible rate, cyber attacks, nuclear threats, globalization, food shortages, supply chain issues, hyperinflation, social media and the age of information/misinformation, etc. etc. all converging at once). But despite all of this, we are not the first generation(s) of humans to face hardships and threats of great magnitude, and in fact we’ve had it better than any other previous generations for most of our lives, especially here in the west.

The fact is, there are lots of things we can do to ensure we’re not sitting ducks when these threats come knocking at our door. But it takes action on our part, not waiting around for someone else to fix things or take care of us.

In the Summer issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with The Grow Network’s Marjory Wildcraft to talk all about the realities of our current climate, including worsening inflation and looming global food shortages, as well as what every day people like you and I can actually DO to improve our food security, become more self-sufficient, care for our families and communities and ensure our own survival and wellbeing even in difficult and uncertain times like these.

While I don’t believe in fear mongering, I do believe in acknowledging hard truths and not burying your head in the sand. That being said, things may very well get worse before they get better, and we would all do well to start learning the necessary skills, stocking up on essential resources and preparing now while there’s still time.

Check out the full interview in the summer issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. Link in bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or login and read the current issue.

#foodshortages #selfsufficiency #selfreliance #foodsecurity #foodsecurityisfreedom #homesteading #growyourownfood #fightinflation #stayfree
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