Canning is like exercising. In the moment, it’s all sweaty and intense and even a bit stressful, but the results are soooo worth it.
There is nothing quite like the sight of those colorful rows of jars sparkling on the shelves. It’s a wonderful feeling to know all that food is safely put away, just waiting to be popped open and enjoyed until next year’s harvest is ready and it’s time to do it all over again.
I love what Barbara Kingsolver says, in her real food memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, that she thinks of her canning as fast food, paid for in time up front.
I couldn’t agree more.
Canning without sugar
I fell in love with canning over seven years ago. It didn’t take long to realize that many canning recipes call for gobs of sugar.
I generally take great pains to avoid refined sugars. Therefore, I wasn’t keen on the idea of mixing it into my lovely, local fruits or homegrown garden goodies.
The trouble is, there just aren’t a whole lot of recipes out there for canning without sugar. And the ones that do exist are hard to track down.
Believe me, I’ve been looking for these recipes for YEARS.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes for canning without sugar:
- Home Canned Honey Tomato Jam
- Honey Sweetened Blackberry Jam
- Honey Sweetened Hot Pepper Jam
- No Sugar Home Canned Applesauce
- Honey Pickled Radishes
- Basic Tomato Sauce
- Honey Sweetened Strawberry Jam without Pectin
- Home Canned Tomato Soup
- Home Canned Salsa with Lime Juice
- Roasted Tomato Sauce
- How to Can Green Beans (Ok, so literally no one adds sugar to canned green beans, but I though I’d include the recipe here with my other favorites.)
Naturally Sweet Food in Jars
After my long quest for sugar-free canning recipes, you can imagine my delight to discover Marisa McClellan and her fantastic canning cookbook called Naturally Sweet Food in Jars.
This is an entire book of recipes for canning without sugar!
Marisa is the creator of Food In Jars, a blog with a treasure trove of wonderful canning recipes. She really knows her stuff.
Not all of Marisa’s recipes are sans sugar. However, I’ve found many favorite canning recipes on her website and in the pages of her beautiful canning cookbooks.
Naturally Sweet is my favorite of her books, with separate sections for six different non-sugar sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and more. It is the exact sugar-free resource I’d been looking for!
More from Food in Jars
I’ve also found favorite canning recipes in her original book, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round.
And I’m super excited about her newest book, The Food in Jars Kitchen: 140 Ways to Cook, Bake, Plate, and Share Your Homemade Pantry. Because second only to my quest for canning without sugar is my desire to know what to do with it all after I’ve canned it.
Some things are obvious, like canned green beans and tomato sauce. But jams, chutneys, and pickles, while fun and easy to prepare, can sometimes pile up on the shelves without a true purpose.
Or sometimes a canning session produces way more finished product than you anticipated, and you need ideas for using up all that food in jars.
So now that I’ve found a solid resource for canning without sugar, I’m on a mission to identify simple, delicious, and family-friendly recipes for putting my canned foods to use. I’m thrilled to add Marisa’s new title, The Food in Jars Kitchen, to the collection of trusty cookbooks lining my kitchen shelf.
Let’s do a giveaway
How would you like to win a set of Food in Jars canning cookbooks?
You can enter the giveaway here, over on Instagram. Deadline to enter is Friday, August 9th.
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…