This easy freezer strawberry jam uses no pectin, is great for beginners, and is finger-lickin’ good to boot!
If you’re like me and have always wanted to be a member of the “I can make jam” club, but seem to be missing the jam gene, THIS is the recipe for you.
My fruit butter is delicious, and now I have a jam recipe that makes me The Lady That Makes Jam. (Hats off to my mother-in-law, who makes the full-blown real deal and makes it look easy. This recipe is for the rest of us mere mortals).
This CRAZY easy strawberry freezer jam recipe requires:
- No intense cooking (there is a smidge of warming, but we can handle warming)
- Zero canning (via pressure cooker OR water bath)
- No pectin (because I normally don’t have it, since I’ve given up on traditional jam…)
- Zero refined sugar (only natural sweeteners here!)
It’s important that you use good-tasting strawberries when you’re making jam. To keep your costs down, consider using ”jam berries,” the not-so-pretty berries but oh-so-delicious berries that you can find at farmer’s markets (check out my Ultimate Guide to Shopping the Farmer’s Market). I always shop around for the best prices and take advantage of seasonal sales – one of the foundational principles of my Grocery Budget Bootcamp.
Don’t let the amount of lemon in this recipe deter you – I promise you won’t notice.
Remember how this recipe doesn’t have pectin? Well, you do need something to help the strawberry jam actually become jam, and citrus is a good natural source of pectin. Specifically, the zest and the pulp.
Aside from the lemon zest and pulp, gelatin is the secret ingredient to making your no-cook strawberry freezer jam recipe gel!
Typically gelatin is associated with making jello, and I have it in my pantry because it’s a treat to make our own homemade gummies, but we’re not making jello in this strawberry jam recipe. We’re using a small amount AND when you combine it with lemon juice and lemon zest, it creates the perfect amount of jam-gel.
Gelatin comes from animals, and you should be able to find mainstream gelatin in typical grocery stores. Ideally though, since it is an animal product, you want to buy the best gelatin you can afford.
This is the gelatin I use and recommend. It’s not “cheap,” but this one container will make a lot of jam, and it won’t leave any ‘beef’ flavor in your jam.
We’re skipping the white sugar in this recipe (one small step towards quitting sugar) and going au natural with one of my favorite sweeteners, honey!
Since this is a no-cook recipe, this is IDEAL for using raw honey!
I recommend contacting the 4-H club in your county for raw honey. If you don’t have raw honey locally available, this is my recommended go-to raw honey.
Zester. I HIGHLY recommend using a zester (a.k.a. microplane), despite me saying it was a kitchen appliance you didn’t need. In this case, it makes life much easier. Add it to your Christmas list, borrow one from a neighbor or get free 2-day shipping via Amazon Prime (which you can try for FREE for 30 days!) – trust me when I say a zester makes your strawberry jamming life wonderful.
Juicer. You also want to use a cheap juicer like this one. This cheapy doesn’t do any straining, which is good. You actually WANT a little bit of the pulp, because you get an extra bit of natural pectin there.
If the name “easy no-cook freezer strawberry jam” didn’t give it away, this is not a shelf-stable recipe. This is a store-in-your-fridge-or-freezer type of recipe… which comes with a few perks.
You can re-use old jars.
If you were canning this strawberry jam, like you would can homemade applesauce or make homemade canned diced tomatoes, I’d recommend using new lids to ensure your jam actually cans properly. But since you’re NOT canning, you can use any jar you want (as long as it has a lid). Here’s my method for taking old labels off jars with just one ingredient.
I still used these cute pint canning jars for one of the batches I made, because I’m giving the kids’ teachers jam as an end-of-the-year gift. My other batches though, I put in re-used coconut oil jars!
If you’re going to freeze this strawberry jam, this post on how to freeze in glass jars without breaking them is a MUST read.
You’re not heating up the house in the summer.
Your jam will be good in your fridge for at least a week, and probably longer.
In the freezer, your strawberry jam is good for up to a year. To thaw, move one from the freezer to the fridge and let it slowly warm (from freezing to cold) overnight.
Alrighty then – IT’S TIME TO JAM!
Step 1. Prep all the strawberries. Place 1 cup of strawberries in a blender or food processor and puree until mostly smooth.
Step 2. Pour lemon juice into a medium-sized stockpot. Sprinkle gelatin on top of the lemon juice. Set the timer for 2 minutes.
Step 3. Pour the pureed strawberries into the pot and turn the stove on medium-low. (You are NOT cooking the mixture. This is merely to warm the gelatin so it is not lumpy and will dissolve evenly among the jam.)
Step 4. Warm the mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring often until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Remove from the heat.
Step 5. If you want a smooth jam, pulse the remaining strawberries in a food processor or blender until the desired texture is reached. If you want chunky jam, add the remaining strawberries to the pot and mash with a potato masher or the bottom of a glass.
Step 6. Add the lemon zest and honey and stir well to combine.
Step 7. Carefully pour the jam into pint glass jars and place in the fridge overnight. Jam is good for at least a week in the fridge. Store in the freezer for long-term storage.
Should I use pectin in my strawberry jam?
This recipe uses no pectin! The naturally occurring pectin in lemon, along with gelatin, help this jam to gel for the perfect spreadable treat!
Why do you put lemon juice in strawberry jam?
While tart lemon juice is a common ingredient in strawberry jam, it’s actually the zest and pulp in lemons that are the important element of this freezer jam, because they have naturally occurring pectin that helps your jam to gel.
Can strawberry jam be frozen?
This strawberry jam is perfect for freezing, and because it’s specifically a freezer jam, it doesn’t require any special canning processes or fancy sealing jars. Any jar will do, and it keeps well in the freezer so you can enjoy your jam for up to a year!
Other Ways to Use Strawberries
- Dehydrating strawberries for snacks
- Strawberry balsamic vinaigrette
- Strawberry chocolate granola
- Homemade ice pops
- Strawberry pancakes
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Watch How to Make Easy No-cook Freezer Strawberry Jam
Easy No-cook Freezer Strawberry Jam
This deliciously easy recipe for freezer strawberry jam has no pectin, no refined sugar, and is great for beginners.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 0 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 3 1/2 pints 1x
- Category: Sauces/Condiments
- Method: Warm on Stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 5 cups strawberries, cut into 1” pieces (about 2 ½ lbs strawberries washed, hulled and cut up – measure after cutting)
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest (the zest from about 1 large lemon)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (the juice from about 1 large lemon)
- 3 1/2 tsp gelatin
- 1/4 cup honey
- Prep all the strawberries. Place 1 cup of strawberries in a blender or food processor and puree until mostly smooth.
- Pour lemon juice into a medium-sized stockpot. Sprinkle gelatin on top of the lemon juice. Set the timer for 2 minutes.
- Pour the pureed strawberries into the pot and turn the stove on medium-low. (You are NOT cooking the mixture. This is merely to warm the gelatin so it is not lumpy and will dissolve evenly among the jam.)
- Warm the mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring often until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Remove from the heat.
- If you want a smooth jam, pulse the remaining strawberries in a food processor or blender until desired texture. If you want a chunky jam, add the remaining strawberries to the pot and mash with a potato masher or the bottom of a glass.
- Add the lemon zest and honey and stir well to combine.
- Carefully pour the jam into pint glass jars and place in the fridge overnight. Jam is good for at least a week in the fridge. Store in the freezer for long-term storage.
- Make sure to pick flavor-packed strawberries for your jam. They don’t have to look beautiful, but they should taste sweet!
- This jam freezes for up to a year! This post on how to freeze in glass jars without breaking them is a MUST READ if you want to freeze your jam.
- Not all gelatin is created equal. I recommend this grass-fed gelatin.
- Serving Size: 1 Tbsp
- Calories: 10
- Sugar: 1.6 g
Keywords: Strawberry Jams