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Rhuberry Spread – Naturally Sweetened Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

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I enjoy trying new twists on old favorite recipes, and right now our local rhubarb is abundant, so when I found this naturally sweetened strawberry-rhubarb jam, I had to try it. This rhuberry spread recipe has only 4 ingredients and contains no added sugar or commercial pectin. It's sweetened with apple juice concentrate and thickened with natural apple pectin and slow cooking. The result is a sweet-tart taste that let's the strawberry and rhubarb flavors shine through. In addition to being used as a spread, I'm sure this would dehydrate to make a great fruit leather, too. I hope you'll enjoy trying something new, too.

Delicious Rhuberry Spread - Just 4 ingredients - Sweetened with apple juice concentrate instead of sugar and thickened with natural apple pectin.

Rhuberry Spread  – Naturally Sweetened Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam Recipe

Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Makes about six 8-ounce (1 cup) jars

Ingredients

  • 4 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and halved – or just use small berries
  • 2 cups rhubarb, finely chopped
  • 2 (two) 12-ounce cans frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

Directions

Sterilize seven 8-ounce jars, keep hot. Fill water bath canner and bring to boil.

Rhuberry Spread - Naturally Sweetened Strawberry-Rhubard Spread Ingredients

In large, stainless-steel saucepan, combine apples, strawberries, rhubarb and apple juice concentrate. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring regularly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 50 minutes.

The official directions continue: “Remove from heat and test gel. If gel stage has been reached, skim off foam.”  If you want to test for gel, you can check out how to do that in the apple jelly post. If you want to skim for foam, you can, although I rarely bother. I don't normally end up with much, and I'm not entering my preserves in the county fair. I just cooked my mix down until it seemed thick enough, and mixed in the tiny bit of foam.

Rhuberry Spread - Naturally Sweetened Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
Rhuberry Spread – Ready for Canning!

Ladle jam into sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims clean and screw on the lids. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes in water bath canner (add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level). Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars to a waiting towel. Cool, remove rings, and label for storage with date and contents. Wipe down any sticky spots, if needed, before storage.

Delicious Rhuberry Spread - Just 4 ingredients - Sweetened with apple juice concentrate instead of sugar and thickened with natural apple pectin.

Makes around 6 half pint jars. This time around I ended up with 5 jars, because I was busy with other things and let it cook down a little longer . One jar was left open for photos. 🙂

The boys did all the chopping for this batch. Good job boys! I used up the last of the frozen strawberries, since our local strawberry season is just getting started. Since the berries were frozen, I didn't bother slicing them. The spread looks different colors in the different photos because of different lighting. It's been overcast so frequently lately that natural lighting was not as cooperative as it should be.

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Rhuberry Spread – No Added Pectin

A delicious strawberry and rhubarb spread with just 4 ingredients, sweetened with apple juice concentrate instead of sugar and thickened with natural apple pectin.

  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and halved – or just use small berries
  • 2 cups rhubarb, finely chopped
  • 2 (two) 12-ounce cans frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

Instructions

  1. Sterilize seven 8-ounce jars, keep hot.
  2. Fill water bath canner and bring to boil.
  3. In large, stainless-steel saucepan, combine apples, strawberries, rhubarb and apple juice concentrate.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring regularly.
  5. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 50 minutes.
  6. Ladle jam into sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  7. Wipe rims clean and screw on the lids.
  8. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes in water bath canner(add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level).
  9. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars to a waiting towel.
  10. Cool, remove rings, and label for storage with date and contents.
  11. Wipe down any sticky spots, if needed, before storage.

Notes

  • Makes around 6 half pint jars.

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P.S. – If you don't have generous neighbors with big rhubarb patches and don't know where to find local strawberries, check out Eat Local Grown, a great website for locating farms, farmers markets and food co-ops.

Originally published in 2014, updated 2016.

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9 Comments

      1. Hi Laurie… I love this jam recipe… How long will it last in the fridge after opening if it is made without sugar please?

        1. Probably several weeks? With two teenage boys in the house, food doesn’t last long. You’ll know if it starts to go bad. Watch for mold or off flavor or color.

  1. What perfect timing! I have planted rhubarb this year with plans to make jam but until today hadn’t found a sugar-free recipe. Thank you! Thank you!

  2. Hi Laurie, Thanks for a nice newsletter. I just found you a little while ago. It’s nice to have you in the same state as me. Atleast I assume so, because you spoke in Green Bay this past weekend. Two quick questions for you. 1. What are swales? 2. Kiwi vines in Wisconsin, really? Would have loved to have gone to see you speak about wildcrafting. How can I find these things out earlier? No, I don’t do facebook. Thanks!!

    1. Yes, I’m in northeast Wisconsin. We’re planning another open house in early October – https://commonsensehome.com/homestead-open-house/, and I am seriously considering a weed walk and tour of the new permaculture plantings this summer.

      Swales are earthworks used to control water flow, as in this permaculture article by my friend, Matt – https://commonsensehome.com/introduction-permaculture/

      I’ve posted some photos of ours on Instagram, too, and will be writing future articles about how we’re transforming our homestead with permaculture. Lots of planting going on right now.

      Kiwi vines in Wisconsin – yes, in theory, but these are northern hardy kiwi that don’t have hair and are about the size of large grapes. Fingers crossed that we can get them to catch and thrive.

      I should have sent out notices earlier in the newsletter about the speaking engagements, but April was nuts. Between the various talks and promotions, and hurting my back so I couldn’t sit at the computer, I was holding on by the skin of my teeth. I’m working on hiring help right now to tackle some of the online stuff that eats up so much of my time and get a more organized schedule in place.

  3. Hi- I just found your website while looking for low sugar jam recipes. I have currants, raspberries, apples & rhubarb all growing this year & I was wondering if the currants & raspberries would be good to mix for a jam??? I’ve made lots of raspberry in the past but never did anything with the currants. Thanks

    1. Currants are very tart, so they don’t readily lend themselves to a low sugar jam, but depending on your tastes, they might be okay when blended with raspberries.

      I have currant jelly here – https://commonsensehome.com/how-to-make-currant-jelly-with-no-added-pectin/

      Low sugar raspberry jam here – https://commonsensehome.com/low-sugar-raspberry-jam-jelly/

      Old fashioned raspberry jam here – https://commonsensehome.com/the-last-of-the-raspberries-good-and-good-for-you/

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