Canning Berries without sugar question


Will be traveling to MIL who grows a lot of berries and do some canning and jams. Would like to do a bit for myself on keto. Just wondered if anyone has done any and have any experience to share. I have read some articles about canning without sugar and come to the conclusion it may be no point to try since it does not really preserve without the sugar added.

The trip back takes about 12 hours so it would be nice to make something that could stand the trip. Freezing is out of the question.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

If true, then your conclusion is correct. So you make a decision. I’d add: it’s really possible to live without a lot of stuff, including canned sugar with berries.


I eat a lot of berries in my keto diet. The low carb ones… but not the added sugar LOL.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #4

What about drying them? When I homesteaded at Lake Laberge in the Yukon we dried rose hips every fall simply because there were enough of them to make it worthwhile. Weren’t enough of anything else to do doodly squat.


That is a great idea. I had not thought about that. And since they are big on gadgets … they probably have some kind of dryer/dehydrator

(Cristian Lopez) #6

suspend them in sugar free jello (:


I feel like the jello would melt and make a mess. But cute idea.


I have a very good fruit garden, I have lots of fruit. I can them without anything else, it’s very easy. Heat conserves my fruit, not added sugar. It works with vegetables too so it’s not even the big amount of sugar in fruits…
I simply use a pressure cooker with water and the closed jars in it. When it’s boiling, I slowly cook the fruit for 15 minutes and let them cool in the pressure cooker. They are almost excusively good even after 4-5 years, I simply don’t have older ones :slight_smile:

I tried to dry fruits but they rot, wasps attacked me when I did them outside (apricots. I had 3 trees and I didn’t know this method but I couldn’t keep up anyway. one tree is stressful enough) and my dehydrator is tiny. I had lots of apricots last year, 120 mostly big jars, full… Only one tree and we ate and gifted some fruit… Dehydration using a little dehydrator was totally impossible. But one can do it with a tiny amount of berries and sour cherries, of course. I even did fruit… sheets? I don’t know the English term, it’s a raw vegan thing :slight_smile: Mildly fun.

It would be HORRIBLE to use sugar in my canned fruit and jams as fruits are already quite sweet in most cases, definitely way too sweet in some, I need to enjoy them until I don’t find them all too sweet :smiley: (well I still can drown them in unsweetened chocolate or eat them in pancakes or ice cream or even alone but in very tiny amounts… ;))

(I never used sugar in not sweet breads either, by the way. I don’t know why people put sugar into everything even if there is no need for it, honestly. My peasant anchestors baked bread without sugar. Sugar is overrated if you ask me.)

(Wendy) #9

Excellent! I agree!


That is nice info. So you pulp the fruit first I assume. I think I will try it along with making “normal” jam for the rest of the family. Usually the in-laws freeze their berries but end up with year old berries because they grow more than they consume… I may dry some of the older frozen berries to use in smoothies. Or at least try.

Agree with you on the sugar… I like the taste without it so much more

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #11

I Drying works OK for small stuff like berries because the dehydration is fairly rapid and various mildews, molds and whatever bad stuff is drifting around in the air don’t get much of a chance to infect. But there’s always a possibility. Bigger fruit not so much - it often rots or gets infected with something before it dries out sufficiently enough to prevent it. Dried berries must be rehydrated before use unless you just want to eat them in pemmican or a mix of other dry stuff like nuts, etc. You could also use dried berries in tea. That’s what we did at Lake Laberge. We drank a lot of rose hip tea. Wasn’t my fave beverage, but we had lots of it.


No, when I have a lots of fruits, I just wash them and put them into jars and cook them, it’s enough work :slight_smile: It was cherries last time, they went in whole too. I actually rarely can berries but did it with raspberries and strawberries, they worked just like the others, they just are very ugly that way :slight_smile:

I make jam in winter when the heat is welcomed (I make more or less dense jam, the fruits lose lots of water and it takes a lot of time. I use the oven for it, usually) and I can do it at my own pace. But it’s a very little part, I barely ever need jam and prefer raw fruit anyway (I have some in my freezer).


I use a Nesco dehydrator for doing berries and some veggies. (Due to the free range chickens and turkeys, no way can I lay anything edible outside!) Blueberries, sliced or whole small strawberries, raspberries - all very successful.
Also use it for beef jerky, and used to make natural fruit roll ups for my kids when they were little. I set it in my basement or garage so I don’t heat up the whole house.

One of the neat features is the ability to add drying shelves onto it - for more drying space. Originally, it came with 2-3 shelves/racks, but you can purchase more separately, and continue to stack them. I think I’ve got 8 now.

I’d have to ready up, but wondered how pressure canning might affect fruit. I’d imagine berries and such might just pop or turn to mush, but, I’ll add it to my canning list and see how we go.


Yeah, they become soft and kind of ugly, at least strawberries and raspberries. But I can make jam from them, I don’t need them as perfect as fresh or frozen :slight_smile: And they are still whole but it doesn’t matter, actually.
Blackberries look okay, not like I see much from that, black things floating in black liquid…
It’s not due to pressure, fruits become mushy when cooked or thawed… It’s one reason I kept frozen raspberries and sour cherries to snack on (they are soft enough to eat frozen, strawberries are way too hard, at least my normal, bigger ones. the tiny very flavorful type may be okay).

(PJ) #15

I’ve often wondered if allulose, which is a legit sugar, but doesn’t have processable carbohydrates, would work in place of sugar in things like canning. Because unlike every other form of non-sugar sweetener, you can make caramel with it. It’s not quite as sweet as table sugar, because that has fructose added to its sucrose for that bump up, but it’s still sweet.

(Bunny) #16

Aha ha! So that’s where the term “soaking in your juices” comes from?



[1] “…When canning without added sugar, berries can be canned in their natural juices or in water. When canning using added juice, either extract juice from berries or add unsweetened fruit juice. Juice can be extracted from a portion of the fruit to be canned, or from fresh apples, pineapple, or white grapes. …” …More


Update on my preserving berries project. It was mostly strawberries and raspberry season. I dried quite a few strawberries. It was fun and seemed to have worked out great. I quartered strawberries but since the berries were not huge I could have halved them. I canned a lot of them as well. To get the juices out I just boiled the berries quickly adding a little water and the juice came out and that seemed to work. The last batch I pulped and then brought home using ice packs and quickly froze adding rhubarb to some of it. Great fun. And thanks for all the help