saskatoon jam -low sugar recipe

Jessica Penner, RDBreakfast, Dessert, Dip & Spread, Recipes19 Comments

low sugar saskatoon jam

I made this saskatoon jam as low in added sugar as possible while keeping it food safe! The result is a jam bursting with berry flavour!

The other day at breakfast I sighed a contented sigh. 

We had toast, jam, fresh fruit, and coffee. 

I suddenly realized that this isn’t a breakfast I would normally get excited about. In fact, I’m not really much of a toast and jam kind of girl. But the toast was made with homemade sourdough bread. The fresh fruit was blueberries and cherries, which I only ever buy in season. The coffee was a freshly ground French pressed dark roast.  And the jam was saskatoon. 

The story changes when you’re eating gourmet. And yeah… I also realized I might just be a bit of a food snob! 

low sugar saskatoon jam

I found myself digging out my old food lab manual to create this recipe. I wanted to make it with as little sugar as possible while still keeping it food safe. The sugar in jams and jellies isn’t just added as a cheap filler to sweeten it. The sugar acts as a natural preservative against yeast, mould, and bacteria. So you can’t just cut the sugar out completely. 

why this saskatoon jam is a smart choice

As far as fruit goes, berries are impressive nutritionally. And as far as berries go, saskatoons are even more impressive!

Saskatoons are a good source of fibre, micro-nutrients, and anti-oxidants. Saskatoons are twice as high as blueberries for their anti-oxidant content! Anti-oxidants can help to keep blood vessels healthy thereby preventing heart disease. 

When you condense the fruit into a jam, you’re going to get a higher concentration of these nutrients. By adding less sugar to the jam than traditional recipes, each bite of jam will have more fruit and therefore, more nutrients such as iron and copper!

low sugar saskatoon jam

low sugar saskatoon jam

  • Author: Jessica Penner, RD


I made this saskatoon jam as low in added sugar as possible while keeping it food safe! The result is a jam bursting with berry flavour!


  • 8 cups berries (1250g)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 packages pectin (56g or 2 oz each)
  • 4.5 cups sugar (887g)


  1. Using your canning pot, sterilize your jars, lids, and screw tops by boiling in water for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove the jars from the pot but keep the lids and screw tops in the warm water.
  2. Place the berries and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Blend on low or pulse with the food processor until the berries are broken up but not pureed. Look for a chunky texture.
  3. Transfer to a large pot. Stir in the pectin.
  4. Heat over medium heat until boiling. Stir frequently.
  5. Then add the sugar 1 soup ladle at a time, stirring well in between.
  6. Return to a boil. Once it’s at a rolling boil, keep it at a boil for 1 full minute.
  7. Remove from heat. Fill the jars leaving ¼ inch (0.5 cm) head room (space at top). Either use a non-metal utensil to slide between jar and jam to remove air bubbles or gently lift the jar an inch or so off the counter and drop to remove air bubbles.
  8. Remove the lids and screw tops from the water. Place the lids and screw tops on the jam jars. Only tighten until finger tip tight. This means just until you start to feel some resistance. You don’t want the lids to be super tight.
  9. Return jars to the water bath. Make sure the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Return water to a boil. Once the water has returned to a boil, set a timer for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove jars from water and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Check seals to ensure they have sealed. At this point, you can remove the rings for storage.


Fills 12x 125 ml (½ cup) mason jars + extra to keep in the fridge and use within one week.

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19 Comments on “saskatoon jam -low sugar recipe”

  1. So I made this and I like it a lot because the sugar content is lower but I think the large volume of lemon juice changes the Saskatoon flavour a lot. It also isn’t quite as low sugar as you would think because other recipes call for their volume of berries in the crushed state. This recipe is probably equal parts sugar and crushed berries but that’s a lot better than almost twice the amount of sugar to crushed berries.

  2. Tried this and loved it — the flavour was delicious. I did find it a little too firm. Would it be reasonable to add 1.5 pkg of pectin?

    1. It’s interesting how people prefer different types of jam; I really like my jam to be firm! Before reducing the pectin I think I would puree the fruit a bit more to make it thinner.

  3. Hi Jessica.
    Regarding the low sugar Saskatoon recipe; in the ingredient list, you do not specify whether the 8 cups berries are to be processed before measuring, or after.
    Measured after processing the jam would be “low” sugar – measured before processing, as directed in the in the preparation instructions, the jam would be very, VERY sweet.

  4. Jessica I remember my mother using tart crab apples when she boiled the jam. I think in place of pectin. Would this be right? She also used to can Saskatoons as fruit, my personal favorite and freeze for pies. Thank you for posting this.

    1. Yes, apples contain pectin! Boiling down high pectin fruit is the traditional way of getting a high enough concentration of pectin to make a recipe of jam.

  5. I like to use lite fruit pectin, which requires less sugar. I’m wondering if or how I could use that in this recipe?

    1. When making jam, for food safety reasons, it’s important to follow a tested recipe. I’d recommend that you find a recipe that has been tested with the type of pectin you’d like to use!

    1. For the best food safety practices, the boiling water bath is recommended. But the next best would be to ensure all jars, new seals, and lids are sterilized and the jam is still piping hot when packing.

  6. Here in Alberta this year, despite the rain we had, I had to add about a cup of water to the recipe just to get a “jam” texture before it ever boiled. The jam was perfect once done, with loads of Saskatoon flavour! I’m a retired Home Economist and so well-skilled in the art of making jam too. Thanks Jessica!

    1. Always nice to “meet” a home economist! Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe… means a lot coming from someone so skilled!

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