March 11, 2010

We’re Jammin’, I wanna Jam it wid you

Diabetic Apple Jam 2

Hey Bob. I mean readers. You like what I did there? How are you all? Jammin’? If not then you will be after reading this post. After relishing the Spiced Apple Chutney I made a few months ago, I decided to take things a couple of steps further. Possibly due to the fact that oodles of diabetics were sending me (the Wicked Witch of the Web) hate mail for enticing them with my sugar-laden preserves of doom.

Alas, there are a number of diabetics in my family and so jam is categorically off the menu. Full stop. Fear not comrades, for I hold the silver spoon of liberation to satisfy sweet-toothed diabetics! I have been toiling at my cauldron stove for the past few days experimenting with spells recipes for sugar-free jam so I can force feed it to all of you sweet, sweet children diabetics.

Creeping you out just a bit?


So we have two jams on the menu tonight: Sugar-free Apple and Cinnamon Jam and Sugar-free Hibiscus (Rosella) Jam. For all of you who may be tutting at me for using artificial sweetener *makes puppy dog eyes at lovely, understanding readers and resembles that cutie pie, Gizmo from Gremlins and so cannot be judged* I would like to add that this is jam. Jam is sweet. Therefore you won’t be eating heaps of it in one go. Unless you’re a bit of a Bruce Bogtrotter (except that was chocolate cake). When you’re diabetic and you crave sweet things, I think it’s better to have a teaspoon of sugar-free jam with a little artificial sweetener than a Twix. Indeed, if you’re not happy with sugar-free apple jam because it uses sweetener then I suggest you just eat an apple. Sounds harsh, no? Well my friends, that’s the harsh reality of conserving and preserving.

hibiscus 2

On the brighter side of things, there’s not too much artificial sweetener in the Apple and Cinnamon jam because the apples naturally contain their own sugar (which, if eaten in excess isn’t that great for you either but hey, I’m no food nutritionist). However, the hibiscus jam contains more because it is made from dried flowers, not fruit. The taste of hibiscus jam is sweet and sour like cranberries and reminds me of the taste of the fruit of the African baobab (ubuyu) tree; very lemony, berry-tasting and fragrant; it almost tastes like sherbet. Consuming hibiscus is commonly believed to lower blood glucose in those with type two diabetes. You can have a Google around and read up on this if you’re interested (like I said, I’m not qualified to give out health advice)… I’m just here to jam with you.

And I hope you like jammin’, too.

Diabetic Apple Jam
Sugar-free Apple and Cinnamon Jam (makes around 1 ½-2 cups of jam)


Around 10 medium sized eating (not cooking) apples, peeled, cored and chopped into ½ inch pieces
¾ cup sweetener (I used Candarel)
1 cup water
½ tsp agar-agar powder (the pectin in the apples will do the rest of the gelatinising)
1 tsp cinnamon powder


1. In a large saucepan combine the apples, sweetener and water and allow to boil for around 30-35 minutes or until reduced, stirring occasionally. This makes the house smell amazing.

2. When significantly reduced but still a little syrupy, add the agar-agar powder and cinnamon powder. Remove from the heat.

3. Allow to cool and transfer to sterilised jam jars. I sterilise my jars by wetting them a little and placing them on high power in the microwave until they’re dry. Be really careful when you’re doing this, folks.

4. Refrigerate and consume within two weeks.

hibiscus jam

Sugar-free Hibiscus (Rosella) Jam (Makes around 1 cup of jam)

As requested by my wonderful reader, John D. from Australia and adapted from Café Nilson


2 cups dried hibiscus flowers with any tough parts removed (sometimes you get little woody bits attached)
1 ½ cups sweetener (I used Candarel)
2 ½ cups sugar-free cranberry juice
½ tsp agar-agar powder


1. In a large saucepan combine the hibiscus flowers, sweetener and cranberry juice. Boil for 45-50 minutes (it takes some time for the flowers to soften but leave around a cup of moisture in there).

2. Add the agar-agar powder.

3. When the flowers are soft allow the mixture to cool and transfer to a blender. Blend the hibiscus until it becomes pureed.

4. Transfer to sterilised jam jars (see step three of the apple jam recipe above to see how I do it) and refrigerate. Consume within 3 weeks.

hibiscus jam 2

We’re jammin’
To think that jammin’ was a thing of the past;
We’re jammin’,
And I hope this jam is gonna last.

Did you make this?

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39 responses to “We’re Jammin’, I wanna Jam it wid you”

  1. the wicked noodle says:

    Sanjana, this looks awesome!! My hubby LOVES anything apples so this is a must-try. Cheers!

  2. Priya says:

    Fantastic Sanjana, hibiscus jam sounds truly incredible….both jams are prefect for me..

  3. Cool Lassi(e) says:

    Love the hibiscus jelly. Never heard of it but want to try it. I am always drawn to darker wicked things..Like your devil cheesecake and this rosella jelly.

  4. AshKuku says:

    How very luscious that looks…… Very tempting….. Even otherwise….I have no idea of cinnamon in jam, but I love the taste of it in the gums that I chew sometimes….. Really yummy…. that lil spiciness….. lil sweetness… Oh! It is a wonder….. I can only imagine how yummy it must taste as u go onto finish it all…..

    Sheer Jam!!!!!


  5. Jagruti says:


    Both sugar free jam looks know been ages that I've bought a jam bottle..I think I'll give a go at home…

  6. 3 hungry tummies says:

    Cute post! A great read before work! 🙂 I'll have to tell my diabetic friend about this!

  7. Bigarade says:

    hibiscus looks amazing! whats it taste like?

  8. ruchikacooks says:

    Hibuscus jam? That is totally healthy jam..How was it?

  9. FoodyGuru (Srimathi) says:

    Hi Sanjana, This is the first time I have come across hibiscus jam.Nice….I had a ? though. What kind of sweetener did you use?

  10. Sanjana says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for the wonderful feedback! If you do try it let me know how you find it.

    Bigarade and ruchikacooks- The hibiscus has a very fresh and flowery lemon taste with a little hint of berry in there. Very beautiful. It almost tastes like sherbet.

    FoodyGuru- I used 'Candarel' sweetener. It contains aspartame (very controversial for some people) however, I couldn't possibly think of another way to make jam without it. The amount of jam consumed in one sitting would be very low so I really don't think it's much of a problem. Hope that helps 🙂

  11. Bigarade says:

    Sherbet?Hmmm thats given me an idea!!
    where did you find them :$

  12. Sanjana says:

    Bigarade- I got mine online. You're a UK butterfly too so try mexgrocer(dot)co(dot)uk. Fair prices 🙂

  13. Ju (The Little Teochew) says:

    BEAUTIFUL jam, dearie!! The colour, perfectly golden and oh-so-sunny! Now, where are my scones? And my tea? 🙂

  14. Vaishali Sharma says:

    Wow…both the jams look so wonderful. Liked the idea of hibiscus jam…very interesting! I enjoy reading ur blogs so much….did I tell u? …u r the best 🙂

  15. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Wow, both of these jams sound amazing! Apple and cinnamon is always my favorite combination and I can't wait to taste them in a jam! Very intrigued by the hibiscus jam, so neat!

  16. Sharmilee! :) says:

    U make me drool over theose 2 variety of jams….just need a bread to wipe it off!

  17. MeetaK says:

    oh you got me at the hibiscus jam there! i am not much of floral-flavor-in-my-food kind of person but i think i could like this.

  18. Bigarade says:

    aww Thanks 😀

  19. Preeti Kashyap says:

    I love the flowery essence in suagr preserves….yumm! i have to try this!

  20. A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine says:

    Perfect Sanjana, both the jam's looks perfect to me..and sugar free too..lovely pictures..

  21. Tina says:

    Sooooo colourful and mouthwatering jam…

  22. Vegetable Matter says:

    Love the hibiscus jam. Hibiscus grow everywhere here in Houston, but we've never done anything edible with the flowers. You're making me look at my neighbors' yards differently — they're just waiting for us to pluck and cook their flowers.

  23. meeso says:

    Wow, you're jammin'! 😉 Looks good!

  24. angee says:

    wow yummmy jams. this is my first time here. you have a wonderful space and love your recipe collection. i'm new blogger, do visit my blog..

  25. Trix says:

    The color on that hibiscus jam is outrageous, I love it! These are just beautiful. And two jams – that's some real double, double toil and trouble. Fess up: Is the secret ingredient eye of newt and toe of frog? 😉

  26. Anonymous says:

    Send this to me now…………….PLEASE!

  27. Cooking Rookie says:

    Looks absolutely delicious and healthy! Beautiful pics!

  28. Siddhi S says:

    wow sanajana…both the jams r sooooooo yummmmmmm…apple jam looks tempting n i had never heard of hibiscus jam, it looks super yummy

  29. Mae says:

    My uncle is a diabetic and I'm always worried because he cheats constantly. I'd just decided a couple days ago that I was going to make him some good sugar-free treats… and then I read your post. Also, hibiscus flowers are amazing. There are soft-dried versions I buy at Trader Joe's in the States that you can eat like dried apricots!

  30. alison says:

    i like your both the jam very much ,the pictures are so beautiful!

  31. Sweets By Vicky says:

    I saw some rhubarb jam today and I was already in quite a jammy mood. And you tempt me with these two aweesome flavours! Must.Have.Jam!

    And I totally get those people trying to make you feel bad about artificial sweetnener. Like, you're trying hard to cater to their dietary needs and they complain if it doesn't taste like the 'real' thing…but get mad when you make it taste AWESOME but isn't…'natural'. Get over it and eat! 🙂 Well done!!!

  32. Anonymous says:

    You will make me rock round the clock with this.

    Saint Bapu

  33. Mr. P says:

    Want the jam, but want the tea cup more. (That's my inner old lady speaking – she has good taste).

  34. Sanjana says:

    Ju- You’re welcome to come for tea and scone any time! 

    Vaishali- Aww, you’re so sweet! I’m so glad you enjoy reading the posts!

    5 Star Foodie- I hope you enjoy them! Apple and cinnamon are two of my favourites together too.

    Sharmilee- Thank you! 

    Meeta- Hope you enjoy the hibiscus jam; I would say it’s more fruity than flowery so it could be something you like- I hope it is!

    Preeti- I hope you like it!

    A 2 Z- Thank you so much!

    Tina- Thank you!

    Vegetable Matter- Hehe, this gives you an excuse to go and pick their flowers  Jam is such a great way of preserving flowers.

    Meeso- I hope you like jammin’ too 😉

    Angee- Thank you, I will come and visit you!

    Trix- Aww, I’m glad you like it! I’m sorry I can’t give away any of my secret ingredients- Partly because vegetarians will have my head on a stick. Joke… if any vegetarians are actually reading this… :p

    Anonymous- Reveal your identity and I might just think about it 😉

    Cooking Rookie- Thank you!

    Siddhi- Thanks  I hope you enjoy it!

    Mae- I wish we had those over here… The dried ones are impossible to taste on their own. I did this post for all of those diabetics who sometimes cheat (like my dad, aunts and uncles) so I’ll be so happy if it helps them.

    Alison- Thank you so much 

    Vicky- Ouhh, sugar free rhubarb jam would be amazing! That makes me feel so much better that I’m not the only one who feels this way  Thanks for your lovely comment! Love your blog!

    Saint Bapu- I hope so! When we meet up next I will bring some for you 

    Mr. P- I thought it was something you (your inner old lady with amazing taste) might like. I love old skool teacups too!

  35. Dolly says:

    Dear Sanjana, I'm a huge fan of jams…Love ur posts as always. I have never heard abt Hibiscus jam..Now that I've heard and I guess cd give it a shot, only if I could find some dried hibiscus flowers (Just a thought- did u wake up one random morning and said-huh ,let me make some Hibiscus jam today) oh wait its a readers' request..How sweet of YOu… Great Clicks…

  36. Shelly @ EC Pursuits says:

    I love both of these but I reeaaally want you to post a jar of the Hibiscus Jam! 120% mouthwatering!

  37. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    I'm not diabetic, so I'm inspired by these lovely flavors but will probably make jam with sugar still. But this is wonderful of you to think of the diabetics out there and to come up with not just 1 but 2 recipes for them!

  38. Diana Bauman says:

    Hello Sanjana. I've been experimenting with an all natural sweetner. Sweet Tree's Organic Palm Sugar. Very low GI, perfect for diabetics and all natural! Love this post and photos!

  39. The Curious Baker says:

    Snap! I love hibiscus and recently went on a made spree and made hibiscus jam, syrup and a lovely drink, I almost jumped for joy when I saw this! Great minds and all that :)…

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