Diabetic Jam, Jelly, and Relish Recipes

Preserving fresh foods of the summer to enjoy later in the year is a cooking technique as old as cooking itself, so we've put together some diabetic jam, jelly, and relish recipes. These will help you eat well throughout the winter, and we even provide the nutritional and diabetic exchanges information.

Canning Basics:  The Jars

Old jars can be used (once sterilized) for jams, jellies, and relishes, but do invest in new rubber-sealing lids and new bands.

Vinegars can be in recycled glass bottles with a cork or screw-on-top. Most gourmet shops, shops that specialize in imported items (such as Pier 1), and some discount stores have pretty glass bottles made especially for home-made vinegars.

Sugar Substitutes for Preserving:  A Diabetes Essential

Since granulated sugar is a necessary component of making preserves, it's hard to get really good jam using sugar substitutes.  But to make this a good diabetic recipe, we've tested and tested to find the best sugar substitute for you.

The best that we've tried come from the test kitchen of Sweet 'N Low. 

Diabetic Jam, Jelly, and Relish Recipes

Blueberry-Peach Conserve Diabetic Recipe
(Recipe Courtesy of Sweet 'N Low)
Yields:  Four 1/2-pint jars

What You Need

  • 1 medium navel orange
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 1/2 pounds firm ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup white grape juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Sweet 'N Low

What You Do

  1. Peel the orange and lemon; finely chop rind (zest). Remove seeds from pulp and chop pulp.
  2. Place the fruit, their juices, and rind (zest) in a large pot. Add the peaches and blueberries; sprinkle with sugar and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the grape juice and Sweet 'N Low.
  4. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring frequently, for 35 to 45 minutes or until fruit is thick and translucent.
  5. Spoon into hot sterilized 1/2 pint jars, allowing 1/4-inch head space.
  6. Wipe rims with a clean cloth that has been dipped in hot water. Close the jars according to jar manufacturer's instructions and process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.

Note: Because Sweet 'N Low provides only the sweetening and not the preserving qualities of granulated sugar, jams made with Sweet 'N Low® must be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks if not frozen.

Nutritional Information
Per 1 tablespoon serving:

  • 15 calories (0% calories from fat)
  • 0 protein
  • 0 total fat (0 saturated fat)
  • 4 g carbohydrate
  • 1 g dietary fiber
  • 0 cholesterol
  • 0 sodium
  • 37 mg potassium

Diabetic exchanges: FREE


Strawberry Jam
(Recipe Courtesy of Sweet 'N Low)
Yields:  four 1/2-pint jars

What You Need

  • 3 1/2 pints ripe strawberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet 'N Low

What You Do

  1. Rinse and hull the strawberries. Crush the berries with the back of a large wooden spoon, or pulse in a food processor or blender. Reserve.
  2. Pour water into a saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over top. Let stand 1 minute.
  3. Place over low heat and stir for 1 minute, until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
  4. Add strawberries and Sweet 'N Low. Mix well.
  5. Pour into 4 hot sterilized 1/2-pint jars. Seal tightly and allow to cool. Freeze. Thaw before serving.

Note: Because Sweet 'N Low® provides only the sweetening and not the preserving qualities of granulated sugar, jams made with Sweet 'N Low® must be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks if not frozen.

Nutritional Information
Per 1 tablespoon serving:

  • 5 calories (0% calories from fat)
  • 0 protein
  • 0 total fat (0 saturated fat)
  • 1 g carbohydrate
  • 0 mg sodium
  • 26 mg potassium

Diabetic exchanges: FREE


Sugar Free Strawberry Jam
Yields:  about 3 cups

My friend's mother-in-law gave me this recipe and a small container of the jam. It tastes like fresh strawberries and will be wonderful to take out of the freezer one cold winter day to spread on morning toast.

What You Need

  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 0.3-ounce package sugar-free strawberry flavored gelatin

What You Do

  1. In a large saucepan, crush the berries and combine with the water and gelatin. Place over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into sterilized 1-cup freezer containers or jars. Allow to cool and cover.
  4. Store in refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutritional Information
Per 1-tablespoon serving:

  • 3 calories (0% calories from fat)
  • 0 protein
  • 0 total fat (0 saturated fat)
  • 1 g carbohydrate
  • 0 dietary fiber
  • 0 cholesterol
  • 4 mg sodium
  • 12 mg potassium

Diabetic exchanges: FREE


Red Pepper Marmalade
Yields:  about 1 1/2 cups

This is a great way to use up extra red bell peppers. Spoon this delicious marmalade over grilled chicken breasts, fish fillets, or hamburgers.

It's best at room temperature, so bring it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving time.

What You Need

  • 3 large red bell peppers, seeded
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sweet marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar salt (optional)
  • freshly ground pepper

What You Do

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. In a baking dish with cover, place the peppers, tomato, onion, and garlic. Sprinkle with marjoram. Cover and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
  3. Purée in a food processor or blender.
  4. Press through a coarse sieve.
  5. Stir in vinegar and season with salt (if using) and pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer to a sterilized glass jar and seal. Refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks.

Nutritional Information
Per 1/4 cup serving:

  • 36 calories (0% calories from fat)
  • 1 g protein
  • 0 g total fat (0 saturated fat)
  • 8 g carbohydrate
  • 2 g dietary fiber
  • 0 cholesterol
  • 6 mg sodium
  • 240 mg potassium

Diabetic exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrate (1 1/2 vegetable)


Mother's Corn Relish
Yields:  5 pints

When I was growing up in Kansas, my friends and I used to play hide and seek in my dad's cornfield where the corn stalks grew a good head taller than we.

Every summer, my mother would put up dozens of jars of this superb corn relish to give as gifts to friends. I might have been young back then, but not too young to help with shucking the corn or enjoying the sweet and spicy relish.

I've updated the recipe, using Splenda sugar substitute and a couple of red jalapeño chiles.

What You Need

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup Splenda sugar substitute
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 quart distilled white vinegar
  • 10 large ears of corn, kernels cut and scraped from the cobs
  • 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 small cabbage, core removed and thinly sliced
  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 medium ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 red jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and minced

What You Do

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the salt, sugar substitute, dry mustard, turmeric, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and add all the remaining ingredients.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Spoon the relish into hot sterilized pint jars and fill the jars with the liquid, leaving about 1/4 inch head space. Seal.
  4. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.
  5. Remove sealed jars and place on thick kitchen towels to cool. Store in the pantry. Once open, refrigerate.

Nutritional Information
Per 1/4-cup serving:

  • 68 calories (6% calories from fat)
  • 2 g protein
  • 1 g total fat (0.1 g saturated fat)
  • 16 g carbohydrate
  • 2 g dietary fiber
  • 0 cholesterol
  • 128 mg sodium
  • 185 mg potassium

Diabetic exchanges: 1 carbohydrate (bread/starch)


Summer's Best Vinegar
Yields:  2 cups

This is one of my favorites. You can make it with the familiar green basil or ruby-colored opal basil; the latter will give you a pale pink vinegar.

The vinegar's particularly wonderful sprinkled over sliced tomatoes and tossed green salads.

What You Need

  • 12 small sprigs fresh basil, washed and dried
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar

What You Do

  1. Fill a sterilized bottle or jar with the basil and garlic. Fill with the vinegar. Cap and label.
  2. Store in a cool dark place for 3 to 4 weeks. Check the bottle occasionally to make sure the basil is cored with vinegar. If not, add additional vinegar and recap. Use within 1 year.

Nutritional Information
Per 2 tablespoon serving:

  • 10 calories (0% calories from fat)
  • 0 protein
  • 0 total fat (0 saturated fat)
  • 2 g carbohydrate
  • 0 dietary fiber
  • 0 cholesterol
  • 0 sodium
  • 40 mg potassium

Diabetic exchanges: FREE


Peach Vinegar
Yields: about 1 pint

This is a delicate vinegar with a lovely pale peach color. Sprinkle over sliced fresh fruit or a salad of baby greens that's been tossed with a drizzle of almond, hazelnut, or walnut oil.

What You Need

  • 3 medium firm ripe peaches, about 3/4 pound total
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into 6 pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups champagne or white wine vinegar

What You Do

  1. Pit the peaches and coarsely chop without peeling.  Divide the peaches between 2 sterilized 1-pint jars.
  2. Add 3 pieces of cinnamon stick and pour 3/4 cup vinegar into each jar. If the peaches are not completely covered by the vinegar, add the remaining 1/2 cup.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 2 weeks.
  4. Strain the vinegar and peaches through a fine mesh sieve, then pass through a coffee filter.
  5. Pour the vinegar into a sterilized vinegar bottle, cap, and label.
  6. Store at room temperature. Use within 2 months.

Nutritional Information
Per 2-tablespoon serving:

  • 10 calories (0% calories from fat)
  • 0 protein
  • 0 total fat
  • 0 saturated fat
  • 2 g carbohydrate
  • 0 dietary fiber
  • 0 cholesterol
  • 0 sodium
  • 40 mg potassium

Diabetic exchanges: FREE


Pickled Okra
Yields: 1 pint (10 servings)

If you like okra as we do, you'll find yourself making this recipe again and again. A jar of pickled okra from a specialty store is expensive. You can make these for just pennies, and they are so delicious.

What You Need

  • 3/4 pound fresh okra 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole mustard seed
  • 1 small dried hot red chili pepper
  • Pickling Solution:
    • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spices
    • 12 whole black peppercorns

What You Do

  1. Trim the okra stems, taking care not to cut into the okra.
  2. Place the garlic, dill seed, celery seed, mustard seed, and chili pepper in the bottom of a sterilized wide-mouth pint jar.
  3. Loosely pack okra vertically in the jar.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring the ingredients for the pickling solution to a boil.
  5. Insert a metal knife into the jar to keep the jar from cracking as you pour the boiling solution into the jar to cover the okra.
  6. Seal with the lid. Let stand for 30 minutes to cool, then refrigerate. Use within 1 week.

Nutritional Information
Per serving:

  • 14 calories (0% calories from fat)
  • 1 g protein
  • 0 total fat (0 saturated fat)
  • 3 g carbohydrate
  • 1 g dietary fiber
  • 0 cholesterol
  • 3 mg sodium
  • 122 mg potassium

Diabetic exchanges: FREE

Updated on: January 3, 2013