Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

« Ames Farm Honey giveaway winner, and some honey lovin' wisdom. | Main | Oven-Roasted Garlic Scapes (gluten free, vegan, ACD) »

Sugar-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (gluten free, vegan, ACD option) 

I saw the most frighteningly gorgeous strawberries at the farmers market last weekend. They were perfect - vibrantly red, plump, shiny, local, and organic. You could smell them from 5 feet away (no kidding).  These berries had the perfume of summer and sunshine and all things gorgeous and amazing.

Without batting an eye, I promptly bought two containers.  Seconds later, I had a mouthful of strawberry.

Oh. My. Goodness.  

The beauty that exploded from that berry made me close my eyes and take a tiny personal moment amidst the busy chaos of the market.  

Me, with mouthful of ripe summer strawberry. Heaven!

When I returned home with all those berries, which were ripening (and disappearing into my mouth) by the second, I knew I needed to use them fast. I grew up eating rhubarb strawberry jam all summer long, and it was always one of my favorite ways that my mom used rhubarb.  I've missed it rather terribly, so I decided to recreate a me-friendly version of my childhood favorite with some of those gorgeous berries.  I free-wheeled a recipe, and it turned out beautifully.  And conveniently, it is the perfect recipe to include as part of this month's Sweet or Savory Kitchen Challenge.  Ricki from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs and I are hosting our third SOS Kitchen Challenge, and rhubarb is the key ingredient.  I made a very tasty Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble Cake with Rosewater and Pine Nuts last week, so why not follow it up with some jam this week, right?

If only I had some sourdough toast to eat it on! Strawberry rhubarb jam on sourdough toast with salted butter is, quite possibly, one of the best things on earth.  I will need to try my gluten free sourdough experiments again, and save a container of this jam in the freezer for when I have a loaf.In the meantime, I just may eat this jam with a spoon right out of the jar.  

If you're feeling inspired by rhubarb, submit your rhubarb recipe to this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge by midnight CST on June 20, 2010!  Recipes need to be vegan or include vegan substitutions, must use whole foods ingredients, and should be sugar-free and use stevia or other natural sweeteners like maple syrup, agave, etc. instead. Check out the full rules here, then send your recipe to soskitchenchallenge@gmail.com.   I need to come up with savory rhubarb contribution. I have a few ideas, so we'll see what happens. Hooray for rhubarb!

Oh, one more thing - don't forget to enter my giveaway for a little jar of Ames Farm single source honey and a 100% beeswax candle, another treat from the farmers market!  The contest ends at 9 pm CST on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 so hurry up and check it out!  Some of that honey would be great in this jam, if you aren't vegan.  ; )

Sugar-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Yield approx 6 cups

Instead of packing it with loads of refined sugar, this jam relies mostly on the sweetness of strawberries, along with a bit of pomegranate juice, stevia, and local raw honey.  If you are vegan or intolerant to honey, you can easily substitute the honey with agave, yacon, maple, or brown rice syrup instead, or sweeten solely with stevia.    This would be easy to make strict ACD acceptable without the juice and sweetened only with stevia. If you eat honey, and have access to the honeys from Ames Farm, I highly recommend them. They are superior single source honeys with a wide variety of flavors and characteristics. I chose the spicy, rich flavor of their wonderful dandelion honey for this jam.  Instead of gelatin, I used agar agar, a wonderful sea vegetable that makes a perfect gelatin substitute.  

4 cups finely chopped strawberries
3 cups finely chopped rhubarb
2 cups water or juice (I used half water and half pomegranate juice)
6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
4 rounded Tbsp agar agar flakes or 4 tsp agar agar powder
20-30 drops liquid stevia, to taste
2 Tbsp lemon, orange, or lime juice or 1/2 tsp vitamin C crystals
optional: a couple pinches grated lemon, lime, or orange zest
1-2 Tbsp (or more) raw honey, maple syrup, yacon syrup, or brown rice syrup,  to taste (omit for ACD and use more stevia)

Sprinkle the agar agar over the water/juice in a medium saucepan, and let it sit for a couple of minutes. While it sits, finely chop the fruit.  Add cardamom pods and bring water/juice to a boil, then stir agar agar, then add chopped fruit and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until fruit is soft and mixture has thickened and cooked down slightly. Remove from heat and stir in sweeteners, vitamin C/lemon/lime, and zest (if using), and adjust sweetener to taste. Transfer into small jars and let chill in the refrigerator until firm.  Once cool, screw on lids.  


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Reader Comments (15)

Hey, this is perfect for me (diabetic). We just went berry picking this past weekend, and I found rhubarb at the farm stand too. Thanks for a great recipe!

June 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

This looks fantastic. I am still mulling my SOS submission this month - hope I can make it by the 20th. In the meantime, a quick heads up that I adopted you as part of this month's Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger event. I made your black bean fudge and it was absolutely wonderful.

Oh, and so glad to hear that you have sweet strawberries in your part of the world :) Strawberries in the mid-Atlantic this year have been oddly watery and not sun-ripened sweet at all :(

Thank you for both of your comments - totally understandable you thought I lived in NYC - somehow my blog always kept a bit of that vibe despite me moving to DC (and changing the name from City Girl Lifestyle to City|Life|Eats) :) I still wish I lived in NYC most of the time, though I have carved out a life I enjoy in Washington, DC. Oddly, raw cacao does not have me bouncing off the ceiling the way processed unsweetened cacao does. SO odd.

This is so great , such a fun filled exciting unexpected bright spot to my day !!! I loved getting your recipe it sounds fantastic and to get to see all your incrediable photograghs of the berries and the market it felt like I got to actually come shopping with you and to get to see your sweet smiling face really made my day , I could just picture little angels flying around you as you enjoyed those wonderful little berries . So happy I got to read this today , so happy to hear about this special recipe , thanks :)

June 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

This looks FABULOUS!!! I love strawberry-rhubarb jam. I have one question, though: Is the cardamom just for taste? That is, does it have any other function? I don't prefer the flavor of cardamom, and was wondering if it would alter anything to just omit it.

June 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Joy

You can have gluten free sourdough toast! that tastes good with long shelf life! Lasts on the counter 5 days, in the fridge 5 more. Taste improves over time. Freezes well.

Free Starter recipe download:

I bake every few weeks and freeze the extras Even the gluten eating people in my household prefer my gluten free sourdough to wheat bread!

sharon a. kane

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersharon a. kane

Carolyn - I hope it works for you. :)

Valerie - Thanks for adopting me! I'm so glad you liked the fudge!

Kathy - Your comments always brighten my day. Thank you, as always - you are so sweet and have such a big heart.

Karen - Yes, the cardamom is just for flavor. I'm a cardamom freak! But if you dont' like it, just omit it, it won't have any negative effect.

Sharon - I downloaded your salt-brine cookbook, and love the information! You GF sourdough info is great too. THanks for the reminder of such a great resource!

June 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

This sounds so good! I've always wanted to figure out how to make jam without any sugar, thank you! Do you think this will work with any berry?

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

Must the jars remain refrigerated, or can they go in the pantry?

June 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjulie

Jacqui - Yes, I think any berry should work! Let me know how it goes if you try.

Julie - You must refrigerate or freeze the jam, since I don't go through the process of pressure canning it in the recipe. If you are a canner and wanted to keep the jam pantry stable, go ahead and can this like you would other jam. This jam can be frozen and thawed for longer storage. Hope you enjoy it!

June 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

I've been searching for a refined sugar-free jam recipe! Yahoo to you. Thanks so much. I'm going to try strawberry jam this weekend I think - no rhubarb. I am jealous of your organic strawberries. I couldn't find them where I live. I did find some amazing organic raspberries though!

July 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

I just thought of a question! Can I not use stevia at all? I've never really liked the taste. I would rather add more maple syrup. Any thoughts? Thank you!

July 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Hi Maggie,
Adding more maple syrup will add more moisture, obviously, so it may not set as well - but go ahead and try it, and let me know how it goes! The only thing that would happen is that it would be runnier.

July 14, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

Just wanted to say thanks for the lovely recipe which I have just found via searching on Pinterest for Rhubarb Jam (sugar free - I'm diabetic). This is so yummy, I made a batch yesterday, so thanks a million :-)

May 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelen in the UK
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo