Making Naturally Sweetened Jams and Jellies with Pomona’s Universal Pectin

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned for free as a thank you for writing this post. Regardless, all opinions expressed are completely my own.


I and my boys love homemade jams and jellies. They’re a sweet accompaniment to toast, sandwiches, crackers, and so much more. Plus they’re an excellent way to use up the many pounds of produce we get from our local co-op!

What I really dislike about most jams and jellies is that they have to be sweetened with LOTS of white sugar. That sugar is necessary for them to jell.

Since I and my family have been trying to eat more healthfully, regular white sugar is simply not option. It’s one of the worst things for us!

Now there are some pectins out there that you can use to artificially sweeten preserves. But artificial sweeteners are worse for a person than refined sugar, so that wouldn’t work. Which meant I had to say goodbye to jams and jellies.

But then I discovered Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Pomona’s pectin is called universal for a very specific reason. It can make preserves using pretty much any sweetener out there. You can use white sugar and artificial sweeteners with it, yes (though in less quantities), but more importantly you can use natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, xylitol, and stevia!

Pomonoa’s is a business run by Connie and Mary Lou who are sisters. They’ve been in business selling their gluten free, vegan, citrus-based pectin for 33 years.


DSCN3620Mary Lou sent me several boxes of their universal pectin to try. I love the box that the pectin comes in. It looks homey and old fashioned.

DSCN5101The first different thing I noticed about this pectin was that each box contains not one but two envelopes. One contains the pectin and the other calcium powder.

Calcium powder? I’d never used calcium powder for jam making before, so here’s how my experience went.

DSCN4874First and foremost I had to have something with which to make jam. We had just received 16 pounds of cherries from our local co-op so that’s what I went with.

DSCN3621After getting the cherries washed, pitted, squished, and measured out into a stockpot, I prepared the calcium water. Following the directions, to get it ready, I added it to some water, making calcium water.

DSCN4985I decided to make this batch using some raw unfiltered honey. The directions said to mix the pectin in with the honey before adding it to the squished cherries. So I mixed it together in the measuring cup then mixed it into the fruit. Next, I added some of the caclium water.

DSCN4987After cooking the jam as directed, I ladled it into sterilized jars and processed the jars in a boiling water bath to seal them.

DSCN4991The result? Incredibly delicious, beautiful, nutritious cherry jam!

This pectin is awesome! It’s very easy to use, does an amazing job, and makes the honey taste delicious. I love that I am able to make homemade jams and jellies sweetened with real food sweeteners for my kids.


imagesYou can purchase Pomona’s Universal Pectin online at



Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned for free as a thank you for writing this post. Regardless, all opinions expressed are completely my own.


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