Naturally Sweet Food in Jars

May 12, 2016(updated on February 1, 2023)
Naturally Sweet Food in Jars cover (1)

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars is my third cookbook and was published in March 2016. It focuses on preserving with honey, maple, agave, coconut sugar, fruit juice concentrates, and dried fruits. You can find an array of ordering options here.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars spine

The idea for this book was initially sparked by this post, as well as the many alternatively sweetened recipes that have come since on this site. The finished book features more than 100 recipes for preserves, as well as a handful of recipes designed to help you use up some of what you’ve put up.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars roasted apricot jam

I had two primary goals in mind when I was writing Naturally Sweet. The first was to translate some of my most beloved sugar-sweetened recipes into those that used less refined sweeteners.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars Honeyed Meyer Limoncello

The second objective was to create new and novel recipes that would be safe for canning and that featured the various sweeteners in ways that made the most of their unique, individual flavors.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars Lemony Strawberry Jam

I also wanted to help change the conversation about preserving. So often, people dismiss it because they feel like the products created when you preserve aren’t always the healthiest.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars Concord Grape Jam

However, by shining a spotlight on alternative sweeteners, I feel like I’ve created a collection of recipes that are able to balance health concerns with issues of safety and shelf stability.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars Sweet Onion Relish

And, as always, the recipes are relatively small batches that don’t require too much of your time and energy.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars back

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575 thoughts on "Naturally Sweet Food in Jars"

  • Happy Birthday! My most memorable birthday meal, was when my now-ex husband brought me a lobster dinner, when I was 9 months pregnant with our fourth child, and on bed rest. She was born the next day, guess it did the trick.

  • Happy birthday! Ever since my boyfriend told me he always eats oysters on his birthday (until his first birthday he spent with me – whoops!), I’ve felt my list has been missing a birthday food. In my early 20s, pancakes were a favorite birthday breakfast food, but generally each year it’s been whatever food I’m into at the moment. If my current foodisms continue through the summer, this year’s birthday food will be pickles. πŸ˜‰

  • Happy Birthday! I love birthday cake, but I haven’t had one of my own for years. Maybe this year.

  • Happy birthday! My husband takes me out for dinner and usually we go to Olive Garden and I get the mushroom ravioli! Yum.

    I have your book from the library, looks like there are a lot of great recipes. I do wish it were easier to leave open on the counter though!

  • Happy birthday! My favorite birthday food is Korean seaweed soup, which is a traditional birthday soup ?

  • Happy Birthday! Thanks for the giveaway.

    My husband and I like to get a sitter (though our oldest of 5 is finally getting old enough to babysit. Yay!!) and then go out for sushi and frozen custard on birthdays. You can’t beat sushi!!!

  • Happy Birthday, Marisa. For my own birthday, I tend to go for green curry (one of my favorite foods that I can’t cook myself), and perhaps a fancy bottle of whiskey or wine to celebrate.

  • Happy Birthday! With a birthday on Christmas Eve there is not usually a birthday party. I have recently changed this by having my family take me out for a sushi lunch before the family arrives to celebrate Christmas.

  • Many very happy returns of the day, and may you have many more! My favorite birthday treat is pretty much any lemon dessert — lemon pie, lemon cake, you name it.

  • Happy birthday!! In my house, birthdays are all about cupcakes with mounds of frosting. We usually try a new cupcake each year.

  • Happy birthday to you! Celebrations just aren’t complete without a good drink and cheese to pair with it. Love the blog and loved getting to meet you at a class in Philly this year!

  • Happiest of Birthdays to you. Birthdays at our house mean getting to eat cake in bed for breakfast. The rest of the year a “growing” food before “treat” food rule is in effect. So it’s extra fun to break the rules on your birthday. My indulgence… Carrot cake.

  • I always want some ice cream. A good natural vanilla is my favorite – even though I am a chocoholic

  • Happy birthday friend! My birthday is not complete without a lemon cake with rainbow chip frosting. I’ll never grow out of it ?

  • Cheesecake–there’s a tiny little place near me (truly tiny, so small it can only serve drive-through customers, as the building only has room for refrigerators and a cashier) that has the best cheesecake on Earth.

  • Happy birthday to you! We have a great photo of my dad blowing out the candles on a pie and sending the sugar on top all over the person seated opposite. That man really loved pie, though, so cake has been entirely optional.

  • Happy Birthday! No favorite food, just what I feel like on that day. Love your cookbooks. This one will be especially nice for me. I have as much honey as I can use every year from my son’s hives. Nice to find another way to use it.

  • Happy birthday fellow May baby! Any flavour of cake works for me as long as its gluten free so that my husband can have some.

  • Happy birthday! I always go for dinner at my local German restaurant for schnitzel with paprika rahm sauce, spΓ€tzle, and pickled red cabbage.

  • Happy Birthday! I always have pistachio pudding cake on my birthday, just like my mom used to make for us growing up! Thanks for the lovely giveaway. <3

  • I always have carrot cake for my birthday. Mostly as a delivery method for cream cheese frosting. Yum! Happy birthday!

  • marisa! my birthday is also soon and I’m currently planning on throwing a low-key tea party because that’s how to really assert you’re an adult, right? anyways, I’ve been thinking a lot about the food but especially the cake… and I really want some sort of lemon cake. I’m thinking a lavender-lemon raw cheesecake. anyways, happy birthday!! I hope it’s full of so much fun and great food.

  • Happy Birthday! I’m happy with anything that has dark chocolate and raspberries. Oh, and halibut would be wonderful too!

  • Happy birthday! Since my birthday is in the winter, I always enjoy drinking a peppermint mocha to celebrate.

  • Happy Happy Birthday! My mama always makes me a homemade birthday treat so there are so many yummy things to pick from: molasses cookies, chocolate cheesecake, tiramisu, boston cream pie, apple pie, anginetti cookies- so glad my birthday is coming up soon!!

  • My family used to do angle food cakes, now with my kids and hubby we do our families chocolate cake or Mississippi Mud cake (so rich and yummy!) and I love to keep it simple for myself since I have to do the cooking πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday to you!

  • My birthday is right around Thanksgiving so we usually just tack my birthday onto holiday since everyone is already in one place. I request my mom’s cranberry-chocolate fudge as a birthday dessert- it’s delicious and she guards the recipe from the rest of the family.

  • Our family has been into doughnuts for birthdays the last few years. I just received your second book for mother’s day. Love it. But I think your newest book is more how I cook every day. Can’t wait to see it too. I do hope you have a happy day!

  • Happy birthday! I love cherry chip cake with vanilla frosting flavored with maraschino cherry juice. My grandma made it for me every birthday when I was little.

  • Happy birthday!! You are an inspiration! I can’t rennet anymore how many years I have been reading FIJ. I am so looking forward to summer fruit and Naturally Sweet FOod in Jars.

  • Happy birthday! I would choose BBQ babyback ribs! I love them and don’t have them very often.

  • Happy Birthday! I always love to eat…whatever sounds good that day! Guess it depends on the year!

  • For 35 years I had a chocolate cake with a pink heart in the frosting. My birthday is on Valentine’s Day.

  • Congratulations on your publication and happy birthday!
    For my birthday,I love lemon cake.
    I have been doing lots of edibles in jar, mostly dehydrated fruits and your book sounds intriguing.

  • Happy birthday! I hope you get to eat cake (without which I don’t feel like it’s been a birthday).

  • Happy Birthday! My birthday is in high summer so I like to eat my childhood favourite: toast-tites – a sort of homemade blueberry pop-tart

  • My birthday is next week, and I’m not sure what I will eat but my daughter notified me my cake needs pink frosting.

  • I like spaghetti with meat sauce that my dad makes for my birthday. And a strawberry pop tart for breakfast. My mom would only buy them for my birthday – and I always thought that they were SO special. Now I eat one for the memory it evokes….because they sure don’t taste as good as I remember!

  • I like spaghetti with meat sauce that my dad makes for my birthday. I like salty things more than sweet – so a cake isn’t as important πŸ™‚ BUT I like a strawberry pop tart for breakfast on my birthday. My mom would only buy them for my birthday – and I always thought that they were SO special. Now I eat one for the memory it evokes….because they sure don’t taste as good as I remember!

  • Happy Birthday! I recommend grape jam on toast for your breakfast! I’ve been making grape jam with my grandmother’s grapes for years, and it’s always a favorite. I’m excited to try out your recipe. Best wishes!

  • Angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries. The cake has to be homemade and by me because I enjoy the process of the angel food cake making as much as eating it.

  • Happy Birthday! My treat of choice is a good croissant, optimally with a cup of milky coffee on a bench in a lovely park.

  • Happy Birthday! My favorite birthday treat is some type of fruit pie – fresh strawberry, raspberry or peach.

  • I met you in SF years ago before any books, you’d just updated your logo and shared it, as well as sharing canning tips. So nice to see your success! And the continued enthusiasm. Happy birthday to you! I eat whatever the heck I’m in the mood for on my birthday πŸ˜‰

  • Very merry birthday to you. On my birthday my husband bakes a cake (this only happens about once a year since I’m the cook between us). It’s stellar every year. I hope someone makes you something lovely.

    Thank you for producing such an awesome book. I’m looking forward to cooking through it.

  • Happy birthday, Marissa. My favorite birthday treat is either a coconut cream pie with meringue or sour cream raisin pie.

  • Happy Birthday Marisa!! Around here we love cheesecake for our birthdays. πŸ™‚ Congrats on your 3rd book! And thank you for the giveaway.

  • The last time I actually celebrated was when I turned 18 and legal! Free at last!! Now, not so much! Have a great day with your selected celebrators!

  • Happy Birthday!!!
    My favorite treat on my birthday is dark chocolate cheesecake and port.
    Your new book sounds great. One of the things I appreciate about your blog is you do post ideas on how to use the items you have put up. That really helps when a person needs a bit of direction and inspiration.
    By the way, your honey limoncello sounds wonderful!

  • Wishing you a Very Happy Birthday.
    Your Birthday is a special day..
    One that’s just for you
    A time for doing everything
    You specially like to do..
    And on this day that belongs to you,
    The wish this greeting brings
    Is for the joy you so deserve
    And all life’s nicest things!
    Hope you have a wonderful and enjoyable day

    What I would like to eat on my birthday………..anyone’s else’s cooking besides mine for that day:}
    Actually; I prefer having pizza and then fro dessert; a small, warm lava cake A la mode.

    Thank you for this giveaway opportunity

  • Happy birthday, Marisa! My favorite birthday celebration is with carrot or spice cake, and a nice dinner with family where someone else volunteers to clean up! Can’t wait to get a copy of your new book, because I turn often to Preserving by the Pint.

  • Happy, happy birthday! These days for my birthday, I prefer to eat what someone else besides me cooks (a day off for me). and something chocolate for dessert.

  • My son has a birthday today and he insists on pound cake for his birthday treat – maybe you’ll do the same? Have a great day!

  • Happy birthday! Since college, I’ve been baking myself a cake for my birthday every year — usually, but not always, involving chocolate. Have a great day!!

  • Happy Birthday, Marisa! Hope you have a great day! Pizza from the local wood fired artisan pizzeria (along with a nice bottle of wine!) is my favorite way to celebrate!

  • Happy birthday and many more! Three books now, I remember when you were writing your first, congratulations!!!!!!
    I love going for breakfast on my birthday with much coffee

  • Happy Birthday! Regardless of what you eat, you’ll feel even better about your birthday if you wear a tiara.

  • Our family always has a fish fry on my birthday. All kinds of fish, some bought and some caught. And happy birthday to you.

  • Happy birthday to you! Mine is Halloween and I love a big breakfast. I love giving out candy to the kids at night so I have the rest of the day for me.

  • Happy Birthday to you! My birthday is May 21, and like Winnie-the-Pooh, I would love to eat eat anything with honey! Yummy!

  • Happy Birthday! My mom always made angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream for my birthday. That tradition continues. My favorite birthday meal is salmon and asparagus.