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! I love Hot German Potato Salad. It’s hard to beat potatoes with bacon, onions, & vinegar, among other things

  • Happy Birthday! On my birthday I like to eat ice cream home-made for me by my sister. For a long time it was Earl Grey Tea flavored, but lately nectar has been the flavor.

  • Happy birthday. My favorite would be stuffed shells. With the old style country green beans

  • Happy Birthday. I love making anything with apples. I really like all kinds of summer fruits.

  • My favorite cake is Angel Food. It’s sorta hard now that it’s mostly my parents’ and me celebrating. But twice my Mom has made a cake from scratch rather than buy them from the store and that makes all the difference.

    We both like to let it go stale as a treat so the cake is all eaten.

    Covered in fresh strawberries and whipped cream is one of our standards.

    My Mother will sometimes make a favorite meal to go with it. Chicken cacciatore most likely.

    Or sometimes we’ll go to a local German restaurant so I can have schnitzel and kΓ€sespΓ€tzle, which is only on their Oktoberfest menu.

  • My family all liked the same birthday meal, made at home: prime rib, mashed potatoes, cauliflower and cheese casserole with either chocolate cake with vanilla frosting or a strawberry filled angel food cake with whipped cream.

  • Happy Birthday to you!! For my birthday treat, I love fresh-baked scones with cream and lemon curd!

  • I love Thai takeout on my birthday. With shrimp crackers and extra peanut sauce.

    Hope you have a great birthday!

  • Happy birthday, Marisa! My favorite birthday treat is a chocolate and cranberry cake that my husband is famous for (in the family).

  • Happy Birthday!! Fruit pie!!! My favorite is strawberry rhubarb, but it is not in season on my birthday, so really any tart fruit pie!

  • Happy Birthday Marisa! My birthday starts a week of birthdays in our family. I don’t care for cake much, so I go for something like fruit pie or coconut flan. I also love any dessert made with guava owing o my Cuban heritage.

  • Happy Birthday! My favorite bday treat is a tarte with Italian plums topped with sugar roasted almonds and whipped cream. Simply delicious.

  • When going out with the family, we go to one of my favorite Lebanese places for dinner and get Mezza for everyone!

    At home, we might get a half-dozen donuts and cut them all up and share them.

    To make? Not so much a dish to have as the making. One of the best birthday presents is when my family gets the hell out of the house and lets me play uninterrupted in the kitchen for HOURS. Especially if they clean up afterwards for me!

  • Lemon love notes is what I would love to eat EVERYDAY, including my birthday. Would love to have your book, even tho, it is YOU that should be receiving gifts.

  • Wishing you the happiest to you from me all the way in bellevue, nebraska! At my house, I love making Minnesota wild rice soup with herby quick bread and a thunderbird salad for my birthday meal πŸ™‚

  • I love to have two things on my birthday: Cinnamon Flop, a coffee-cake-like cake that was a staple of my mom’s when I was growing up and now that she’s gone my daughter makes sure I get it. And PIE. I love a birthday pie more than anything. But only if it’s made by me.

  • Happy birthday!
    Just learning about all your cookbooks and I’m so intrigued!
    My favourite food to have on my birthday is either thai or sushi!

  • Happy Long Life, as they say the South Pacific! Of course another Taurus. Bday cakes in my house were always zucchini chocolate, two rounds sandwiched with strawberry jam, all from our garden. Still whenever I think of birthdays this is what I crave. I hope you have a fabulous day!!f

  • Happy Birthday!
    I used to always have Alice Spring’s Chicken from The Outback on my birthday, but there’s no longer one in my area πŸ™ However, my husband figured out how to replicate it, so he now makes it for me πŸ™‚

  • I love Birthday Cake with lots of frosting. But since the family doesn’t get together like we used to, I haven’t had a cake in years. I really miss the cake and the family gathering together.
    Happy Birthday to You!

  • Happy Birthday! I always request a spice cake with molasses cream cheese frosting for my birthday!

  • Happy happy birthday! Roast beef with mashed potatoes and old fashioned whacky cake is my birthday favorite!

  • My birthday is coming up, too. I plan to eat chile rellenos, truly one of my favorite foods and an excellent vehicle for melted cheese, a bit of crispiness, all with the green of poblano peppers.

  • Have a wonderful birthday!
    My favorite birthday food is, are you ready? Cake and ice cream!

  • have an exciting birthday!!!
    for my birthday i’m happy with anything i don’t have to prepare or clean up after!
    may yours be as leisurely as that!

  • Happy birthday! To me, celebrating my birthday isn’t so much about a special meal as it is something bubbly to drink. I love champagne/sparkling wine and it is always present at celebrations.

    I’m excited about this book. Its two siblings want it to come to my house to keep them company. I have had some of the same issues with preserving (so much sugar, what do you do with it all, etc…) and am excited to try this one out.

  • Happy Birthday! I love my mom’s homemade lasagna and what I really miss is my Grandma’s three layer yellow cake with lemon filling and some kind of amazing white cooked icing. It was delicious. I did a lot of preserving last year and I, too, am looking for ways to lower the refined sugar content.

  • Happy Birthday! Growing up, I always asked for a lemon cake with lemon icing for my birthday cake. I still love lemons, and make your lemon curd every winter with lemons from the Lemon Ladies.

  • Yay! Congratulations on your new book! Food is actually the main (only?) way we celebrate birthdays around here, but the food changes every year. However, I will say that a nice piece of halibut and some green beans will do it for me every time. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • Happy birthday! I think that my favorite birthday food is chocolate. In any form. Ice cream, cake, a fancy chocolate bar. And a nice bottle of wine, please. Yum! Hope you have a good one.

  • Happy birthday, Marisa! I absolutely love Food in Jars, which your sweet sister sent to us as a thanks for hosting a house party for her and Andrew. (Meyer Lemon Curd by stealthy spoonfuls is my fave!) As for birthday goodness, this past year we went out for dinner and I got cinnamon sugar coated doughnut holes with salted caramel dipping sauce. It was pure heaven. Hope your birthday is equally delicious and heavenly!

  • Hooray for May irthdays, mine is on Tuesday and although I have to work I will look forward to cake with my coworkers and dinner out with my honey that night.

  • Happy Birthday! On my birthday, in lieu of cake, my husband bakes me a giant chocolate chip cookie. What more could a girl ask for. I don’t like cake, and I make the ice cream… so with him supplying the cookie, Happy Birthday. Wishing you a wonderful birthday!

  • Happy birthday! My favorite birthday food is pizza–ideally multiple pizzas where I decide all the topping combos. Living large!

  • Happy birthday! Cake is always a favourite but tradition in my family is noodle to symbolize long life.

  • I don’t care for icing or frosting if you prefer, so I would rather have my favorite pie. Cherry Cheese Pie. And Happy Birthday to you.

  • I know everybody typically loves cake on their birthday, but I always try and find pie! And since I’m in the South, cobbler works also πŸ˜‰ Happy birthday!

  • I love Italian food anytime, so if I can get that for my birthday (especially if someone else makes it), it’s a happy birthday for me!

  • Happy birthday! My favorite thing to have for my birthday is “snow tunnel” cake. Basically, hollowed out angel food cake, filled with chocolate pudding and then iced with cool whip!

  • Happy birthday! My favorite birthday meal (since I was a little kid) consists of my dad’s baked chicken, real mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob.

  • Happy birthday! I like to have chocolate cake for my birthday, and shrimp, but not in that order. πŸ™‚

  • I my love birthday cake; sometimes a spice cake, or white or yellow but I always make it for myself and I love sharing it. The only downside is my birthday is on Christmas and with all the other food I sometimes feel bad serving a piece of cake after Christmas dinner. This year due to a happy accident, I had a bunch of vegan chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer. We dipped it in chocolate and that is what we ate in place of cake! Happy Birthday Marisa! I hope the sun shines on your day!

  • Happy Birthday! Hope it is wonderful! My family has been enjoying all of the preserves we’ve made from your first two cookbooks and we can’t wait to try sugar free options from your new book. Yay!

    So, every year for my birthday I have carrot cake, but it has to be my mom’s recipe!

  • Happy birthday! I love to celebrate with an extended brunch with all kinds of savory and sweet things, several home made jams as spread for a fresh baked brioche loaf included.

  • Happy birthday to you! My birthday is this month also and I’m hoping for pie. Any kind of pie but berry or strawberry-rhubarb comes to mind at this moment.

  • Happy Birthday Marisa!! Thank you for your for all of sweet books that bring such joy when I am in search of fun new canning ideas. I hope you have a lovely birthday!

    My favorite birthday food would be a chocolate crossaint with a perfectly made cappicino! Cheers.

  • Happy birthday! I enjoy a total indulgence at Texas DE Brazil, a steakhouse where they fire roast dozens of different meats and walk by your table over and over and stuff you to bursting. Lol.

  • Happy birthday Marisa! I own your first two books and this one would be a wonderful addition.

    My birthday is coming up a week from Monday and I have big plans for a fancy sushi dinner. When it comes to dessert, though, I don’t really have a favorite. I love fruit pies and chocolate cake equally, so we’ll have to see what piques my interest when the time comes.

  • I never like to make a big deal about my birthday, but will always be willing and able to eat a burger from some place I haven’t tried yet. of course with a side of pickles….

    Happy Birthday!!

  • Well, pffuey! Was going to wish you a very Happy Birthday without the instruction to do so! Still – have a terrific day.

    There. That’s done… πŸ˜‰

  • I love any home made cake for my birthday. After so many years of store bought super sweet cake, home made only. I hope someone makes you a cake today, Happy Birthday!

  • Happiest birthday Marisa! Hope you have a fantastic celebration and thanks for the giveaway generosity. My birthday favorites are made by my momβ€”for the meal my choice is always SpΓ€tzle with Goulasch and for dessert angel food cake with fresh strawberries and raspberries and fresh whipping cream. And I always love a glass of sparkling wine to accompany πŸ˜‰

  • From my vegetarian days, I’m still a sucker for vegetable lasagna but I’d also have my mom’s eggrolls for my birthday before having a mango dessert as the b-day cake.

    Happy Birthday!

  • Happy Birthday! I can eat anything on my birthday as long as it’s with family and friends.

  • I think my favorite birthday food was probably the salted caramel chocolate cake a friend made for me one year. It was terribly rich, and none of us could eat much despite her pleading that we eat more. It felt indulgent in just the right way.