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 to you!
    I have so many things I enjoy, though cheesecake on a almond coconut crust made with goat cheese and honey with my own preserves might possibly be my favorite!

  • Happy Birthday!!! My favorite thing to eat on my birthday is a lemon cake with a lemon buttercream icing.

  • Happy Birthday! My favorite treat is cheesecake. We usually make our buy a plain cheesecake then we open several jars of my homemade home canned jams. Favorites are seedless boysen/marionberry jam and the raspberry, cherry, rhubarb jam. So much more flavorful on a wonderful occasion.

  • Happy birthday! I love my mom’s homemade coconut cake on my birthday. Would love your book. Thanks for the chance!

  • Ooo, Happy Birthday! It’s also my nephews and he’s a big foodie, even at 12 🙂 I’d love a copy of your book to try new things.Thanks for being so generous.

  • Happy Birthday to you. I like to have shrimp for my birthday dinner. I don’t eat dessert anymore so my special love is to have fresh fruit! Hope that your day is special and filled with wonderful surprises. Of course I would love to get your book, but that goes without saying.

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I’d love to eat a flourless chocolate cake with fresh raspberry sauce, mixed berries and freshly whipped cream on my birthday.

  • Happy happy birthday. My favorite borthday treat wouls be angel food cake. Growing up it was this special cake for all birthday celebrations. I still remember one birthday when I wa around 8 at my grandparents and my grandma asked me what color to make the merange icing. She didn’t bat an eye when I asked for black.

  • Well Happy Birthday! My favorite birthday food is always too much cake. German chocolate or carrot cake suits me just fine. Before that I like to get my wife to make me a meatloaf. I know it’s simple but I love it. Just like she would love this book!

  • Happy Birthday, Marisa! I’d like to eat my gradmother’s Irish Potato Cake Cake for my birthday, the perfect combo of cocoa, lemon, coconut and unexpected potatoes in the mix! Cathy F.

  • Happy birthday!!!!! My favorite food is coffee ice cream….don’t know why but I love it!!!!!!!!

  • Happy Birthday!

    My birthday is coming up next month, but I don’t have a tradition or favorite food that I’m looking forward to. I think I’d like to go out (so I don’t have to cook) and taste some new beers at a local brewery with friends and family.

  • Growing up, my grandmother would make each family member an angel food cake with lemon glaze for their birthday. It was a box mix, but it was a really good box mix that had separate powdered egg whites that you would mix with water then fold into the rest of the batter. Sadly, all the companies stopped making the two part mixes. The ones out now taste like crap. It takes a lot of egg whites to make an angel food cake so I don’t get too many opportunities to make one. But when I do, I always make the same lemon glaze that my grandmother did and it is my favorite birthday treat.

  • Happy Birthday! I don’t have a favorite food for my birthday but I do love to make jams, jellies and preserves. I’ve only used traditional pectin and sugar methods, so I was excited to see recipes with other sweeteners used in canning.

  • My four siblings and I got to choose whatever we wanted for our birthday dinner. Our mom was a wonderful cook and would tackle just about anything. Our choices ranged from pizza to sauerbraten(my choice). Talk about lucking out-I’m the oldest and mom was still cooking strong just before she passed away at 86! Now I just cook it every year for all of us-and we “prosit” to Grandma!

  • Happy Birthday! I get a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting for my birthday every year.

  • Happy birthday. I hope you realize how young 37 REALLY is!!! My favorite food on my birthday would be an old-fashioned yellow cake with cooked fudgy icing. I haven’t been able to duplicate the ones my mother made, despite my efforts. It’s fun to keep trying, however.

  • Happy Birthday!
    I am just learning about your blog and food in jars cookbooks. I love canning jams in the summertime and I’m on a journey of reducing my sugar intake, so your new book looks so interesting. Thanks for all of your more natural and low sugar recipes!

  • Anything that I don’t have to cook !! In our family, the birthday person gets to pick where we eat out on their birthday.

  • Happy Birthday..So kind of you to give us a chance to win a copy of your book on your birthday. My favorite cake is a white cake. When I was young, our baker (neighbor) would make extra wedding cake batter for my birthday cake. So sweet of him. Hope you had a great birthday. Coming back to Pittsburgh?

  • We pick a new restaurant to try for supper on our birthdays so I look forward to trying something new and not cooking for a night!

  • Happy Birthday! I know it gross, but I really love overly sweet grocery-store birthday cake. It just taste like birthday!!

  • Happy Birthday! My favorite food to eat on my birthday is crab legs and cheesecake (not at the same time).

  • For my birthday I like to eat anything I didn’t have to cook! Have a great birthday weekend.

  • My birthday is this Saturday and I love my husbands chocolate cake! ( Betty Crocker….lol)

    Hope you have a wonderful, Happy Birthday!

  • Happy birthday, and congrats on the new book! I like yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting for my birthday. 🙂

  • Happy happy birthday to you!
    Cheese cake it my birthday cake since I was a little girl…everyone found that strange but my Mom made the best.

  • Happy Birthday! I think you will like 37. I like white cake with white frosting – especially if there is almond flavoring and/or coconut involved – on my birthday. Heresy, I know, but no chocolate for me. 🙂

  • Happy Birthday! My birthday cake always has to be chocolate and made by someone else because I was once told that making your own birthday cake (as much as I would love to do so) is against international birthday law 😉

  • Happy Birthday! I’m not a big cake fan, preferring pie instead. I love to eat my Momma’s chocolate pie for my birthday, even better when she is the one making it!

  • I don’t usually have cake for my birthday because I can’t have it (dairy).
    This year I found someone who could make a cake that was dairy free. I ordered it to have on
    Christmas for one of our desserts (in addition to homemade cookies).
    (We have several December birthdays in our family) The cake was a hit. Everyone loved it!
    It was a great birthday celebration! Happy Birthday!

  • Best wishes! Hope you had a wonderful birthday. I’m loving your blog. Discovered you and your books thanks to Dundee Gardens. Unfortunately, I have to work the day you’ll be there. Otherwise, I would have loved to attend the event. Take care and have a great time!

  • One of my favorite things to look forward to around my birthday is getting together with our family “birthday club”. My husband and I have birthdays close to each other, and likewise two of his siblings with their spouses. We rotate hosting the birthday couple and make any cake or dessert they’ve requested that year, and either play games or just enjoy an evening of nice conversation. This year, my husband has requested Key Lime Pie and I am very much looking forward to it as well!

    Wishing you a very happy birthday!!

  • Here’s wishing you a very happy birthday! My birthday is at the end of July, so I’m able to celebrate it with breakfast and/or dessert that involves those lovely tiny wild blueberries that grow everywhere here in Downeast Maine.

  • My birthday is May 15th, and I am from western Massachusetts. The perfect birthday dinner is the perfect confluence of late spring foods: pan-roasted shad roe, steamed asparagus, and strawberries for dessert. All from the glorious Pioneer Valley!

  • First time I’ve visited this site. Like the Naturally Sweet Food in a jar book. Had big garden last year and made whjat I called “refrigerator pickles’ tasted a lot like bread and butter pickles, so easy, very delicious and never lasted more than a couple of days. Use them in and on everything! But—took large amount of sugar. I’d like to try your Minty Pickle Spears and other recipes for Xmas presents. For the small jar sizes and reduced sugar content. I have strawberries—might try the Chocolate Strawberry Jam.
    On my birthday, I like Rhubarb Cream Cheesecake. Happy Birthday to you! .

  • Happy birthday a bit late! I would like a slice of cheesecake with either fresh raspberries or a warm caramel sauce or both!

  • Happy Birthday to You + Happy Birthday to Me… we share the same bday, Marisa 🙂
    On May14th, I had a lovely flourless chocolate birthday cake.
    Cheers to an Amazing Year!!!

  • There’s nothing that I love more than a rich fruit cake with a dash of rum in it for my birthday, which is in April. Am looking forward to adding Naturally Sweet Food to complement the autographed Preserving by the Pint I’d picked up at your first canning event in Toronto, Canada.
    Belated birthday greetings. Hope you had a marvelous birthday!

  • First off, Happy Birthday!
    My favorite thing to have is something with lemon. It can be lemon meringue pie, lemon cake, lemon sorbet, lemon something.

  • Happy Happy Birthday! I haven’t had a consistent birthday food tradition in years, but when I was really young, my grandmother would visit for my birthday and make a batch of warm, cakey muffins dipped in butter and a cinnamon+sugar mixture. Those were the (birth)days!

  • It’s no longer an annual tradition, but I still love having ice cream cake on my birthday – it’s a holdover from celebrating at Dairy Queen as a youngin’!

  • Happy Birthday, Marisa! All the best in the upcoming year. I hope you had a great celebration and lots of chocolate cake. Chocolate cake is absolutely the best birthday cake!