How To Make Sugar Free Fruit Sauce

I LOVE Greek yogurt with a little honey, nuts, pumpkin seeds and dried fruit. I also like it with mixed fresh fruit. But I do NOT like the store bought fruity versions of yogurt that are supposed to be sooo healthy. You know, the kind with fruit sauce in it and lots of sugar. If it’s fat-free, then it’s sugar-high. If it’s sugar-free, then it has an awful artificial sweetener in it. Plus the fruit usually looks like some kind of pureed something. I don’t know what, but it’s not pretty fruit anyway.

Sugar free Greek yogurt parfait with raspberry jam made with Stevia
Sugar free Greek yogurt parfait with raspberry sauce made with Stevia

I spent a good deal of my youth picking fruit in the orchards of Silicon Valley. Yep, there used to be a ton of orchards and way less silicon back then. How times have changed. Anyway, back to the story- I KNOW what the over-ripe, mildewed fruit looks like that is set aside for large companies to make jams and jellies and canned stuff. Did you know that, in canned goods, the companies bleach the offending coloration and mildew off of the produce and then they add color back in? I’m not kidding. That’s why all of the carrots and peas look suspiciously the same color and shade when you open a can. Work a few summers in the fruit and vegetable biz and you will know far more than you ever wanted to know about processed food. So now you know why I want to make my own fruit sauces.

OK, back to the homemade fruit sauce. I’ve been wondering how I can make it with no sugar – or even very little sugar. I already know how to make a great sauce with two cups of sugar in the boil. It thickens up very nicely with all of that sugar. But I wondered if there was some other, low cal and body friendly type of thickener that I could use.


There is! It’s called Pomona’s Universal Pectin. The box claims that it jells with low amounts of any sweetener. I decided to give it a try. It turns out that I gave it a lot of tries. I experimented with both mixed berries and pears. With both kinds of fruit, I used either Stevia, honey, or Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet. In different batches, of course. The Stevia is no- cal and the other two sweeteners have calories. The Wax Orchard  and the honey have about the same amount of calories per teaspoon, but the Fruit Sweet is twice as sweet as honey so you use only half the amount and are, in effect, eating half the calories. It is organic, natural and made with the juice of fruits and it’s delicious. I highly recommend it as a sweetener.

With this pectin, you can make jam, jelly, fruit sauce or syrup. This time I want fruit sauce instead of jam for my yogurt so, I’m using one part fruit to one and a half cups water.

The box of Pomona’s comes with a small packet of calcium and a larger packet of pectin. With low or no sugar, the pectin needs some of the calcium to work. So, before you do anything, prepare your calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder  with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

rinsing berries to make a simple syrup with Stevia

Sugar Free Fruit Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sugar Free Fruit Sauce

  • 1 cup berries (frozen works as well as fresh)
  • 1- 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp Pomona’s fruit pectin powder for low sweetener amounts
  • 1 tsp calcium water (powder and instructions included in the Pomona’s pectin box)
  • Whichever sweetener you like. For the sugar free version, I used four small packets of Stevia. If you don’t mind a little sugar, then Honey, maple syrup, Agave or Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet work great too.

Tip: You can use this pectin to make fruit syrups, sauces, jams or jellies. To make a syrup you use way less pectin then to make a sauce and so on with Jam using the most pectin. The instructions in the Pomona’s packet are for thicker jellies and jams so measure out accordingly. My syrup takes only 1/4 the amount listed in the Pomona’s recipes.And my sauce is only 1/2 the amount.

To get started on the sauce, choose about a cup of berries and rinse them off. I make small batches that I know will be used up in a week’s time but you can definitely double or triple the recipe if you like.

In a separate bowl, add one half teaspoon of pectin powder and your sweetener. Stir to mix well. In my experiments, I used four packets of the Stevia, or four tablespoons of the honey or two tablespoons of Fruit Sweet. Set aside.  (The fruit sweet turned out to be my favorite.)

To a sauce pan, add the berries and one and a half cups of water plus one teaspoon of calcium water. Bring to a roiling boil.

boiling berries to make simple syrup

Add the sweetener with the pectin, stirring constantly to dissolve the sweet/ pectin mix. Continue stirring for another minute or so.

Transfer the sauce to a glass jar and cool in the refrigerator. When the sauce has cooled, it will be jelled. Stir it up and you are ready for a treat.

Making simple syrup and berry jam with fruit and stevia.

Pictured is a sugar-free pear simple syrup, mixed berry simple syrup, green tea with the berry syrup, yogurt and mixed berry sauce and a bowl of the jelled sauce itself. All of it made very easily with the Pomona’s Pectin.


Sugar Free Alternative to Starbucks Raspberry Green Tea Frappe

raspberry matcha frappe

The sun is just coming up and I need to get a move on with my new day. It’s my day off and I’m feeling a little sluggish about getting up. I REALLY want to sleep in, but I have too much to do today. I know! I’ll make a raspberry green tea frappe. Well, a really good fake RGTF anyway.

I used to be so hooked on the Starbucks version of this drink that I HAD to have one every Sunday morning.  Not only did it have full whipped cream, but I always got it with the full fat milk as well. Who knows how many calories are packed into those things. The Starbucks drink also costs a small fortune. Since I want to retire in a couple of years I’m trying to watch my pennies. So I came up with this healthy alternative to the Starbucks yummy-licious drink. This frappe tastes so much like the original that I kind of wonder if Starbucks is putting matcha into their green tea frappe. Nah…probably not, but try this and you’ll see. It’s delicious!

making an organic raspberry matcha frappe

Yummy Alternative to Starbuck's raspberry green tea frappe

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sugar Free Raspberry Matcha frappe

  • 3 tbsp organic matcha powder
  • 1 cup french vanilla coconut creamer
  • one jigger of unswetened raspberry syrup
  • one cup of ice
  • 1 small packet of Stevia

Into my blender I throw three tablespoons of organic matcha powder, one cup of French Vanilla Coconut Creamer, one jigger my unsweetened homemade raspberry syrup and one packet of Stevia. Then I will add a cup of ice and blend it all until it is smooth like a frappe. Fast, easy, sweet and fabulous. Just the incentive that I need to get out of bed and get busy.

raspberry matcha
raspberry matcha drink with pitzella cookies




Make a Simple Syrup with Raspberries and Stevia

This latest recipe is due to the fact that I LOVE raspberry syrup in my Starbucks green tea frappes.  Since I am giving up sugary Starbucks frappes in lieu of more healthy and less expensive drinks, I wondered if I could make a sugarless simple syrup to pour into my own green tea. It works! Follow the instructions below and you too will have a delicious syrup to keep on hand for whenever you need a flavor boost for your drinks. Just a bit of the berry juice makes a beautifully flavored water too.

boiling berries to make simple syrup
boiling berries to make simple syrup

Into a small pot, add about a cup of raspberries to two cups of water. Any berry mix , including frozen berries, works great. Bring to a roiling boil and stir until you see that the berries are breaking down and the water is getting really saturated with berry juice. This will only take about five to ten minutes. If I am going to use the berries for something pretty like a parfait, I only boil for about five minutes. The delicate raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries will break down really fast. If I want all of the juice out of them for a stronger flavor and I don’t care if the berries break down a lot, then I boil them for a bit longer – like ten minutes or so.

straining mixed berries

Strain the berries to separate the juice from them

Mixed berry simple syrup with Stevia

If You are going to make jam with the berries, pour off about a cup of juice to keep for your drink mixer. Stir in a packet of Stevia (or sweetener of your choice).  I’m not kidding when I say that a little Stevia goes a long way so start with a small amount and then add to taste. Store in the refrigerator until you make your next cup of tea or sparkling water. I only make enough to last a week. I know for a fact that it will keep at least that long when stored in the fridge. (In the photo above, I have added the berries back to my juice in preparation for making sugarless jam. That post will be up next.)

Green tea with homemade, organic raspberry simple syrup

Simple deliciousness. Green tea laced with homemade, organic and sugar free mixed berry syrup.

Tomorrow I’m going to post the second batch of goodness with the boiled berries. I’ll tell you how to make jam with a very tiny amount of sweetener. ANY sweetener. You no longer need a full two cups of sugar in the pot.

If you have boiled a longer time and the berries are no longer pretty, they still have a lot of good fiber left. Don’t throw the pulp away! Transfer the cooked berry pulp to your blender so that you can make a smoothie when you are cleaning up the kitchen. Don’t forget to throw in some protein powder. You’ve gotta have some energy to clean.

raspberry green tea