This hibiscus tea jam is a unique recipe that many people in tropical and Mediterranean countries enjoy as a healthy, delicious spread. This version is sugar free making it a great low carb jam.
Ready in 30 minutes this vibrant Caribbean jam is also gluten-free and vegan. It's a great low carb jam to enjoy at breakfast or with a dessert. Homemade sugar free jam is a better choice than commercial jam that can be full of additives.
WHAT IS HIBISCUS?
This red plant is known by a few names. The botanical name for this flower is Roselle Hibiscus Sabdariffa but it is also known as Sorrel, Roselle and Bissap. Here in Saint Lucia we call it Sorrel (and why the jar labels in the photos have Sorrel on them!) and it's part of our Christmas celebrations with it made into a spicy punch and is also used as a cranberry sauce substitute.
Many parts of hibiscus plant are used in various recipes. We mainly use the fleshy red calyces for our recipes. Although we use fresh plants, it can be dried and used in that form. I need to learn how to do this as hibiscus is seasonal for us but happily it can be purchased dried too.
IS HIBISCUS LOW CARB?
Hibiscus tea in stores and cafes are often packed with sugar so should be avoided but the plant itself can be enjoyed on a low carb diet. One cup is about 6g net carbs a serving but that's in it's pure natural form. Making it into a tea or jam spreads out the carbs by volume.
Hibiscus flowers have many health benefits as it is high in antioxidants and used for lowering blood pressure and for a natural diuretic.
WHAT DOES HIBISCUS TASTE LIKE?
The taste is similar to cranberries in that it can be sharp and tart but it has a slight natural sweet taste. It's often paired with ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon to soften the tartness.
To make this sorrel or hibiscus jam all you need is:
- Fresh or dried hibiscus flowers
- Cinnamon stick - this could be replaced with ground cinnamon
- All spice
- Allulose - Our favourite low carb sweetener for jam and ice cream recipes but any low carb sweetener can be used.
HOW TO MAKE SUGAR FREE HIBISCUS JAM
The great thing about making jam with sorrel or hibiscus is that you do not need any thickeners as it seems to have a natural pectin of it's own. Normally we would use ground chia seeds to thicken a berry jam but they are not needed here.
To make the jam it's as simply as placing the flowers in the pot with water, spices and low carb sweetener. Boil and simmer until thick!
Keep the jam in glass jars and store in the fridge. They should last for up to 3 weeks.
HOW TO SERVE HIBISCUS JAM
Use this sugar free jam as you would any other berry jam or cranberry sauce. We enjoy it spread over our coconut bread but it's great with a bowl of yogurt, stack of pancakes or as a sponge cake filling. Serve with baked brie or a cheeseboard.
Add fresh or ground ginger for a jam with a touch of heat. Other berries such as raspberries or strawberries could be added to the jam making. Or try rhubarb too!
MORE LOW CARB JAM RECIPES
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Sugar Free Hibiscus Jam
- 1 lb hibiscus flowers
- 1 medium cinnamon stick
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup allulose or other low carb sweetener
- ½ teaspoon all spice
- Remove the red spiky petals from the bottom of the flower pods and rinse.
- Place the pods in a large saucepan and add the cinnamon stick and water. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until tender.
- Add the allulose (or other low carb sweetener) and the ground all spice. Stir through.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
- Remove from the heat and remove the cinnamon stick. Allow to cool before spooning into sterilized glass jars.