After years of addressing questions reducing sugar, substituting sugar, and leaving it out altogether, accomplished canner and author Marisa McClellan began to rejigger her recipes, helping her home canners enjoy the flavors of the season without the refined sugars. The result is Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, preserving in the tenor of today’s health-conscious audience.
The inventive spreads, dips, pickles, and whole fruits in McClellan’s third preserving book use only unrefined sweeteners like maple sugar and syrup, coconut sugar, dates, agave, honey, and dried fruits and juices—and less of them. The book is organized by sweeteners, and includes recipes like Sriracha-style Hot Sauce (using honey), Date Pancake Syrup (with maple), Cantaloupe Basil Jam and Marinated Multicolored Peppers (both sweetened with agave), and Fennel and Parsley Relish (sweetened with fruit juice). Her trademark flavor combinations, seasonal awareness, and manageable small batches are here, too, for her longtime readers and a whole new audience, and are just as sweet.