Sugar Free Gooseberry Refrigerator Jam

Before I left for Cuba (I know, I know, I’ll stop talking about it soon, I swear!) gooseberries were in FULL season and were going for a handful of pennies just about everywhere, so I couldn’t resist buying a ton of them.

Well, OK, maybe not a ton, but at least a truckload!

Yeah, I love them that much. Unfortunately, their season is rather short and if you try to buy them off season, they will cost you an arm and a leg.

Well, OK, maybe not an arm and a leg, but at least one of the two.

Although gooseberries allegedly keep for a very long time in the refrigerator, up to 3 months according to what I read, I didn’t want to risk losing my precious treasure so I decided to turn them into a refrigerator jam.

And to be honest, I’d been meaning to give that a try for some time anyway, so it was the perfect opportunity.

Sugar Free Gooseberry Refrigerator Jam | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Funny though how this was the second year in a row that I had to deal with a large batch of freshly purchased fruit right before to leave. Last year, it was 36 pounds of cherries that I had to pit and freeze…

The jam was MUCH faster and easier to make, let me tell you that much.

Although peeling gooseberries is kind of a pain… ful experience. Your fingers WILL hurt after a while, I can guarantee it. But once you’re done with that part, the rest is a piece of cake. This jam is good and ready to go in just about 5 minutes.

Then there’s the matter of chilling, which takes waaaaaay too long.

But your patience will be rewarded with this amazing jam that is not only delicious, it’s also super pretty and, you guessed it, very healthy!

Sugar Free Gooseberry Refrigerator Jam | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Notice that I haven’t used any sugar whatsoever in this one, not even honey. I chose to use dried apricots to add a little bit of sweetness, as well as fresh ginger and vanilla beans to give some depth to the subtle flavor of the gooseberries.

The result was beyond my expectations! It’s so pretty and delicate looking, I feel like a millionaire every time I eat this.

And you know what the best part is?

This jam is so low in calories and contains so little sugar (compared to the “regular” stuff anyway) that I can afford to eat it by the spoonful and not feel guilty in the least.

Of course, I’ve also tried it on a piece of toast. I’ve also mixed some in with plain Greek yogurt and added some to my cereal one morning.

Sugar Free Gooseberry Refrigerator Jam | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

My verdict? FABULOUS!

But my ultimate favorite way to enjoy it has been as the main part of a Chia Seed Pudding, quite similar to the blueberry mango version I did not too long ago.

This one was MUCH better, though.

So much so, I might have to give it its very own post…

Good thing I ended up making a double batch of that gorgeous jam!

Gooseberry Refrigerator Jam

Yield: Makes 12 servings (¼ cup per serving)

Gooseberry Refrigerator Jam


  • 750g peeled gooseberries
  • 125g dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 15g fresh ginger, finely grated
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 2 fresh vanilla beans


  1. Add the gooseberries, chopped apricots, ginger and lime juice to a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds with the tip of the knife.
  3. Add the seeds as well as the now empty pods to the saucepan. They add a lot of flavor and you can even leave them in the jars until the jam is all gone.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and continue cooking until the gooseberries start to pop and release their juice and seeds, about 5 minutes.
  5. You want to keep about half the fruits whole, so make sure you don't overcook your jam.
  6. If you are planning on eating the whole batch within a week, just allow the jam to cool and keep refrigerated in an airtight container, for 8-10 days.
  7. However, if you want to keep it a little bit longer, transfer the jam while it's still hot into clean Mason jars and close the lids loosely. Allow to cool completely and transfer to the refrigerator.
  8. If a proper seal forms, you will be able to keep your jam for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
  9. Of course, if you know how ('cuz I don't), you could also can this the proper way and keep it on the shelf for several months... but if you're gonna do that, I think you should make a much bigger batch!


Refined Sugar Free

Gooseberries | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Sugar Free Gooseberry Refrigerator Jam | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Sugar Free Gooseberry Refrigerator Jam | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie



    • says

      LOL! Quite right. And no, I did not do it on purpose! 😉 Too bad you couldn’t get your hands on ’em this year. Perhaps next year! That reminds me, we have to get together and hit the market soon, before the snow sneaks up on us! I’ll email you this week.

        • says

          Ah ah! I hope we don’t have too harsh a winter this year, so you at least have a little time to adjust. Mind you, I don’t think you can ever be fully prepared for our winters. It’ll be my 39th, and still, I dread the darn thing. I just want to run away as fast and as far as I can! 😉

  1. says

    I love gooseberries. Grew up picking them off the trees and eating them in India. Miss them here in the states and not sure if I can get them in any store. It’s fruit like “no other” :) ! Will make this recipe when I visit next or if I can manage to find them in some ethnic store ! I like that you added no sugar but still created a flavorful preserve !

  2. says

    O those look sooo pretty! I thought gooseberries looked very different or am I now confusing things… Those names can sometimes be so different translated into English. We have kruisbessen which are then – I thought – called gooseberries and then we have Kaapse kruisbes… which is the one you’re using sooo gooseberry as well… They’re pretty rare to get here anyway but I love what you done with them and yes matching nailpolish! How cool is that!

    • says

      Well, when you search on Google for gooseberries, you get returns for 2 different fruits, I’m assuming they are the two that you mentioned. This is what we know here as gooseberries. If you ever can get your hands on a fairly large quantity, you should definitely give this a try. I think it would pair off really well with a soft chèvre… 😉

  3. says

    So those are gooseberries! We definitely don’t have them here but I’m intrigued by the dried apricots. I’m definitely going to that next year when I make apricot jam. Beautiful pictures and jam! I wish I had some. It’s 100% guilt free. Love it.

    • says

      Oh maaaaan! No gooseberries? I definitely wouldn’t want to live where you are… 😉 Mind you, you do get apricots galore there, whereas we don’t really get that here. But I think I’ll choose the gooseberries (and grill!) over the apricots.

      Definitely give the dried apricots a try in your next batch of apricot jam. I’m sure you won’t even need to add sugar at all!

  4. M. says

    Hi there, Sonia,

    Just stumbled upon your beautiful blog. Your recipe sounds amazing and the photographs are divine, too. Just wanted to chime in and say that here in the U.S. we call those little guys “cape gooseberries” or “ground cherries.” Our plain old “gooseberries” and bigger, plumper and don’t have the papery husk around them. (Ground cherries belong to the same family as tomatillos, hence the resemblance.) Might be the source of confusion earlier in the comment thread.

    Best wishes,

    • says

      Thanks so much for that! Ground cherries, that makes so much sense! In French, we call them “cerises de terre”, which means exactly that: ground cherries. I think that I will call them that from now on, it’ll be less confusing (but just as tasteful!) :)

  5. Rachel says

    these are known as physalis in the uk and they’re expensive and not grown by your average gardener. We do grow green gooseberries and pinkish ones. I got confused by your peeling stage until I scrolled down! . I’m right now making green gooseberry ‘jam’ with frozen gooseberries from the summer, honey and a vanilla pod. Thanks for your recipe! :-)


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