This sugar free syrup recipe is a weekly staple in my kitchen. This completely guilt-free sweet, tangy, berry goodness tops my Greek yogurt snacks; my pancakes; my lovely muffin creations from the recipes in Trim Healthy Mama (book review here). And it does not stick to the muffin tops, if you get my drift.
It’s super-quick to whip up a whole jar-full, which we plow through in a week or less.
So I have really no idea how long it would last outside of that. I switch up flavors every week, so we don’t get bored. I’ve made…
I’ve even made peach, which is a bit higher carb, but delicious on my E pancakes.
This is a batch of strawberry-blackberry I’m starting on.
This one is mixed berry…just the blend from Aldis. It’s my current favorite.
This is how it comes together:
I use one full 14 ounce bag, or about 2 cups of frozen berries for the syrup. Add these to your saucepan, and cover with 2 cups of water.
Put your pan on the stove, and turn the heat on medium low.
Now, I’m gonna use 2 ingredients in this that you may not have, but you can sub with whatever you’ve got.
The first is this little shaker jar of NuNaturals brand pure Stevia Extract.
There are, that I know of, 3 brands of stevia extract that don’t taste like licking freshly sprayed chem-lawn. This is one of them.
You only need a teensy-tiny amount. SO tiny, in fact, that I pretty much just leave my bottle with only the 3 smallest holes open.
And when I say tiny, I mean the finest dusting of micro-fine powder will do-ya. I use about 5 shakes, and then stir and taste until I achieve a decent sweetness.
If you’ve not cooked with stevia before, it’s a different type of sweet from sugar…a gentle sweet. More is not better with here. Getting too much gets you into the bitter-aftertaste-ish zone, and we don’t wanna go there.
If you don’t have any of this, then feel free to sub your favorite sweetener option. You’ll be able to just use it ‘to taste’ and please do feel free to sneak a taste to make sure it’s just right.
Now we come to the second weird ingredient. I found out about this amazing stuff from the book Trim Healthy Mama that is mentioned & linked above. It’s a thickener made from a starchy root, but it’s low carb, high fiber, and tasteless. You only use a very small amount to achieve a great, clingy-syrup-like consistency. Xanthan gum is a good sub, but I’m not sure how much you’d want to use.
This is what I have. (Don’t mess with capsules…the gluccomannan isn’t as potent.)
I use 1/2 teaspoon, and *don’t* just dump it in there…gluccomannan is kind of an odd deal, in that it IMMEDIATELY expands and gels when it hits liquid. And forms not-so-delicious gel-blumps.
So unless you enjoy gel-balls (and I don’t), gently sprinkle your gluccomannan over the berries while stirring. You’ll notice when it hits the water, it absorbs in and spreads out. Keep it in a fine sifted dusting, and you’ll not have any issue with clumps.
Add a small pinch of salt to wake up all that lovely flavor. And by pinch, I mean less than 1/8th of a teaspoon. Stir, taste, and adjust your sweetness. Please don’t skip the salt. I know it sounds weird, but it gives more of a depth of flavor to wake up the sweetness of the stevia.
I really like a couple of drops of lemon essential oil in the mixed berry, to give it some zing. Or you can use a couple teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to get the same effect.
The strawberries are a little too big for what I want, so I either do this…
Or this. Depending on whether I’m in a power tool mood or not.
I scooted the big berries underneath the immersion blender and gave them a good whirring. I kinda like most of the smaller berries being whole. But if you’re not a whole-berry loving person, or if you accidentally dumped in your gluccomannan all at once, and have a gel blob problem on your hands, then feel free to whir it like you mean it. It’ll still taste JUST as good!
I just heat and stir until it gets thick and a little bubbly…for a couple of minutes over medium low heat. Then let it cool down a bit. It’ll thicken up more as it cools down.
See how yummy and perfectly thick this is!
Then I pour it into a 3 cup canning jar, and into the fridge it goes.
Now, if you make a big jar of berry sugar free syrup, then you’re going to need a lovely quick pancake to go with it. And butter. I’ll tell you more about that next.
Here is your printable for this fabulous sugar free syrup recipe!
- 2 cups (14-16 oz.) frozen berries of your choice
- 2 cups water
- sweetener to taste
- ½ t. gluccomannan
- pinch of salt
- 2 drops pure lemon essential oil, optional (I like NOW brand)
- 1 t. vanilla extract, optional
- Pour berries and water into a medium saucepan, over medium low heat.
- Add your sweetener to taste.
- Gently shake the ½ t. of gluccomannan over the surface of the water, while stirring to blend. It will spread, but you don't want any clumps.
- Add in a pinch of salt, and any other optional ingredients.
- Taste and adjust the sweetness/flavor.
- Mash larger berries if desired.
- Heat until thickened and bubbly.
- Pour into a jar and keep in the fridge.
Melissa from the Blue House says
Glad you posted this. I’m thinking of a few things I want to use this for…
Beth Lowe says
I can hardly wait to go buy berries! My imagination is soaring with ideas of how to use this. Yum!
April Mason says
I love your blog Gwen!!! I’m going to make some of this with my blackberries and strawberries! Yum!
Sounds so good! Strawberries are about to come in season here…can’t wait!
mama char says
love your blog thank you for helping all us thm’s
You’re very welcome. ♥
I am still pretty new at THM and have found your site so helpful. The THM guide you put together really simplified the plan. Having good and healthy desserts is a game changer for me. Thank you!
Gwen Brown says
Great to hear! I’m the same…I really enjoy having special treats that are actually on my diet! 🙂
I am addicted to this syrup! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Have you tried freezing it?
Hi Amy…thank you! We love it too. Freezing will mess up the thickener, so I just make it weekly and use it up. One friend has mentioned that she boils the syrup, pours it into canning jars, and screws the lid on…and it seals. She then keeps it in the fridge for several weeks. It does need cold storage, but the air doesn’t get to it, so it keeps much longer.
That’s exactly what I was wondering about. Thanks!
I am making it now and it is really good….It definitely tastes better with the essential oil in it than without!! But I would recommend a therapeutic quality essential oil..the NOW brand isn’t really for ingesting. I am not an expert, but I am a naturopath in training and would not recommend ingesting a lower quality essential oil.
now hearing from others, the NOW may be ok to ingest…sorry about that.
No problem…there is a lot of word of mouth information on oils that’s probably done from a really genuine enthusiasm for other good essential oil companies, and out of concern to keep people from eating lower quality essential oils. It’s a really fun topic to research, so you’re sure to get a good quality oil.
I love using eo’s in cooking, cleaning, and for scenting my home. I feel better about the quality and the flavor is SO much better than buying store extracts. 🙂
Melissa, in case others have questions about the NOW oils, I’m going to post the links here too. 🙂
The NOW brand oils are top quality…I researched prior to using them and before recommending them to others. I only use oils that are from food products, like orange, lemon, peppermint, etc…even from pricier companies.
“Our Essential Oils are 100% Pure, Undiluted and of the highest quality. Often called “therapeutic grade” by other companies, they are appropriate for use in all aromatherapy applications.”
More on the NOW oils:
I was thrilled to discover that they have such stringent testing and high quality, as their prices are fantastic. I’ve used their oils for years.
Heather @ Dietetic Sinners says
I have an unhealthy obsession with pancakes and strawberry syrup. Pinned this recipe and the low carb pancakes. I’ll have to find/buy the thickener but good investment for a healthier meal.
Hope you enjoy!!!
Teri Skinner Chadwick says
Thank you for the great recipe, Gwen. Hey, so I am wondering why you use gluccomannan over guar or xantham gum? Since you’ve checked into the essential oil thing, I’m assuming you may have researched this as well and that the gluccomannan is a healthier option?? … or maybe it’s less expensive?? Would love your thoughts on this since I saw both gums by Bob’s Red Mill (so I figure they’re good and healthy products … though you know what they say about assuming!!). : )
I think there are just slight differences in the final texture. I’ve just gotten used to glucomannan, and really enjoy it. I’ve not tried Xanthan, but it’s also a great option, and can be subbed for gluccie 1:1.
I used to use Xanthum gum. For one I don’t think it’s as healthy (also comes from soy, wheat, or corn). But being low carb there are few things that can be used. The real kicker is rather then thickening stuff it would turn it… well slimy. Not the right texture. Guar gum and ground flax tend to have the same texture. Gluccomannan on the other hand thickens similar to corn starch.
Teri Skinner Chadwick says
By the way, here’s the post I found on Bob’s Red Mill on Guar Gum vs. Xanthan Gum. http://blog.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free/guar-gum-vs-xanthan-gum/. There are some measurements included for using Guar Gum in hot and cold recipes, but apparently Guar Gum is not necessarily suitable for recipes with a high acid content (berries??) since the acid interferes with the gum’s thickening properties. Wow, this is all so interesting!
Has anyone tried canning it? I’ve got some wild blackberries and thought I’d do the first half of the recipe, then strain out seeds, bring it back to boil, add gluccie and go from there. If anyone’s done it, let me know! I want to do all our fruits this fall canned sugar-free!
Can I just tell you how awesome you have made my day?! I just bought the THM e-book yesterday and have been scouring the internet, FB, etc. to get ideas and such. Stumbled upon your blog and not only have you kept me thoroughly entertained, you have added boundless pictorial references and great foody information to my little receipe notebook! So, thanks. And happy Friday. 🙂
Awesome! 🙂 So glad you are finding great support here. ♥
Hi I love every recipie! Do you think 1/4of raw stevia will work? And a squeeze of orange? Please help
Ever accidentally read “2 tsp” when the recipe calls for 1/2 tsp? Did that today on the glucci. Man. Can you say “strawberry glop?” Ha ha. Didn’t taste bad, just real gelatinous. Thanks so much for this recipe and so many other great ones!
Maybe you can use that to mix into yogurt instead of using it as syrup. 🙂
Ethnic Food says
Its yumm and healthy. Spectacular post
Hi there! Just started looking at your site and this looks wonderful. My question is about the sugar content… Is it considered sugar-free because of no additional sugar, or does something happen in the cooking process that rids the berries of their natural sugars?
Great question! There are lots of different ways to define “sugar free”, I’ve noticed. Some bloggers mean that they are only using natural sugars, so they’ll have dates, honey, and bananas in the recipe to sweeten it. (Technically refined sugar free). In my context, I mean that I’m only using ingredients with low glycemic, natural sweeteners, and usually boosting the sweetness with stevia or another carb free natural option. 🙂
I know it is probably right in front of me, and the recipe is referenced w/FP links, so…is this an FP recipe or an E recipe Gwen?
It depends on what you use in the syrup. Blueberry or peach are going to put you into E mode if you use a lot of it. 🙂 But if you use just berries then it’s FP!
What’s your go to sweetener for this? I’m still new at using the various sweeteners and am a little nervous about having a bitter outcome. Thanks!
Sorry, maybe I should actually READ the post :o) I mixed in some strawberry syrup with some kefir, homemade almond milk and coconut extract, yum! My LO loved it too, BONUS! Next time, I’ll try banana extract instead of coconut.
I can’t find the serving size………I know the whole batch is 12 servings, so would that be 1/3 cup serving?
Monica leger says
How can I make blackberry syrup with no seeds sugar free
Gwen Brown says
I’d combine the berries and water in a blender, and then strain before heating and adding gluccie. 🙂
I’ve been using Konjac for thickener for nearly 2 years, now. I hope more people will realize it’s benefits! Thank you for sharing!
Gwen Brown says
It’s pretty fun stuff!
Do you still use the stevia you write about in the recipe or are you using THM Stevia? I only have the THM Stevia and am wondering if the doonk is too much or do I need to use less?
Gwen Brown says
I use the THM stevia now and it is much sweeter. I’d start with a doonk and gauge from there.
How long does this last in the fridge? Mine made quite a bit and I know it will take me a while to go through it! Can you freeze it? It is quite delicious, thank you for the recipe!
Gwen Brown says
It lasts about 2 weeks. I haven’t frozen it, but I’m betting it would work just fine. 🙂 If it thins down too much after thawing it out, you can always mix in a little more gluccie. Glad you’re enjoying it! I find that I use it on LOTS of stuff, including to thin down and flavor yogurt. 🙂
Great idea! I will try it with sour cherries, since I cannot get a commercial sugarfree syrup in this flavour, and I love it! One suggestion: if you remove with a palette the foam that lifts to the surface when you boil the fruit, the syrup will be clearer.
Hi, would love to know if I would be able to use this recipe and can it. I am harvesting raspberries and have a lot. I would love to preserve them to use throughout the year.
Gwen Brown says
I’ve tried canning with xylitol, and it didn’t work out long term. I think that freezing the berries would probably be your best bet if you’re using non-caloric sweetener. 🙂
Just finished making another batch of this recipe using strawberries and rhubarb. I warm the fruit and water until fruit is at least partially thawed. Then I blend it all up. Return to stove, add my sweetener and glucci, and whisk and heat until thickened. I love having this syrup in my fridge for a quick pancake topping.
Absolutely loved this! I only had a cup of raspberries so I Reduced water to same. Put in the xan gum and salt once started to boil ..put 3 drops pure leaf stevia (tasted after each drop) and then…a dab of Kerrygold butter….oh my tastebuds are in heaven. ❤ so easy and homemade!
This was amazing! Thank you. Having been sugar free (among other things) for 1.5 years it’s hard to find things I can eat. Even good recipes can be hard to find. I made it with a dash of stevia and 1 Tbsp xylitol. It taste like sugar sweetened syrup. Now time for pancakes.
Stephanie Land says
I know this is an older recipe but it was perfect for my needs today! Thank you!