Omitting sugar in home canning

Asked September 14, 2013, 4:42 PM EDT

I have a diabetic in the house, and would like to simply omit sugar in canning recipes. We are talking things like pickles, other veggies, and the like. I don't really do fruit or preserves. I have heard it is OK to omit, and also heard not to omit due to a change in the PH level. I also do not want to substitute for a different type of sugar such as honey, or use an alternative like stevia. I just want to know, if I use a recipe that normally calls for sugar (whether it be 2 tablespoons or 2 cups) can I leave it out?


1 Response

It depends what you are canning as to whether you will have an acceptable product when leaving out the sugar. Please refer to CSU Fact Sheet Food Preservation without Sugar or Salt at:
All fruits can safely be canned or frozen without sugar. Jams and jellies can be made somewhat satisfactorily without added sugar but tend to resemble more of gelatin-fruited dessert than a true jam or jelly. Sweet relish and pickle recipes do not adapt as well to sugar-free canning as do plain fruits. Try recipes that call for artificial sweeteners, but don’t be too discouraged if some batches are disappointing. Finished products often are mushy or have an unsuitable flavor.
Always use a recipe which has been tested for safety, such as those found on the National Center for Home Food Preservation at
Hope this helps.
Thanks for using eXtension.