Breakfast is hardly complete without a large shmear of jelly, but most conventional jellies are full of preservative, stabilizers, and excessive sugars. That’s why we decided to figure out what makes a great healthy jelly.
In our research, we found that the best jellies contain just fruit, sugar, and pectin, fit your macronutrient needs, and are non-GMO. They might not even be jellies at all but jams and preserves instead. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve come up a list of our favorite healthy jellies available online.
Top 10 Best Healthy Jellies to Buy Online
No matter how healthy a jelly is, it does you no good if you don’t like the flavor! So be sure to read reviews to get a good idea for the taste before you buy.
1. Crofters Organic Concord Grape Premium Spread (16 oz)
Best Classic Jelly
This is a classic grape jelly, but good for you. Organic, low sugar, and non-GMO, it sits perfectly between super sweet conventional jellies and not sweet enough health-focused jellies.
Reviewers love the flavor and write that it’s thick and spreads like a jam. It’s sweet enough for kids to like it without being overpoweringly sugary.
|Ingredients||Organic Concord grape purée, organic cane sugar, apple pectin, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), citric acid|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tbsp, Calories: 30, Carbs: 8g, Sugar: 8g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
|Official Certifications||Organic, non-GMO|
2. 365 Everyday Value Organic Mixed Berry Conserve (17 oz)
Best Value Organic Spread
This mixed berry jam is packed full of healthful, organic ingredients. While it is a little higher in sugar than you may want, it’s hard to beat the value given it’s quality.
Reviewers love that it’s thick and spreadable and write that it has a more neutral flavor than a single-fruit jam might, which can be good for those looking for just a bit of sweet, fruity flavor.
|Ingredients||Organic fruit (blueberries, strawberries, seedless blackberry puree, seedless raspberry puree), organic cane sugar, natural fruit pectin, ascorbic acid, citric acid|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tbsp, Calories: 40, Carbs: 10g, Sugar: 10g, Fiber: 0g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
|Official Certifications||Organic, vegan|
3. Diabliss Mixed Fruit Jam with Herbal Extract Blend (11.5 oz)
Best Low-GI Jam
This herb-infused fruit jam has a low glycemic index (GI), which means that it won’t cause insulin spikes. Reviewers love the sweet, lightly spiced flavor.
However, do note that the serving size is 1 teaspoon (as opposed to most other jams’ 1 tablespoon), so if you’re looking for specific macronutrient counts, be sure to watch your portion size.
|Ingredients||Fruit pulp (mango, papaya, banana, watermelon, sapodilla, grapes, musk melon), DiaBliss sugar (cane sugar, fenugreek, cinnamon, black pepper, pomegranate, dried ginger, turmeric, Indian gooseberry), pectin, citric acid, beetroot, roselle extract|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tsp, Calories: 17, Carbs: 4.2g, Sugar: 3g, Fiber: 0g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
4. Trade Street Jam Co. Strawberry Chipotle + Fig
Best Pectin-Free Jam
This unique jam is sweet and lightly spicy. Unlike most jams, it contains no pectin, instead relying on the natural gelling ability of the fruit it contains.
Reviewers write that it’s not too sweet and has a pleasant kick that makes it go well with both sweet and savory foods–it even comes with recipe cards to give you some ideas.
|Ingredients||Strawberry, dried fig, sugar, chipotle pepper, lemon juice|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tbsp, Calories: 15, Carbs: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Fiber: 1g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
5. Newport Jerky Company GATOR Jam
Best No-Sugar-Added Jam
This GATOR (ginger, apple, tangerine, orange, raspberry) jam contains no added sugar and is sweetened with only natural sugars from the fruits.
Despite its low added sugar content, it’s kid-friendly and still quite sweet. It’s easily spreadable and tastes great in a wide variety of culinary situations.
|Ingredients||Apple, raspberry, orange juice, tangerine, lemon juice, pectin, ginger|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tbsp, Calories: 50, Carbs: 13g, Sugar: 12g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
6. The Jam Stand Blueberry Bourbon Jam (10 oz)
Best Adult Jam
This deliciously unique jam has just a hint of bourbon and contains less sugar than conventional jams, making it ideal for adults looking for something other than super sweet spreadable candy.
Reviewers write that it’s incredibly flavorful without relying on sugar and that the bourbon and vanilla serve to enhance the blueberry flavor.
|Ingredients||Blueberries, sugar, bourbon, pectin, vanilla extract|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tbsp, Calories: 40, Carbs: 10g, Sugar: 9g, Fiber: 1g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
7. Nature’s Hollow Sugar-Free Apricot Jam (10 oz)
Best Sugar-Free Jam
This jam contains no sugar and is suitable for diabetics. Instead, it’s sweetened with xylitol, a sugar alcohol that tastes like sugar and doesn’t have any adverse health effects.
Reviewers love that this apricot jam tastes homemade, and many report that it’s better than many apricot jams that do include sugar.
|Ingredients||Xylitol, water, apricots, pectin powder, xanthan gum, citric acid|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tbsp, Calories: 15, Carbs: 9g, Sugar: 0g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
8. Spread The Love Artisan Jam, Raspberry
Best Two-Ingredient, Additive-Free Jam
If you’re just looking for a spread with the fewest ingredients possible and aren’t too concerned with sugar content, this is the jam for you. It has just two ingredients (fruit and sugar) and is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants.
Reviewers love the simplicity of this jam and write that it has the perfect amount of sweetness. For those who like their jams with a little bit of texture, this one does contain seeds.
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tbsp, Calories: 60, Carbs: 14g, Sugar: 13g, Fiber: 1g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
|Official Certifications||Non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free|
9. Mrs. Miller’s Amish Made Hot Pepper Jelly (2 Pack, 9 oz Each)
Best Hot Pepper Jelly
This hot pepper jelly has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy and includes small chunks of peppers for added flavor and texture.
Reviewers write that it’s less sweet than other pepper jellies and perhaps a bit spicier–though spiciness is, of course, relative. It’s great mixed with cream cheese or used anywhere you might use ketchup.
|Ingredients||Green and red peppers, jalapeno peppers, sugar, vinegar, pectin, water, concentrated extract of chili peppers with soybean oil, salt, citric acid.|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tbsp, Calories: 50, Carbs: 13g, Sugar: 11g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
10. Good Good Sweet Jam with Stevia (12 oz)
Best Keto-Friendly Jam
This jam is ideal for those looking to cut down on sugar intake. It’s sweetened with erythritol and stevia, which are both generally considered safe and healthy.
Reviewers love that it’s keto-friendly and note that it’s a bit on the thinner side. Do be aware that this jam does contain some preservatives, so if that’s something you’re trying to avoid, this may not be the jam for you.
|Ingredients||Blueberries, water, sweetener (erythritol, stevia extract), gelling agent(pectins), acid (citric acid), preservatives (potassium sorbate), acidity regulator (calcium citrates)|
|Per Serving||Serving size: 1 tbsp, Calories: 5, Carbs: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Fiber: 0g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 0g|
How to Choose a Healthy Jelly – Buying Guide
While picking a jelly can be a very personal decision, here are some factors that can help you find the healthiest options.
Jams and Preserves Are Often Healthier than Jellies
While jams, jellies, and preserves are often used interchangeably, they’re actually a bit different. Jelly uses fruit juice as the base whereas jams and preserves both use whole fruit chunks, which means they have more fiber and nutrients. This also gives them more texture and flavor variance, if that’s something you appreciate.
That being said, jams and preserves aren’t automatically healthier as they can also include artificial ingredients and excess sugar.
Quality Ingredients Make for Quality Jellies
Avoid Additives and Stabilizers Besides Pectin
When looking at the ingredients list, you want to see an ingredients list that looks like something you could find in your pantry—fruit, some sugar, and not much else.
One thing that will almost invariably be in your jelly, though, is pectin. Pectin is a type of fiber naturally found in all fruit and serves as a gelling agent. Some fruits, such as lemons, apples, and cranberries, have higher amounts of pectin and thus may not need additional pectin to turn them into jam or jelly. On the other hand, most other fruits will likely require added pectin. In the healthiest jellies, pectin should be the only added gelling agent, so try to avoid other stabilizers, gums, and additives.
Watch Out for Added Sugars—Artificial and Natural
By its nature, jelly requires sugar in order to develop its spreadable, gel-like texture. But that doesn’t mean that it needs to be saturated with it. Some jellies contain less sugar thanks to different varieties of pectin. So when looking at the nutrition label, try to look for a jelly that has less than 8 grams of added sugar per serving.
On the other hand, some jellies lower their sugar content by using artificial sweeteners. Check the ingredients list to see what kind of sweeteners they use. Some people have sensitivities to stevia or erythritol, and if you aren’t sure if your body can handle it, artificial sweeteners may be best to avoid.
Look for Official Certifications for Peace of Mind
Fruits often top the list of foods produced using GMOs and pesticides, so to avoid any risky contamination, it’s best to look for official non-GMO or organic stamps. Of course, if you have food sensitivities or restrictions, look for certifications that meet your needs too.
While most healthy jellies often still contain a fair amount of sugar, it’s pretty easy to find options that cut out the rest of the junk. So as long as you keep an eye on your serving size, jelly can, in fact, be a healthy food.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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