An easy recipe with few ingredients, this strawberry fruit spread recipe is a cross between a jam and fruit butter. We love this recipe because it is totally free of refined sugars and easily adapted to any mixed berry combination your heart desires!
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I love jellies and jams (have you tried our juneberry jam recipe?) but apple butter has always been my favorite texture. Out of these loves and my desire for a sugar-free option came this super easy four ingredient strawberry butter fruit spread.
Fruit Spread Ingredients & Substitutions
This is going to be a long section. Just kidding there are only 4 ingredients. Have we mentioned that yet? In addition to being sugar-free this recipe doesn't use pectin which makes it easier to make than strawberry jam.
- Strawberries- You need two cups of berries in total. You can use any combination of berries including raspberries blueberries. blackberries, and even serviceberries (also called Saskatoon berries). My favorites are 100% strawberry and a 50/50 strawberry raspberry mix. Delicious! This recipe works best with fresh berries but frozen works as long as you thaw before starting.
- Dates- Obviously you want unsweetened but any variety of WHOLE dates work. We typically by these in big bags at Costco or our grocery store in the bulk foods section.
- Balsamic Vinegar- Like all jams and fruit butters, this recipe needs a bit of acid to offset the sweetness of the fruit. I love using balsamic vinegar because it gives the strawberry a spread a more complex flavor. Balsamic and strawberries are a perfect pair. You can also use lemon juice, red wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar.
- Vanilla- You can use vanilla extract, paste, or powder in this recipe.
How to Make this Recipe
We start by combing all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Heat the fruit mixture until the dates are softened. Don’t worry about the foam that collects on top. Unlike jams, you do not need to skim it off.
Continue to cook down until you get your ideal thick and buttery spread. The mixture will darken considerably has it reduces in volume.
Preserving Your Fruit Butter
Place hot butter in hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼" headspace. Cover with hot sterilized lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove to counter and allow to cool before storing in a cool, dry, dark place.
If you don't process in a water bath, the butter can be kept refrigerated for up to three weeks or frozen for up to one year.
How to Use Fruit Butters
- As an edible gift (didn't see that one coming, did you?)
- Slather on toast
- In a peanut butter and banana sandwich, or better yet try a cashew butter sammie
- Stirred into overnight oats
- In crepes
- In place of jam in jam bars
Let us know in the comments how you plan to use your strawberry fruit spread.
Strawberry Butter Fruit Spread
- Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the dates are softened.2 c fresh strawberries, 1 c whole dates, 1 c water, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Remove pan from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. Alternatively you can use a blender, be careful with the hot liquid!
- Return the pan to low heat and cook the mixture until thickened. Depending on berries, 20-45 minutes.