Sugar-Free Hibiscus (Rosella) Jam


2 cups dried hibiscus flowers with any tough parts removed (sometimes you get little woody bits attached)
1 1/2 cups sweetener (I used Candarel)
1/2 teaspoon agar-agar powder


In a large saucepan combine the hibiscus flowers, sweetener and cranberry juice. Boil for 45-50 minutes (it takes some time for the flowers to soften but leave around a cup of moisture in there).
Add the agar-agar powder.
When the flowers are soft allow the mixture to cool and transfer to a blender. Blend the hibiscus until it becomes pureed.
Transfer to sterilised jam jars (see step three of the apple jam recipe above to see how I do it) and refrigerate. Consume within 3 weeks.




Julia  Sforza's picture

Can you use sugar instead of a sweetener in this recipe. It sounds delicious!

Sanjana Modha's picture

Hi Julia,

Thanks for your comment! Yes the recipe can be adapted to a sugar version. You can use orange or cranberry juice and also leave out the agar-agar powder. Hope that helps!


So we have two jams on the menu tonight: Sugar-free Apple and Cinnamon Jam and Sugar-free Hibiscus (Rosella) Jam. For all of you who may be tutting at me for using artificial sweetener *makes puppy dog eyes at lovely, understanding readers and resembles that cutie pie, Gizmo from Gremlins and so cannot be judged* I would like to add that this is jam. Jam is sweet. Therefore you won’t be eating heaps of it in one go. Unless you’re a bit of a Bruce Bogtrotter (except that was chocolate cake). When you’re diabetic and you crave sweet things, I think it’s better to have a teaspoon of sugar-free jam with a little artificial sweetener than a Twix. Indeed, if you’re not happy with sugar-free apple jam because it uses sweetener then I suggest you just eat an apple. Sounds harsh, no? Well my friends, that’s the harsh reality of conserving and preserving.

On the brighter side of things, there’s not too much artificial sweetener in the Apple and Cinnamon jam because the apples naturally contain their own sugar (which, if eaten in excess isn’t that great for you either but hey, I’m no food nutritionist). However, the hibiscus jam contains more because it is made from dried flowers, not fruit. The taste of hibiscus jam is sweet and sour like cranberries and reminds me of the taste of the fruit of the African baobab (ubuyu) tree; very lemony, berry-tasting and fragrant; it almost tastes like sherbet. Consuming hibiscus is commonly believed to lower blood glucose in those with type two diabetes. You can have a Google around and read up on this if you’re interested (like I said, I’m not qualified to give out health advice)… I’m just here to jam with you.

And I hope you like jammin’, too.


1 servings


Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 4:10am


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