Introduction: Sugar Free Japanese Knotweed Jam

Picture of Sugar Free Japanese Knotweed Jam

My wife and oldest son are diabetic so I make sugar free jams and jellies just for their dietary needs. I spend a great deal of time in the bush, mostly fishing and foraging for foods not available in the supermarket. I take water with me but I never bring food, after all I’m surrounded by a smorgasbord of wild food. However I have Japanese Knotweed growing outside my front window and I heard it was edible so I took what I know about making jams and made my own recipe.

Looking a lot like bamboo Japanese Knotweed is an edible invasive species common in many temperate zones. When you hear stories in the press about knotweed it is easy to believe that it’s a dangerous plant growing through cracks in concrete, taking over gardens and generally causing a nuisance.

Japanese knotweed does not sting people, like Giant Hogweed, and walk around of its own accord. It is completely safe to touch and it is edible. With a taste reminiscent of a lemony rhubarb, Japanese knotweed features in a variety of both sweet and savory recipes, including purees, jams, sauces, soups, wines and ice creams to name a few. Simply put if you can make it with Rhubarb, you can make it with Japanese Knotweed.

There is only one other consideration, be sure the knotweed you are about to eat has never been treated with some form of herbicide.

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

4 cups or 1 liter puree Japanese Knotweed, this makes 5 to 6, 250 ml jars or 3, 500 ml jars.

1 package no cook pectin, this doesn’t need sugar like regular pectin.

Adding sweetener is your choice, you can go no sweetener added, or you can substitute honey, maple syrup, or corn syrup for Splenda, just match the recipe cup for cup. If you do not worry about sugar intake just use 1 ½ cups sugar. You can go sugar free with 1 ½ cups Splenda or some other artificial sweetener, or ¾ cup sugar and ¾ cup Splenda for low sugar.

Step 2: Puree the Japanese Knotweed

Picture of Puree the Japanese Knotweed

What you want from the Japanese Knotweed are the young sprouts and new growth that isn’t woody yet. Gather quite a bit of the Japanese Knotweed the small young stems do not go far. The young hollow stems, should make a nice pop when you beak them off.

Start by trimming the ends of the Japanese Knotweed removing the leaves from the stems and discarding any woody bits.

Wash and dice the young stems into manageable pieces and place them in the pot.

Add a small amount of water to the pot and simmer until the Japanese Knotweed is soft. At this point if you like you can puree it with a hand blender, this helps separate any woody strands you missed.

Check the puree, if it has woody strands you can remove them with a strainer.

Step 3: Directions

Picture of Directions

To a large bowl add 4 cups puree Japanese Knotweed.

Add 1 package of no cook pectin.

And add the sweetener of your choice.

Only prepair one batch at a time do not double up on this recipe or the jam may fail.

Step 4: Filling & Processing the Jars

Picture of Filling & Processing the Jars

Clean and sterilize 6 250 ml jars or 3, 500 ml jars.

Fill the jars with jam to within ¼ of an inch (5 mm) of the lip of the Jar.

Place the seals on the jars and screw on the rings loosely.

Place in a pot of water covering the lids by on inch (25 mm) and bring to a boil for 15 minutes.

Step 5: Finishing the Jam

Picture of Finishing the Jam

Once the Jam has processed for 10 to 15 minutes remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Remove the jars of jam from the processing pot wipe off the outsides and tighten the lids.

Place the jars of jam on a rack to cool.

Once cool label and place the jars in a dark place or the fridge for storage.


jane.keeler.75 (author)2017-08-27

It's very exciting to know there's a way to use this plant! Could you tell me what other edible invasive plants you have heard about?

I just published one this morning.

Amazingly there are thousands of edible invasive species Narrow Leaved Plantain, dandelion, Chinese lantern, and in parts of the US bamboo.

google "edible garden plants" and "edible garden flowers", most came from people transplanting them because they look good.

heygeno (author)2017-08-27

I live in Ohio and it is not as invasive for me (30 year stand) I only have to pull 'strays' once every 2 years.

I hate to cut for cooking as it is a beautiful plant ! and it never spreads by seed...or all my neighbors would have it.

Josehf Murchison (author)heygeno2017-08-27

It's a lot like bamboo in structure and reproduction, it spreads with rhizomes. my patch is next to the house and to spread it must get across my lawn where the mower stops it and we cut the roots back with our gardening.

Not far from where I live is Mono Cliffs Provincial Park Ontario, the hamlet Mono Center on the edge of the park, and it is infested with them invading the park. they are very fond of wet ground.

But I agree with you they are nice looking and if you only take the young tips and some of the sprouts you wont harm the plants looks or wipe it out.

Millie-Feuille (author)2017-08-22

I had no idea you could eat Japanese knotweed- super cool! As a keen gardener and wild food forager, I'll be sure to make some of this next time I see (or unfortunately get--) the stuff.

Nether did I know you could eat it until I read an article on eating invasive species.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a photographer, a tinker, an electronics technology engineer, and author; I write short stories and poetry for the love of writing. I started ... More »
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