How To Make Banana Jam from Overripe Bananas

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So, I learned how to make banana jam years ago.  Bananas were marked down at the grocery store because they were getting spots. I was certain I would use them all before they turned but  I didn’t.  So, I really hate to see anything go to waste. I found a recipe that taught me how to make banana jam because jam is an easy way to use up soft fruits.

How to make banana jam

How to make banana jam

Making jam isn’t difficult. So, there are several different ways you can make jam to store for the long term.  So, you can freeze it or you can water bath can it. Or, you can pressure can it. So, either way, I hope you will try this banana jam recipe soon because it’s my favorite jam recipe. Here’s everything you need to get started making jam.

How you make the jam depends on the banana jam recipe you follow and the ingredients that you use. So, some jam recipes require that you add pectin (powder or liquid) to help it set.  Finally, if you don’t use pectin when it calls for it, your jelly or jam will be more like sauce.

How to make banana jam

Can you make banana jam with alternate sweeteners?

So, I’ve had several people comment and ask me if they can make banana jam with other sweeteners like stevia or artificial sweeteners. I’ve never tried it so I am not sure. I do know that the sugar helps the jam to set. So, using another type of sweetener may not result in the sweetener being as thick as you’d expect. However, it cannot hurt to try a small batch and see how it turns out. So, at the worst, you can use banana jam as ice cream topping if it is too thin because it’s just too good to waste.

How to make banana jam

Water bath canning

So, my preferred method of making banana jam is to water bath can it.  If you make freezer jam and you lose power, your jam will defrost and go bad.  So, using a pressure canner to pressure can foods isn’t something I enjoy. If you don’t do it correctly, it can blow up however that’s never happened to me. But, it is a worry. So, that sort of takes all of the joy out of making jam.

toast in a toaster

I learned how to water bath can about twenty years ago and it’s a method I feel comfortable with by now. So, it’s the one I use to make banana jam because it’s easy.

So, my grandmother (and mother) used to make jam and jelly and pour paraffin wax over the top to seal it and keep out bacteria. This method isn’t recommended for banana jam or any other jams any longer because it doesn’t work as well as canning to keep it free of bacteria because the wax doesn’t make a tight seal.

row of jam on a shelf

Equipment

Once your banana jam jars are completely cool, you will need to check to see if they sealed.  So, if you press down on the top of the jar lid and the lid has no give up and down, the jar has sealed.

So, if the jar lid is slightly raised or you hear a pop when you press the lid down, it has not sealed.  However, jars that have not sealed must be refrigerated.  Finally, jars that have sealed are shelf stable and can be stored in the pantry.

How to make banana jam

So, there is no pectin needed for this recipe. The bananas and the sugar cause the mixture to gel into a jam as you can see from the photo above. So, that is why it’s so important to use sugar in this recipe because it helps it set. So, if you want to try an alternate sweetener, you may need to experiment.

How long will this banana jam last?

Honestly, this recipe makes about 3 jars of banana jam because it’s a small batch recipe. So, we go through it in less than two months because it’s one of our favorite jam recipes. So, we have it on toast and on English muffins because it is so good that way. However, the kids enjoy it on PBJ sandwiches.

So, since I’ve never stored it for long periods of time, I don’t have a specific time period to give you. However, if you’re concerned about it staying good, I would recommend that you keep it in the refrigerator to be safe. Finally, I’ve been making banana jam for years this way with no issues. So, I hope you’ll try it soon.

If you have far too many bananas, learn how to make bananas last longer. Or, if you’re looking for a healthy snack for the kids, check out this recipe.

cranberry raisin jam

Easy jam recipes like banana jam

So, now that you know how to make banana jam, you may want to learn how to make Cranberry Raisin Jam or try my Strawberry Marmalade recipe. I’d love to try modifying this recipe to make strawberry banana jam but I haven’t figured out the right combination yet. Or, apple banana jam sounds good too because those are two of my favorite fruits.

Finally, check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation before you make this banana jam recipe to learn more about food preservation because they’re the experts. For instance, there is an entire section on making jam safely because rules change so quickly.

Yield: 3 jars

Banana Jam Recipe

Banana Jam Recipe

You are going to love this delicious banana jam recipe!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • About 2 cups of mashed bananas (about 5 small)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Fill the water bath canner with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Wash the jars, rings, and lids.
  3. Fill the jars with very hot water to sterilize because that helps keep them germ free.
  4. Put all the ingredients for this banana jam recipe in a pan and stir occasionally.
  5. Let the banana jam boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Ladle the jam into the jam jars. Leave inch head space (clear space) at top.
  7. Wipe the rim of the jar to make sure it's clean because that will help it form a tight seal.
  8. Put the lids and rings on.
  9. Using the jar lifter, lower the jars into the boiling water & process for 10 minutes.
  10. Finally, remove from the water bath canner using the jar lifter and allow the banana jam to cool completely on a towel on the counter.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1 tbsp

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 131 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1mg Carbohydrates: 34g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 30g Protein: 0g
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Comments

  1. Liza @ Views From the 'Ville says
    I didn't even know there was such a thing as Banana Jam but it sounds yummy!
  2. Tiffany Cruz says
    I never knew bananas could be turned into jam. Very cool, sounds refreshing, especially on warm summer mornings. 
  3. omg looks yummy! I can't wait to try this!
  4. Years ago, my grandmother and mom would make Banana jams, the traditional way. I think it involved some boiling, straining and then again further boiling till the jam reaches a thick consistency. The colour would turn a deep red somewhere along the way with no added food colours - The process was too lengthy and required lots of stirring around. Your post reminded me of those good old days. I might even try it out some day.But I love your version too. Sounds really fresh and simple too.
  5. Sarah Arrow says
    I had no idea you could do this with bananas, thanks for sharing Ellen. Banana Jam looks like something even I could make :)
  6. Andrew Gilmore says
    I found your site from the Problogger group writing project.I've never heard of banana jam, but that sounds (and looks) amazing! My kids can't get enough bananas as it is.
  7. I've never thought of making banana jam. I usually make banana bread with my elderly bananas, but this would be a great new idea to try.
    • 'Elderly bananas' ha ha ha.    One time mine were SO gone, so black that I gave up and tossed them in the freezer.  When I thawed them, they had 'turned' as me Mum would've said, so much that they rather poured out of the peel and I wondered about a banana liqueur!    They made the very best banana bread I've ever made!  Now I'm thinking that a touch of this jam on arm banana bread--------------hmmmmm.  
      • Ellen Christian says
        Sounds like a fantastic idea to me!
        • Rosemary Arwen says
          I am also a busy mother of six sons. All I need everyday I need recipes that I can feed my family in a healthy way. Secondly, I also want to learn how to sew, because i can't affort money to buy something to cover my sons' body at once. I need to buy few at a time. Lastly, I need ideas of conservation instead of wasting. I google and i found your recipe of the banana jam and i promise to make one recipe for my family.
      • Marti Owings says
        Have you tried frozen bananas to make the banana jam ? I'm sure it would be darker than using fresh ones, but....
      • Renee.. I used to toss the bananas that were turning into the freezer to save for making banana bread too. About a year after one of my stepdaughters moved away from home, she called me & asked me.. "If I have regular bananas, how long do I have to put them in the freezer before I can make them into banana bread?" LOL I had to laugh.. gently. :)
  8. Jenny @ MyLittleMe says
    Oh yum!  I would love this!
  9. Elizabeth L says
    This would be amazing for peanut butter & banana sandwiches! Awesome idea!
  10. Scarlet Paolicchi says
    I've never heard of banana jam, but it looks great! I think it'd be perfect instead of jelly on pb&js for the kids.I've added this page to my StumbleUpon! :)
  11. I'm a relative newcomer to water-bath canning, and now that I know how simple it is, I wish I had learned how years ago. So far, the spreads I've made include apple butter and jelly, blueberry jam, and clementine marmalade, but I love the idea of banana jam because bananas are available year-round, meaning I could make it any time. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
  12. this looks delicious but I am terrified of pressure canners! I really want to learn though!
    • Debra Blair says
      You use a water bath method to can your jams and jelly's.  No pressure canner needed just a large pot and boiling water deep enough to cover the jars by 1-2"  Give it a try.  You'll become addicted.  I made violet and dandelion jelly last weekend. I started with grape jelly and jalapeno jelly last fall.  I'm addicted :)  good luck
      • Ellen Christian says
        Yes, that's all there is to it. It's really very easy and fun!
      • Could u send me the recipe for the violet & dandelion jelly?It sounds yummy.Thanks. Send to poeticsongmaker6@aol.com
  13. This sounds really yummy! I bet it's fabulous with peanut butter!
  14. maria @ close to home says
    Wow I can honestly say I have never tried Banana Jam.  wow.  That would be good with peanut butter or nutella!!  Thanks for linking up to Friday Food Frenzy
  15. Foodie in WV says
    I prefer doing jam with a water bath also. I never seem to have enough room for freezer jam. Plus jam makes such a great gift :) I love your recipe, my kids love bananas!
  16. Tazim @ BeingTazim.com says
    I really like bananas, and think I'd enjoy this. I have done water bath canning in the past, but it's been quite a few years. 
  17. Is it really that easy? I've always wanted to try canning, but thought it would be hard. Your recipe tells me otherwise. Thanks for sharing!
  18. This looks doable! I have wanted to can. My Mom and Grandma both canned a lot. I remember listening to the lids popped as they sealed. If not we were eating lots of green beans. I wish I had a pot to try your recipe, but not I know for next time. I bet this is awesome on peanut butter.
  19. Isra {TheFrugalette} says
    I never heard of banana jam until now! I love making jams, I'll have to try this one and let you know how it goes. :)
  20. we have a lot of bananas in our house and this is a very cool idea! :)
  21. Maggie Wallace says
    I have never heard of banana jam! Will make this!! Yum!
  22. I don't think I have ever tried banana jam. I bet my son would LOVE it, his favorite fruit is bananas. I would like to learn how to make my own jam!
  23. Would coconut sugar work in this recipe?
    • Ellen Christian says
      I have no idea. I have never heard of coconut sugar before. I'm not sure it would set up the same but you could try.
  24. My kids LOVE peanut butter and banana sandwiches but bananas go bad so quickly that I'm definitely going to try this! Thanks :)
  25. I made this jam today and it separated in the water bath, a layer of banana pulp and a layer of liquid in the bottom. Will it mix back together as it cools or did I do something wrong?
    • Ellen Christian says
      Mine has never done that. It came out of the water bath the way it looks in the picture.  Did the jars seal? If not, it may be that water from the canner seeped into the jars?
  26. I was wondering what the shelf life is after a water bath canning of the banana jam do you know or could you guess?
  27. This was the easiest jam to make...and is fantastic!!! I added just a little vanilla to it...awsome!!!! Thanks!
  28. Ashley Gafford says
    How long is the banana jam good for?
    • Ellen Christian says
      I don't have an exact time. Mine doesn't generally last more than a month or so because we eat it so quickly. Maybe check a canning site?
  29. Katherine Bostick says
    I would really like to try this, but I need a better copy of it. Could someone tell me how to copy and paste this. I tried printing it but the recipe is in such tiny print and so light that I cannot read it.
  30. Two cups of sugar!!!!! Bananas are plenty sweet all on their own
    • Ellen Christian says
      The sugar is what helps the jam gel. If you don't add enough, what you'll have is mashed bananas.
  31. How many jars does this batch make? Are they 1pint jars?
  32. I've just been given a LOT (like a few dozen) bananas and being that I'm a canner, my very first thought was, 'how can I get these into those?' So I started looking up "canning bananas" sites and found your very yummy looking recipe (which I'll be making later today). One question for you, in steps 4 and 5, do you have your burner on medium, med-high (sorry I'm a stickler for details...some may call me anal retentive)? Thanks for the help!
    • Ellen Christian says
      LOL I use a gas stove and the markings on the burner are long gone but I would say that it is medium heat. Hope that helps! Adjust as needed.
  33. I don't have a canner, could I use a Dutch oven, lower the jars into the water with tongs. Let them boil for 10 min. With the lid on, then remove with tongs?
    • Ellen Christian says
      Hi Debby - The jars would need to sit on some sort of rack to allow the water to circulate. Otherwise, they would tip over and not seal properly. If you could find one of those, a large Dutch oven should work as long as the jars seal.
    • I do not have a canner either, but I just tip my jars upside down as soon as they are filled. I am not sure if that would work with this recipe or not, but I am about to try it that way! :)
  34. LeeSa Brooks says
    Whats up with step 3? Fill the jars with hot water? I assume you mean for sterilization but it sounds like you are saying put jam into hot water?
    • Ellen Christian says
      Yes, that is a fairly common way to sterilize the jars. You empty the water before you add the jam to the jar.
  35. This is the first time I've ever heard or seen banana jam - and I'm so excited!  I have never canned, but now I really want to - I'll have to ask for canning jars as a present.  So cool!!!
  36. What is the shelf life of the Jam ?
  37. I have nothing against sugar but equal parts banana and sugar does seem too much. Anyway, my thought was adding chocolate to it. Banana, chocolate peanut butter sandwich.
    • Ellen Christian says
      You need the sugar to gel the bananas. If you don't add the proper amount, all you will have is smashed bananas in a jar. According to the USDA, chocolate cannot be safely canned so I would not personally add chocolate.
  38. sharon lewin says
    which sugar ???? caster sugar... love bananas going to try it
  39. Wendi Dotson says
    no pectin or anything. most jams or jellies need pectin? just checking before i try thank you in advance.
    • Ellen Christian says
      No. The bananas and the sugar will gel fine without pectin. Just be sure you keep the same measurements.
  40. I researched several recipes on Pinterest and then combined them to make banana jam to add to my Farmer's Market inventory. I mashed my bananas with a little lime juice to keep them from darkening. I used brown sugar so that it was more like Bananas Foster--and stirred a little rum flavoring into it just before putting it into the jars. I also cut down on all of the stirring for nearly half an hour until it thickened by adding pectin. None of the Pinterest recipes used pectin, but I had good success with it. It really did taste a lot like Bananas Foster--so yummy. and sold off the shelves so fast. My husband loved it!!!
  41. Wondering if you have recipes for jam/other canning recipes using Stevia..I am avoiding sugar of all kinds, and would like to can more  Thank you !!!!!!
    • Ellen Christian says
      I haven't tried canning with stevia before. The traditional sugar helps the gelling process so I am not sure how stevia would work?
  42. I wonder if you could add fried bacon? I eat banana/pb/bacon sandwiches... salty-sweet :)
    • Ellen Christian says
      Canning with any type of meat is not allowed. You would need to pressure can it to stop it from spoiling and I am not sure how that would work to make jam.
  43. Hi, This sounds really good but my kids really like the Strawberry/Banana combination.Do you have another recipe for this or do you know how I could modify the recipe to add Strawberries to it?
  44. I am so excited to find this recipe just a straight up banana jam, no fruffy additions. This is the first year in our house that has TONS of bananas growing (like about 50 or more pounds of them) they are almost ready to come off the trees so this find worked out perfectly. My house will be all consuming banana everything.. good thing we all like them., banana bread, banana jam, banana chips.... yay!
  45. Debbie Decker says
    Love this jam! Sold out at farmers market! Thank you for sharing.
  46. I make honeysuckle jelly for my family every year that I have enough honeysuckle…and I never can it because we eat it SO fast (like in two weeks haha!)  Assuming this will be eaten as fast (or faster!) than the honeysuckle jelly….do you think I should still can it? Obviously, for jars that I plan to keep on the shelf, I still want to can them.  Also…dandelion jelly? Sounds awesome! Do you have that recipe posted on your blog? I'm going to be searching for that! :D
    • Ellen Christian says
      That sounds fantastic. We have honeysuckle as well but I have never tried to make jelly from it. I don't have a recipe on my site for dandelion jelly yet but I guess I should at it soon!
      • I was in the middle of writing about honeysuckle jelly and syrup when I got the email that you replied! Here's the post:  http://wendyandadam.blogspot.com/2014/06/honeysuckle-jelly-soothing-throat-syrup.html   Do you make your dandelion jelly similarly? I'm going to make banana jam today and give a jar to my dad for Father's Day. :)
        • Ellen Christian says
          It is similar. I need to see if I can find enough dandelion flowers before the lawn gets mowed next time!
  47. I am making this now, it is in the canner boiling as I type. So far so good and I even cut the sugar by 2 cups since I use 6 cups of bananas I only used 4 cups of sugar and I also added alittle bit of Cinnamon and some fresh grated nutmeg.. house smell yummy and its is sooo sweet. Can't wait to try some. had alittle left over so just stuck in a jar and put n fridge..
  48. How many half pints will this make?
  49. Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says
    I'd never heard of banana jam before, but now I need to try some! I need to invest in a canner so I can start making jam! So glad I found this on Motivation Monday!
  50. Barb @ A Life in Balance says
    Thank you for posting on Motivation Monday!
  51. I made this today. I had a little I put in a dish to cool and it is YUMMY THANK :)
  52. Making my second batch as I type. What an awesome Christmas present idea. Doing mine in 1/2 pint jars for later decorating and gifting.
  53. Adelina Priddis says
    I love canning too! Jams and Jellies, fruit honeys, pie fillings! Pressure canning still scares me though, that possibility of blowing up..no thanks. I've never heard of banana jam though. Very interesting.
    • Ellen Christian says
      This is one of my favorite jams. I've started doing more pressure cooking but it does take getting used to.
  54. Pressure canning is not a problem today in 2016. You might want to look up Linda at Linda;s pantry on you tube. She has lots of video's on canning! Love to water bath can some salsa and my jam's and jelliesl Will have to try it out but with some low sugar pectin to cut back on the sugar intake.
    • Ellen Christian says
      I've been canning for many years. So far this summer I've done pickled beets and pickled asparagus. It's loads of fun. I cannot wait for ripe tomatoes to do salsa.
  55. Im very curious as to whether or not you've actually tested the PH of the final product. Bananas are not recommended to can by the USDAs Food Preservation group.. but Im wondering if the addition of lemon juice makes it acidic enough to actually be safe. I know we can safely water bath can many non-acidic vegetables if they're pickled (made acidic) but honestly, this recipe worries me a little bit.I love the sound of it.. but if its not acidic enough botulism is an issue and no one wants to deal with that. I know it'd be fine to make & put directly into the frig & freezer.. Definitely going to give it a shot & definitely going to test the PH when its done. Thanks!
    • Ellen Christian says
      I've never tested the PH. It's a recipe that was passed down to me and I've been making it for years. Lots has changed in canning over the past 50 years or so. I've never had an issue making this following this recipe, but if it's a concern, you could certainly put it in the freezer.
  56. Can you send me an email in case I don't get back to this page for my answer? I was wondering if I could use coconut sugar instead of refined sugar.
    • Ellen Christian says
      Hi, Jean - I have never tried coconut sugar so I am not sure. What I've read seems to indicate that it may not "gel" as well as traditional white sugar so you may need to add pectin. I'll email you as well.
  57. Kayte CookWatts says
    I don't know why but I have a sudden urge to try this on a BLT for some added sweetness!
  58. Good Receipe easy to do. Made 4 batches to give to friends and church. I would like to try double batches but don't have time to experiment. Because the receipe was so easy I made signles at the same time so I could fill my canner. Thank you Over worked Mom
  59. suzanne leonard says
    I ADDED MORE BANANAS... I'M STILL WAITING UNTIL IT GETS THICK? WHY HAS IT NOT THICKEN, ANYONE KNOW?
    • Ellen Christian says
      Hi Suzanne - Follow the directions in the recipe including the canning part and it should turn out without a problem.
  60. Sharla Fossen says
    Hi Ellen, I'm wondering if you know how long the jam usually keeps for? I ask this question because I make enough jams & jellies to last my family throughout the year & I want to make sure they won't spoil if I make them annually. Thank you & I look forward to your response!
    • Ellen Christian says
      Hi, Sharla - I generally make about 3 jars at a time and go through on per month roughly so I'm not really sure long term how they would last. May experiment with freezing a few just to be safe?
  61. This banana jam was fabulous. Thanks for the recipe. Just one question, it's a little sweet for me, can I cut back on the sugar without causing any change to the preservation of the jam ? If so, how much would you recommend that I can decrease the sugar ? Thanks again
    • Ellen Christian says
      I haven't tried reducing the sugar so I am not sure. You could experiment but I would definitely recommend that you refrigerate it just in case it changes the preservation.
  62. I made the Bananna Jam and it is awesome. Some friends thought it was a bit to sweet so I am making more and decrease the sugar by a half of cup
  63. Sharon Leite says
    Just made up a batch and is so yummy, would like to try it with crushed pineapple. Found your recipe while looking for the time for water bath canning so it would be shelf stable. How long will it keep on the shelf?
    • Ellen Christian says
      I generally store this in the refrigerator because it doesn't make that much so I am not sure.
  64. Hey ! Just tried your recipe but it seems that it separated ... I have the mashed bananas on the top and there is brown at the bottom... did I do the process wrong? Or is that normal?
    • Ellen Christian says
      Hi Amanda - No, that's definitely not normal. It should not separate. That's never happened to me before. Double check that you followed the steps I included.
  65. Frieda Ryan says
    Can you use splenda or 1/2 splenda 1/2 sugar?
    • Ellen Christian says
      Hi Frieda - Sorry but I have never tried it with Splenda so I am not sure. Sugar usually helps the jam to set so I am not sure that it would set if you reduced the amount.
  66. Wendy from Trinidad says
    I never heard of banana jam but will try it. There are so many fruits we can make jam with and help cut our food bills. I have tried mango jam and it's yummy and am looking forward to try it with .banana.
  67. I have never made jam or jelly in my life. I just made this delicious jam. I cooked it on medium heat. I can’t believe how easy it was and YES so delicious. My bananas were very ripe. I figured if it doesn’t come out right, I’ll just make banana bread with the mixture. It came out perfect.
  68. How much headspace for the banana jam? It say leave inch; not sure if the fraction measurement is omitted or if it really is an inch. An inch of headspace seems huge! I’m excited to try this recipe, my toddler loves bananas!
  69. Omg. This is so good!!!

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