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Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata

4.6 stars, average of 44 ratings

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This homemade amarenata cherry is just as delicious as the traditional Italian cherries in syrup but with none of the sugar and carbs. Thick and syrupy with pieces of cherries flavoured with vanilla and cinnamon.

Making Amarenata is a great way to enjoy cherries even on carb-restricted diet! The flavour is so concentrated, almost like cherry extract so you won't need to use a lot to add amazing flavour to any low-carb treats.

It's delicious which means it's addictive — don't make Amarenata in large batches, or if you do, preserve it using the  canning method for longer storage. If you can't find fresh cherries, use fresh or frozen, both work great in this recipe and you are not limited just to the cherry season.

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Where to Use Amarenata?

Try with full-fat yogurt, in keto ice cream, panna cotta, smoothies or even on top of low-carb pancakes.

Another way to enjoy cherries on a low-carb diet is by making a sugar-free cherry chia jam which you can also use to make Dark Cherry Crunch Pie (6.4 grams of net carbs per serving!).

*This Amarenata is adapted from Chocolate Chili Mango. I tweaked it a bit and used sweet cherries instead of morello sour cherries, and swapped Erythritol for sugar. *

Hands-on Overall

Serving size 1 tbsp, 20 g/ 0.7 oz

Allergy information for Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, 1 tbsp, 20 g/ 0.7 oz)

Net carbs2.7 grams
Protein0.2 grams
Fat0 grams
Calories13 kcal
Calories from carbs 92%, protein 7%, fat 1%
Total carbs2.9 gramsFiber0.3 gramsSugars2.6 gramsSaturated fat0 gramsSodium1 mg(0% RDA)Magnesium2 mg(1% RDA)Potassium37 mg(2% EMR)

Ingredients (makes about 1 1/2 cups/ 360 ml)


  1. Wash the cherries and remove the pits. Add them to a non-reactive pan. Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata
  2. Add the Erythritol and 3/4 cup of water. Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata
  3. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix in well. If using vanilla bean, cut the vanilla bean lenghtwise and scrape the seeds out. Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata
  4. Place on a stove and cook over low-medium heat. Slowly bring to a boil and mix frequently until the juices slightly thicken. This may take 20-30 minutes.
    Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata
  5. If using arrowroot (if you need a thicker sauce): Mix the arrowroot with the remaining water and add to the cherries. Mix well while slowly pouring in. Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata
  6. You can use arrowroot powder or ground chia seeds. I prefer arrowroot because it makes the texture smoother and the carbs count per serving is not significantly higher (2.7 g net carbs with chia seeds and 3.1 g net carbs with arrowroot powder). If you use chia seeds, you don't need to add water in two parts, simply sprinkle the chia seeds over the cherries in step 5 and turn off the heat. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.* Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata
  7. Cook for another 5 minutes and take off the heat. When using arrowroot powder, you shouldn't cook it at high temperatures and not for too long. Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata
  8. When done, your amarenata should be thickened into a syrup and the flavour very strong - just like sweet cherry extract. It will thicken even more when chilled. Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata
  9. You can store amarenata in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or preserve for longer. Enjoy with full-fat yogurt, creamed coconut milk or make a batch of Keto Amarena Cherry Ice-Cream. Low-Carb Cherry Amarenata

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 1 tbsp, 20 g/ 0.7 oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Cherries (sweet, dark), fresh
2.4 g0.2 g0 g11 kcal
Erythritol (natural low-carb sweetener)
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Vanilla extract, powder (vanilla bean)
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cinnamon, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Water, still
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving, 1 tbsp, 20 g/ 0.7 oz
2.7 g0.2 g0 g13 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
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Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (22)

Hi Martina, have you ever used Glucomannan as a thickener? I was wondering why you don’t have it listed as an option so I would love to know your experiences with it. Additionally, is there a reason you don’t offer tapioca starch along with arrowroot as a pliable option as it tends to work especially well with fruit in my experience.
All of the advice you have given over the years has been spot on so I know I can trust it. Thank you so much

Thank you Holly! I've tried it and it works great but just like xanthan gum, it can easily clump up so you need to use a fine mesh sieve when sprinkling in and stirring constantly to mix in.
Another alternative I started issuing is gelatine, more specifically gelatine sheets, which can be added directly to the warm cherry sauce. I'd start with one sheet for a soft set and add one more for a firmer set. I used 2 sheets in a similar recipe (not shared) but using strawberries and blueberries and it was more like marmalade consistency.
As for tapioca starch, that is a good alternative to arrowroot powder so if you don't mind the extra carbs, you can use that one instead. A disclaimer though - I have never used it myself but I think it should be ok to substitute 1:1.

Martina,  I just saw your reply. I would love to use gelatin! The problem is I don’t have the sheets I only have Vital Proteins grass fed gelatin powder which I am CONSTANTLY trying to work into our meal plans but I have such a hard time doing it.
Any recommendations on how to add it so it doesn’t clump without adding extra water to the recipe ...? Thank you!

Hi Holly, you can use 2-3 teaspoons of gelatine powder (make sure it's not collagen as that won't gel). Sprinkle it over about 1/4 cup of water, let it bloom (absorb the liquid) and then stir in the hot cherry sauce. As it cools down it will thicken. I hope this helps!

Oh wow, this is sooo good! I'm not even that much of a cherry fan but I really loved this, and I made a slightly bigger batch using frozen cherries. I used 1 cup of this sauce for your cherry cheesecake (to die for! Will write a separate review) and I have frozen the rest... I cannot wait to make one of your ice creams with it, I think my husband might just die of happiness 😊 Thank you Martina, this is genius, as usual!

Awww thank you Anu! I love cherries especially with the extra cinnamon and vanilla so for me this is a much every summer... sometimes all year as prefer using frozen cherries because they are pitted.

Looks delicious- definitely trying this! Do you think you could use canned unsweetened cherries?

Yes, that should work! The only thing to keep in mind is that they will already be soft so you only need to cook it long enough to thicken and reduce but not to soften. The cooking time will definitely be reduced.

This one looks great! I love cherries and I see Black Forest yogurt parfaits in my future 😉
Just out of you think this one would work using either xanthan gum or gelatin in place of the arrowroot?
I usually use xanthan gum for jam- type recipes but wasn’t sure if you didn’t use that or gelatin because the arrowroot works a lot better in this one, or if it was due to availability 5 years ago...

H Amanda, xanthan gum should work! I'd use a very small amount though (maybe 1/4 teaspoon, no more than 1/2 teaspoon). The reason I don't use it is that it may cause tummy issues but some people are ok with that. Gelatine is a fantastic alternative as it's also carb-free. I'd use about 1 teaspoon dissolved in 1-2 tablespoons water.

Does this recipe work with other fruit? I was thinking of cooking blueberries instead of cherries. Thanks.

I can imagine blueberries would be a fantastic alternative! I made a similar jam with frozen wild blueberries the other day and it was amazing, I didn't even add any sweetener. And it thickens very well.

Martina, i made it & tastes great, but Swerve recrystallized after refrigerated; what did I do wrong? what do I need to correct it?

Hi Austin, you did nothing wrong, that is unfortunately a side effect of erythritol-based sweeteners. It help if you add about a tablespoon of vegetable glycerin or try Allulose instead of Swerve, if you can find it. I live in the UK and got a few packs when I was in the US. It is quite pricey though.

i don't have vegetable glycerin, can i use MCT oil instead? i might try Allulose in the future.

MCT might actually help too, good point! I do use it in keto ice cream and it always makes it less icy. Let me know if you try it!

I haven't had cherries in so long!

Time to make some Amarenata then 😊

I have been missing cherries so badly on keto. I love this! I would drizzle it over a grilled steak for a sweet/savory combo. Looking forward to the new book! 😊

Thank you! Never tried it with a steak but I guess it's like using cranberry sauce, I'll give it a try. I think it may go great with some crispy duck... 😊

I couldn't get fresh but made it from frozen. Oh my god it's so good and tastes quite strong, you were right I didn't need to use a lot! Had some in my yogurt and added toasted almonds, pure heaven! I can't wait for your ice-cream recipe, hope there is still some left when you post it 😊

Thank you Emily! I'll post it within the next few days 😊