This strawberry chia seed jam is easy to make and refined-sugar free, so much healthier than store-bought strawberry jams yet so delicious and perfect on your toast, porridge, scones, cakes and so many more. You can make it in under 10 mins with wholesome feel-good ingredients.
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Hello my friends! It’s already May, can you believe it? When I focus on my blog and creating recipes, I just feel like I’ve travelled ahead in time! It flies away so quickly. I think one of the reasons I feel the time has gone by so quickly in May is because it’s my birthday month. I had a small birthday party this past weekend with my friends and my boyfriend at my flat and it was so much fun. I made cake and other finger foods welcomed my friends and received so many birthday presents! I’m so truly happy I’ve amazing people in my life.
My birthday story aside, as I write this post and look at the pictures of this strawberry chia seed jam, I wish I’d made it for my birthday party so that everyone could try it! I made them in April as it entered spring, this recipe is such a lovely one to make in the season of spring. The bright colour of strawberry brightens up your morning. It’s super easy to make and healthy with wholesome ingredients too, perfect to have for breakfast or on baked goods like scones and cakes!
How to make this healthy and easy strawberry chia seed jam
Have you tried making any chia jam yet? The first chia jam I made ever was actually not strawberry, but it was a fig chia seed jam. Chia seed was so trendy at that time and I was eating chia pudding all the time, such a delicious and healthy snack to sugary puddings! And when I found out that you can make jam with chia seeds, obviously I made it on the day I found out. And it was super delicious! It was so good that I took it with me to work the next day to give jars of it to my coworkers. And one of the good things about it was, it was so easy to make too!
Making this strawberry chia jam can’t get any easier – we are using simple 4 wholesome ingredients and one simple method, cooking on the stove. It only takes 8 mins from the start to your delicious healthy chia jam on your breakfast toast! As seen on the left picture above, these are the ingredients we are using – strawberries, chia seeds, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Let’s get a little closer look into each ingredient!
Strawberry is my absolute favourite fruit to cook/bake with, including jams. I used fresh strawberries for this easy chia jam recipe. I like using fresh strawberries but if you can’t get any fresh ones, you can also use frozen strawberries too! Frozen strawberries produce more water when cooked so you may want to cook them for a little longer.
Here comes the special ingredient, chia seeds! If you are not familiar with chia seeds, they are small edible seeds that come in 2 colours, black and white and I used black chia seed for this recipe. You probably have seen them in chia seed pudding or chia egg as an egg replacement in vegan baking, but this time they are used in jam to thicken as well as for additional nutrition benefits! So how do chia seeds thicken jam? Chia seeds become jelly-like when combined with water. So instead of loads and loads of sugar to thicken your jam, adding chia seeds creates that jam consistency which makes chia seed jam a healthy alternative to store-bought jams!
Another thing I love about chia seeds is their nutritional benefits. They are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that do so much good for your body and skin!
We are using maple syrup to subtly sweeten our chia jam to make it even healthier! The strawberry jams you find in supermarkets are loaded with refined sugar to thicken the jam. It tastes so good but not the best for our health, for sure. Maple syrup is a lovely alternative to sugar in jams, making it healthier and wholesome to have your jam every day.
I added lemon juice to the chia seed jam for a few reasons – the first one is to help set the jam. Lemon juice is acidic and the acid lowers the ph level of jam which bonds pectin released from strawberry and helps the gelation process. Lemon juice also prevents bacterial growth in the jam so the jam lasts a little longer in the fridge. Lemon flavour also balances out the sweetness of jam so I like adding a bit of it when I make jams!
How to cook jam with chia seeds
Cooking chia jam is not difficult at all! Basically, all you need to do is cook all the ingredients in a saucepan and transfer them to jars. Yes, that simple! My advice when it comes to the cooking stage of this recipe would be:
- add the chia seeds after you cook all the other ingredients until the strawberries are runny and sauce-like. It’s easier to stir in chia seeds at this stage than mixing them before cooking!
- cook your chia jam on low to medium heat to not burn it at the bottom. If you cook it on high heat strawberries can stick to the bottom and burn. Not only this makes the taste of the final product not good, but it’s also super annoying to clean the saucepan afterwards!
- use a masher if you have one, like a potato masher. I have a small masher and it’s quite handy when mashing fruits in a saucepan in jam making! If you don’t have one, use a large wooden spoon to mash. You can use folk too, but be careful not to burn your hand on the edge of a hot saucepan! Mashing fruit is easier when the fruits are cooked well and soft. So cook them for a good 5-6 mins before start mashing.
- quarter the strawberries before cooking. It makes it a lot easier and faster to cook them.
Can I use other fruits to make this jam recipe?
Yes, you can! As I mentioned before, the first chia seed jam I made was with figs and it was amazing! Other fruits you can make chia jam with are:
- and more
Try experimenting with your favourite fruits!
Can I can/jar this jam?
I highly recommend you NOT to can or jar this jam recipe and store it in your cupboard like other jams made with sugar. Unlike store-bought jams, this recipe has a very low content of sugar which acts as a preservative in most jams. As I mentioned earlier, this recipe does use lemon juice for its acidity to prevent the jam from going bad quickly, but unfortunately because this recipe is made without any unhealthy preservatives, it’s not suitable for canning method and storage in a cupboard.
How can I store the jam?
Instead of canning with hot water, pour the jam in a jar with a sealed lid, let it cool down, and store it in the fridge to keep it fresh. It lasts fresh up to 1-2 weeks in the fridge. This jam is made with natural and wholesome ingredients without any preservatives so it’s best to use the jam within a week for the best taste and freshness.
Can I store it longer in the freezer?
Yes, you can! Like storing in the fridge, pour the jam in a freezer friendly airtight container, let it cool down and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Make sure the container or jar you have is freezer friendly! When you want to use the jam, take it out of the freezer and defrost at room temperature, use as usual on your favourite food.
You will LOVE this strawberry chia seed jam because it is:
– full of delicious strawberry flavour
– easy to make
Please leave a comment and rate this recipe in the comment section below if you like this recipe! Let me know and tag me @thechestnutbakery on Instagram too. Thank you for making my recipe, friends!Print
I have so many mason jars at home for home made preservatives like jams, garkins, sauerkraut, pasta sauce, etc. They have an airtight lid so perfect for homemade hams.