When I was little, my grandmother often made jam, mainly from red currants (a family’s favourite), but peaches, strawberries and oranges also frequently made their way into mouth-watering jellies.
To me, homemade jam belonged exclusively to a grandmother’s skillset and I never imagined making my own jam before having grandchildren myself.
Store-bought jams were never an option either because a) when you grow up with the real thing no commercial jam ever comes close, and b) they often contain more refined sugar and additives than actual fruit.
So no jam for me and my kids … Until I came across the concept of chia jam!
This super easy way of making quick and healthy jam is a must try for every health-conscious family with a tight schedule, because:
It’s incredibly easy and quick to make
It’s super healthy
It’s refined sugar-free
What are the health benefits of strawberry chia jam?
Well first, it’s made with real fruit (fresh or frozen) which is high in antioxidants and vitamins. Secondly, each jar contains 2 tablespoons of chia seeds which are true powerhouses when it comes to protein and fiber. In addition, they’re full of calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus (all essential for good bone health), iron, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. They also help clean out the intestines and are especially great for people suffering from constipation.
When mixed with a liquid they expand to 10 times their size and become gelatinous, which makes them the perfect ingredient for this easy healthy jam.
How do you make chia jam?
This recipe requires just 2 ingredients: strawberries (fresh or frozen, but other fruits will work too) and chia seeds. If the strawberries are not sweet enough you might want to add a healthy sweetener. In this recipe, I prefer maple syrup, but it also works great with raw honey.
4 cups* (500g) strawberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp. chia seeds
Optional: raw honey or maple syrup to taste
Optional: a splash of lemon or orange juice
*Unless stated differently, my recipes are measured with US measuring cups like these ones.
DIRECTIONS - 2 methods:
If you like some texture: place the strawberries in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until it bubbles and breaks down. Use a potato masher to mash the fruit. Remove from the heat and add the chia seeds. Add honey or maple syrup if desired. Stir until well combined and let it rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the mixture to gelatinize.
For a smoother texture: place strawberries in your food processor or blender and puree to your desired consistency. If using frozen strawberries, defrost overnight or using the microwave or steam oven. Then add to a sauce pan and let simmer for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the chia seeds. Add honey or maple syrup if desired. Stir until well combined and let it rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the mixture to gelatinize.
a few notes
You can make this easy refined sugar-free jam with any fruit, but in my experience, the following fruits work best: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and peaches.
Allow to cool completely before storing in your fridge for about 2 weeks, or in your freezer for up to 6 months (except if using frozen fruit).
The jam will thicken further and become more set once completely chilled. If you find your jam too liquid once cooled, feel free to add a bit more chia seeds.
Related post: What to give your kids for breakfast.