Every June we have a huge abundance of strawberries from our extensive strawberry plants we have as ground cover. We often pig out on our strawberries fresh with a chocolate dip I make by adding milk with chocolate chips melted in the microwave. What we don't eat fresh we freeze and use in smoothies and preserves. So I make jam once a year. My husband has peanut butter jelly sandwiches for lunch every day, so we go through a lot of jam!
I've tried my low sugar strawberry jam next to Trader Joe's low sugar jam we had open last time I made this recipe, and I'm glad to say my was clearly much better. After having tried my strawberry jam and then trying Trader Joe's (what we usually get), you could tell that the Trader Joe's jam tasted more of sugar than fruit compared to mine. And that's quit a feat considering consumer reports in their Best Jams and Jellies Report, said that Trader Joe's strawberry jam, " have big fruit flavor and big strawberry pieces". Way worth the effort of making my own jam! If only I could make jam easier I would make it year round. Well now I can, because I found an easier way and it even makes it healthier!
So you probably guessed my secret by the title of this recipe it's, chia seeds. I discovered the idea of using chia seeds to make jam while researching and developing my banana cream chia seed pudding recipe (which is totally addicting by the way and a great healthy breakfast). I had seen chia seed jams on Pinterest a while back and had just forgotten about it, so it was perfect timing to be reminded of chia seed jams since I actually had to make jam to make space in my freezer from all of our frozen strawberries from our harvest.
|Prep your strawberries (wash, hull, and chop) if using fresh Image via Oh My Veggies|
I'm proud to say it turned out great! It only takes 30 minutes to make and their is no canning involved. You can also make smaller batches since it's so easy. It taste just as good as my low sugar pectin jam, although the texture was better in my pectin jam. I felt as though my chia seed jam was less thinner than my pectin version. I believe it would have been a closer texture to my pectin if I had cooked it longer and to a higher temperature or added a little bit more chia seeds.
|You can add your chia seed strawberry jam to your oatmeal image credit Cookie and Kate|
Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Recipe (low sugar)
- 1 pound washed and hulled strawberries
- 1/4 cup organic sugar (can sub honey or other sweetener of choice), more or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 Squirt of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Clean and process your fruit, removing stems/seeds as needed (if not using frozen).
- Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the fruit and sugar (start with a little; you can always add more later).
- Bring strawberries to a low boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer until it thickens about 10 minutes. Lightly mash the strawberries with a potato masher or fork. Leave some berries in chunks for texture. Make sure you stir the jam so it doesn't stick.
- Taste your jam and see if you want to add more sweetener. Add a tablespoon at a time until you hit the right sweet note for your tastes.
- Stir in the chia seeds and let cook for another minute. Stir again, remove from heat, and let sit until thick, about 20 minutes. If the jam seems a little thin, add another teaspoon of chia seeds, stir, and let sit for another 10 minutes, (The jam will continue to thicken as it cools).
- To store, place in an airtight jam jar or other container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Can also be frozen for up to two months (make sure you use a freezable container).
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