Strawberry Chia Seed Jam (Honey-Sweetened)

This strawberry chia seed jam would make a great gift!!

There’s just something so grown-up about making homemade jam, dontchathink?

It may be silly but I feel like making jam automatically entitles one to major Grown-Up Bragging Points. There’s just so much awesomeness surrounding it, and so much solidarity and respect for past generations that have faithfully put up the harvest each year to be enjoyed in the long winter months to come.

In these days with a rise in traditional kitchen arts such as canning and All Things Homemade, we have the privilege of CHOOSING to perserve things because we want to, and not because we have to. That means I can do a batch of strawberry jam in July, maybe some peach preserves in a few weeks’ time, and dream up some kind of blueberry goodness in jars to make in August and enjoy when the craving for fresh fruit hits next February.

I can also hit up the grocery store or my local farmer to fill in the gaps – an ability that generations before us were not afforded. ‘Tis a privilege I do not take lightly, and one for which I am profoundly grateful.

My personal food philosophy includes a slow enjoyment of the simple art of cooking and preparing fresh, real food. This strawberry chia seed jam is a perfect example of doing just that.

jamspoon

 

This Recipe’s Story

The usual jam-making recipes call for pectin – a product on the grocery store shelves derived from fruit. Pectin thickens the jam. Cons: it includes preservatives and requires massive amounts of white sugar to work properly. I mean MASSIVE amounts of sugar. Sometimes more sugar than fruit! I’ve seen jam recipes with more sugar than most desserts! Imagine the sugar-rush that happens when people eat that stuff every day for breakfast. Yuck.

Enter my latest foodie crush: the amazing, incredible chia seeds!

They absorb a ton of liquid and function like pectin, thickening the jam perfectly. The seeds themselves are not noticeable in the texture as there are already seeds from the strawberries. If anything, it may be a little “extra seedy”, but I bet no one would notice unless they knew to look for it.

The other awesome thing about avoiding pectin is that you can use alternative sweeteners. If you don’t want to use honey (although I think the favour of honey marries beautifully with the strawberries) you could experiment with stevia, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, or even xylitol. Don’t use agave as it is highly-processed and NOT a healthy choice as has been claimed.

This jam lends itself to so much experimentation it’s almost impossible to write up a recipe. These are the basic building blocks. Now you can customize and play to your own preferences. Have fun, and enjoy!

P.S. Homemade jam makes an amazing gift for family and friends!

Chia Seed Strawberry Jam (Honey-Sweetened)
 
Ingredients
  • 12-15 cups strawberries (washed and cut in half, tops removed)
  • 1-2 cup honey
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook berries

    If using a crockpot, add berries and honey with half an inch of water to prevent sticking and cook on high for an hour, then reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 2-3 hours with the lid cracked open slightly to allow moisture to escape.

    If using the stovetop, add berries and honey with half an inch of water to a large pot, bring to a rapid simmer for 20 minutes, then reduce and slowly simmer until liquid is reduced and berries have thickened.

    Note: this stage does not need to be as thick as jam - the chia seeds will be doing that job. We just want to reduce the amount of water in the fruit mixture here and let the flavours really mature.
  2. Once berries are cooked, taste a bit on a spoon. Add more honey if you want it sweeter.
  3. Stir in lemon juice and chia seeds. You won't notice the chia seeds in the finished product because of the seeds in the strawberries.
  4. Ladle or pour into jars, and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, the freezer for up to a year, or use the traditional hot-water canning method to preserve jam for your pantry.

    (If you choose to hot-water can the jam, I would recommend letting it set in the fridge overnight first so the chia seeds can do their thing. I'm not sure what would happen if they are canned right away. It would probably be fine, but I'm not sure. If you hot-water can the jars from the fridge, be sure to place them in the water before it heats up so as not to break the jars by putting cold jars into boiling water. Of course, be sure to follow safe canning procedures.)
Notes
I haven't tested it, but you could probably leave this raw as well if you should so desire. Just use a blender for berries and honey, then add chia seeds just before pouring into jars. Let set in fridge overnight, then store in the freezer. This will yield a much lighter and fresher tasting jam, as opposed to the darker, cooked variety which is more of a caramelized fruity flavour of traditional jam.


I'm Beth. I created Red & Honey because I'm obsessed with the wild art of wellness.

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Comments

  1. says

    Googled recipes for strawberry jam using chia seeds and well the first link didn’t work so moved to the 2nd = yours and so so glad that happened. Looking for recipes to use the abundance of strawberries we get locally (we get to pick our own off a farm) here in SE Queensland, Australia (its winter for us right now) but knew I didn’t want a whole bunch of sugar. We also buy local honey from an Apiary so this recipe is a match made in our local heaven!

    • says

      Oh hurray, I’m so glad you found this post! I too am looking to use my recipe in the next day or so – we just picked strawberries today :) Happy jam-making!

  2. Sarah says

    DId anyone hot water bath can this recipe last year? Did you let it sit for the chia to soak up the liquid or did you just can straight from cooking or raw? Getting ready to do my first batch for the season and figured I’d check for others experience or tips before I give it a go. Thank you!

    • says

      Hi April :) What a fabulous idea – I love it! And congrats on getting married soon. This jam lasts different times depending on how you make it. If you do traditional hot water canning and seal it in jars then it will last for a couple of years on a shelf, it would last maybe 6 months in the freezer, and if you make it and just put it in the fridge, then probably 2-4 weeks, depending. If you tend to get toast crumbs and such in your jam, that may reduce the time that it stays good :) If you know how to do canning, I’d recommend that method so that your guests can choose to open it and use it whenever they want.

  3. Tambi says

    Approximately how many ounces of jam does this make? I want to make sure I have enough jars before starting…Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Tambi, sorry, I’m not sure of the exact end result measurement. I would think a dozen regular-sized mason jars would be enough, and if you had leftovers you could always use any container at all, and you can even freeze it. Hope that helps! (Sorry this reply was so late!)

  4. Michelle says

    Can I use frozen berries? Nothing fresh this time of year and really want to try this! Thanks for the great recipe – I LOVE chia!

    • says

      I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not! You may have to play around with quantities a little to get your desired thickness, but I would think it would be fine. Let me know if it works! :)

  5. Lauren Nichols says

    I make a refrigerator jam that contains chia seeds and sweetened with honey. I want to try cannig but unsure if the consistency of the jam would change, especially the chia seeds? Also I make my batches cold, so could I then can it or does the liquid need to be hot first? And how long would it need to be in a water bath…. Still 10-15minutes to until the lids pop?

    • Lauren Nichols says

      I just received an email and could only see part of your comment via email. I sadly can not view the entire comment nor can I see your reply on my comment. Thoughts?

  6. says

    This looks amazing! I LOVE jams and jellies but try not to eat too much sugar. I’ve got a big bag of chia seeds, I’m going to make this as soon as I have time. Will link to you! Cheers.

  7. Thomas says

    I think the hot water canning would be just fine. It only takes 10-15 minutes for the chia seeds to absorb liquid, I don’t think they’d need to sit overnight.

  8. says

    This is great Beth. My daughter loves strawberry jam on her bagel and this fits the health bill. We have also discovered Chia Seeds and featured them in a low-carb strawberry smoothie on our blog. My hubs loved our post mainly because one of the “touted” benefits of the Chia Seed is hair growth (possibly). HAHA. He is now taking it in pill format every day (gotta love it!). Happy Friday.

  9. Maria says

    Why, oh why? I just did my last batch of strawberry jam two nights ago. I’m gonna have to remember this for next year.
    Did you know that citrus seeds contains pektin? You just take them out of your fruit, put them in some light fabric and let them boil with your soon to be marmelade.

  10. Serena says

    This sounds great! I used pectin for the first time ever…..thought it was all natural and literally did not bother to check it at all! The amount of sugar I needed to use was insane! And I am feeding it to my kids in the morning getting them all sugared up for the day. I will absolutely be trying this! Thanks so much for posting Ill let you know how it turns out! Could you sub in different types of berries and if so would you adjust the amount of chia seeds?

  11. says

    Yummy! I use Pamona Pectin for making jam (usually raw freezer jam) as it doesn’t have preservatives and I sweeten it with honey. Dan says I don’t make it sweet enough so this year I’m going to use more honey then I have but it works really well. I’ve made my own pectin as well but it’s a little more work intensive than I want to take the time for these days.

    • says

      Yes, I’ve heard lots of good things about pomona’s pectin. I might opt for that if the chia seeds bothered me (perhaps with a different fruit), but so long as the chias are unnoticeable, I think I will stick with them. They are probably a whole lot cheaper, too. It’s a good alternative, though, if you want to use pectin! :)

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