Strawberries. When they first come into season I eat them like I’ll never see them again … by the end I’m ashamed to say the novelty has worn a little and we’re being spoiled by all the stone fruit coming into season. But the little plants are still producing well so jam it is. Strawberry jam will always be one of my favorites, it makes me think of easy Sunday mornings with coffee or masses pikelets and sticky fingers with my daughter.
I’ve tried making jam the conventional way with a tonne of sugar. Sometimes it turns out great, sometimes too runny sometimes one solid blob (which I then claim is fruit paste for cheese, if no one suspects it was supposed to be jam … don’t say anything). But then I heard about making jam with chia and no added sugar I had to try and because it is so simple I have been doing it this way ever since.
Strawberry & vanilla bean chia jam
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Makes: ~ 2 cups.
4 cups chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup chia seeds
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
If you do want to add some sweetener: 1 tablespoon of honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar
Gently simmer the strawberries in a pan over a low-medium heat for around 10 minutes, stirring often. As the berries cook they will start to break down and you can use your wooden spoon to squash them until you get a consistency of jam you like (lumpy or smooth or somewhere in between).
Remove from heat and stir in the chia seeds, vanilla bean seeds and sweetener (if using).
Let the jam cool a little and then pour it into clean glass jars. The jam will continue to set once in the jars.
Jam keep in the fridge in an airtight jar for two weeks, or you can freeze it for about three months.
This recipe will also work well with other berries and stone-fruit. Other great combos: Strawberry and rhubarb; apricot, honey & cinnamon …
Goes really well on our nut and seed loaf for breakfast (in the pic I made the seed loaf with buckwheat instead of oats, simply replace the rolled oats with buckwheat for a grain-free loaf).