Simple Steps for Making and Preserving Strawberry Chia Jam

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As summer comes to an end, the last of the strawberries are making their way onto store shelves around Utah.  I find myself guilty of picking up a container of strawberries, only to find the next day, they are mush.   So, I do what any of you would do with strawberries about to go bad, PRESERVE IT!

If you haven’t made your own jam yet, don’t wait any longer. Even if you have to buy your berries, it may be cheaper than the All-Fruit, No Sugar Added Jam at the store.  Plus, it’s so much easier than you may think.  You can control things by adding nutrient dense chia seeds and your regular jam suddenly becomes higher in protein and omega 3 fats! Win-win.  The chia seeds look like strawberry seeds anyway, so my kids are none the wiser.

Simple Steps for Making and Preserving Strawberry Chia Jam. Adding chia seeds to jam is a natural (and super healthy) way to thicken up homemade jam!

Here’s our Strawberry Chia Jam Recipe:

Step 1 Cut Strawberries

For one small half pint of jam (we like half pints because it takes us awhile to get through a jar), we used 2 1/2 cups of strawberries.

Simple Steps for Making and Preserving Strawberry Chia Jam. Adding chia seeds to jam is a natural (and super healthy) way to thicken up homemade jam!
Simple Steps for Making and Preserving Strawberry Chia Jam. Adding chia seeds to jam is a natural (and super healthy) way to thicken up homemade jam!

Step 2 Begin cooking

At this point I place all the strawberries in a pot and start to warm them on medium heat.  Once the start to warm up and get mushy, I actually remove them for a brief moment to blend them  up and liquify them.

Simple Steps for Making and Preserving Strawberry Chia Jam. Adding chia seeds to jam is a natural (and super healthy) way to thicken up homemade jam!

Step 3 Cook until thick

Then, return the blended berries into the pot to boil on medium heat.  We add the chia seeds and a small squeeze of a lemon, then let boil for about 5 minutes.

Cooking the fruit allows some of the moisture to escape, making your fruit a spread, rather than a smoothie!

Pectin is the thickener that gives jam the consistency. The fruit itself contains pectin, but can be destroyed with a low and slow cooking time.   Lemon also contains pectin, which is one reason we add it.  But Chia seeds have gelatenous properties as well. So, there is plenty to make the jam thick.

After 5 or so minutes, remove from the heat, and pour into your preferred containers.   It may not seem thick enough for you at this stage, but it will thicken upon standing.

Simple Steps for Making and Preserving Strawberry Chia Jam. Adding chia seeds to jam is a natural (and super healthy) way to thicken up homemade jam!

Step 4 Preserve

You can do several things at this stage. You can:

  • Store in the fridge, and use it within 2-3 weeks.  Using any mason jar with a lid, simply pour your jam into the jar and keep it in the fridge.
  • Store it in the freezer and use it within 1 year. Using a freezer safe container, place jam in the container and with an airtight seal, store in the freezer.  When ready to eat, simply remove to the fridge. When it defrosts, you can use it like regular jam and the consistency is still good.
  • Can it by sealing a mason jar and storing it in your pantry for longer than 1 year if the seal is good.
Simple Steps for Making and Preserving Strawberry Chia Jam. Adding chia seeds to jam is a natural (and super healthy) way to thicken up homemade jam!
Simple Steps for Making and Preserving Strawberry Chia Jam

You can barely even see the chia seeds in that jam!

To can the jam:

  • Wash jars and lids in hot boiling water to sterilize.  Any bacteria left inside the jars will contaminate your jam.  Running the jars and lids through a dishwasher is generally OK.
  • After following recipe, fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
  • Add lid and ring.  Place in a water bath (boiling water) deep enough to cover your jars with water by 1-2 inches.
  • When boiling becomes rapid, begin timing.  I generally boil for about 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, turn off heat and wait 5 minutes.
  • Remove jars from water and place on a towel.  Leave upright for 12-24 hours.  The lid should retreat and not pop when pushed on.

Do you like the labels?? I’m no designer, but I’m good with Google! I found these at the Idea Room here.  She kind of had a few “hoops” to get to the printable – like a FB like, but you’ll get there.

jam labels.png

 

Edited to add:

Other fruits!  If you want to use other fruits, peaches and pears may turn out a bit bland.  Adding cinnamon, honey, ginger, or other spices will bring out the flavor and make it extra delicious!

Strawberry Chia Jam

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 medium lemon

Instructions

  • Slice strawberries and place in a pot or saucepan and begin to warm. After 2-3 minutes, remove and blend up till smooth.
  • Return to the pot and add chia seeds and one squeeze of a lemon. Bring to a boil and boil while stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
  • Pour into desired containers and serve on toast, in yogurt, or on sandwiches.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SuperHealthyKids or tag #SuperHealthyKids!

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36 Comments

Would this work with raspberries too? and maybe some rhubarb? If so, would you recommend anything different for the recipe? Looking for a healthier alternative to the sure gel/sugar combo. Thanks!

I haven’t tried with figs. We don’t get them in very many stores where I am from Astrid.

I’ve never made jam with sugar. The strawberries are plenty sweet.

Wow! Looks delish and amazing! The packaging is super cute too. It sounds like I can do the same with almost any of the fruits and just use the same conversion in the recipe? Thx for sharing! YUM!

You mention pectin in the beginning of the long written how to. I don’t see any amount any place…in it or when scrolled on down and found this.
To your friends…peaches are great also. I have made the strawberry & peaches with sugar and surejell many , many times and years…but was only freeze jam. was so very good, no chia seeds either. This sounds so good, health and easy. Thanks…have passed along to my daughters that want healthy. 🙂

Hi Carolyn- if you read step 3, I mentioned the fruit itself contains pectin! Both the strawberries and the lemon, so I don’t add any commercial pectin. Make sense?

I used fresh and I boiled the strawberries till they were soft then I blended them then after I added the Chia seeds and a small squeeze of lemon. I boiled for about 5 to 10 mins and it seemed very watery but I figured I needed to let it set.

Great recipe but it has not been proven that canning chia seeds is safe. I recently read an article written by Sean Timberlake, MFP, who said not to can with chia seeds because it would lower the PH value of the fruit, therefore making it unsafe. Until the usda tests the safety of canning chia seeds, I would not recommend it. But fridge and freezer are ok!!

Hi Amy, Thanks for your recipe. I’ve been making chia seed jams for some time now. However, I would love to can this type of jam but I am reluctant. I am reading that it is unsafe to can it because of the chia seeds. I read that chia seeds are a low acid ingredient and adding it to fruit, may make your preserve a low acid preserve and susceptible to pathogens (eg.Clostridium Botulinum) that can not be destroyed in a hot water bath. What are your thoughts on this. Thanks a lot. I really do love your recipes! 🙂 Julie

Question about canning chia seed jam. I have been reading various recommendations as to whether chia seeds are canable. Canning with a water bath is an option for acidic foods. Chia seeds lower the pH of the recipe, is the water bath method still a safe canning method for fruit jams?

I love the idea of no sugar added & using chia seeds & lemon. Do you see any reason that I could not substitute figs for strawberries and can per your canning directions? Thank you-Joni

I’m going to try this recipe. Can I skip the lemon? My diet is somewhat restricted on ascorbic acid and citric acid.

Do you know how long it takes to reduce the vitamin c in the strawberries during the heating process? Thanks so much for your help!

Hi Gianna! Yes, you can leave out the lemon juice in this recipe. I’m not sure how long it takes to reduce the Vitamin C, but I do know that it will reduce during heating and storage.