Simple Steps for Making and Preserving Strawberry Chia Jam
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 2 1/2 cup strawberries
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 medium lemon
- 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.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
No water or anything??
Definitely no water. Too runny. Not thick enough Anaid
This recipe sounds great! No sugar added? Do you think this can be done with figs?
This recipe sounds great! No sugar added? Do you think this can be done with figs?
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 am definitely making this tomorrow!
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.
Absolutely @carrie. I’ve done it with three berries at once, one or the other, and even added beets! Always turns out for us!
Love the idea!!! Thanks for the recipe! Where did you get those little containers??
Would this work with frozen fruit?
What a great recipe! I’ll have to try it! How much of the chia seeds does this recipe call for?
The jars are just from the grocery store @magdalena
Yes, I’ve done it with frozen Brianne. I cook it a little longer because there is more moisture, but not too much.
Can you see the recipe above? I’m afraid it disappears in some browsers, but the printable recipe says 1 tablespoon.
What quantity of chia seeds is used?
Thank you! That means it can be made in the winter too!!
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!
I made this last night but my jam still seems to be very moist.. any suggestions. I followed every step.
Do you squeeze all of the juice out of one lemon or just a little?
Do you squeeze the whole lemon or just a little?
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?
Did you use fresh or frozen strawberries? Also, how long did you boil them?
A small squeeze stacy!
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!!
I heard the same thing that it is not safe to can with chia seeds. 🙂
I tried this recipe and yes jam spoiled after a few wks even with canning. Chia jam is fridge/freezer jam
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?
Hi! I would just skip the canning and store in the fridge to be safe!
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 would definitely try it!
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.
I “cleared out the freezer” jam. Rhubarb, strawberry and blueberry, added half the weight of fruit in sugar, plus lemon juice from a plastic lemon, 3 tbl.spoon.
cooked it is slowcooker on full started with all frozen berries, when defrosted took the hand blender for 2 min, added sugar and cooked on low for 3-4 hours. poured in hot cleam jars, added 1 tbsp cia seeds, stirred for a bid, closed jars and cooked in hot waterbath 20min.
Worked great perfect taste
I often make jam for my oatmeal without sugar…I have used strawberries, elderberries ,and chia seeds ,I freeze in small 1/4 cup containers
Just a thought to settle the great canning debate- you could check the ph before jarring it and add more lemon juice, though you may find you also need more sweetener. You could also pressure can, if you have the equipment. 30 minutes in the pressure canner would be plenty, I would think.