Strawberry Chia Seed Jam
By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the amazing health benefits of chia seeds. Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica. In the past few years they have gained popularity because they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. They also provide about 10 grams of fiber per oz. They contain protein, antioxidants, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Chia seeds are also gluten free!
Sometimes “superfoods” seem too good to be true - but in this case, believe it. It’s easy to start integrating chia seeds into your everyday diet. They help reduce food cravings by blocking calorie absorption. Chia seeds can absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a gel around them. This helps with keeping you hydrated! I think that the best part about chia seeds is that they are tasteless, and can be added into any variety of foods/drinks without really altering the flavor.
Upon browsing my local market this past week for ideas for new recipes, I walked past a large display of beautifully ripe strawberries. It struck me that I could cook a delicious Strawberry Chia Seed Jam!
If you are just starting to delve into using chia seeds, might I suggest that you visit your local health food store that sells them in bulk. Here in San Francisco, Rainbow Grocery is the best place for such things. A 16 oz package of organic Chia Seeds can run you anywhere from $11-18 in most stores, including Whole Foods. This averages out to be about a dollar an ounce. The bulk cost at Rainbow is $0.72 an ounce. If you’re looking to just try some out, this is a great option.
Also remember that it is really important to try to buy organic when shopping for strawberries. They are a delicate berry , and chemicals from pesticides can easily penetrate their skin.
This jam is simple.. organic strawberries, a little agave or organic honey, and chia seeds. Normally, when cooking jam, pectin is necessary to enable the jam to gel. In this case, since the chia seeds bulk up and gel naturally, they easily thicken your jam without any additives. It’s really delicious. Not too sweet, and such a fun texture that is great for spreading on any multitude of things. Enough talking, let’s get cookin!
*2016 Edit: I've added a recipe video to show you just how easy it is to make your own Strawberry Chia Jam :) Check it out below:
Ingredients You Need:
1 lb Organic Strawberries
¼ cup Organic Agave Nectar ( I used Madhava Light Agave Nectar)
1-2 tbsp Chia Seeds (to your taste)
- Use my tutorial on How To Hull Strawberries with a simple plastic straw. It’s quick and free. No need for a crazy tool or dealing with knives.
- Wash and hull the pound of strawberries, and chop them into quarters. If you want larger chunks of fruit in your final jam, you can leave the berries in halves.
- Add the fruit, agave nectar or other sweetener, into a medium saucepan over medium heat. You can also use pure maple syrup, or organic honey if you choose. Sometimes it’s best to allow the fruit to cook, and then sweeten so that you don’t over-sweeten your jam.
- As the berries heat up, they’ll start to liquify. Macerate the berries with a masher or fork until it reaches the consistency you like.
- Allow the fruit to gently come to a boil, as this will help the fruit break down.
- Taste your jam and adjust the sweetness.
- Now it’s time to add in the chia seeds! Stir in about 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and make sure they are fully incorporated. You can always add more as you go. Let the seeds cook in the jam for about a minute, and then remove the jam from the heat.
- Let your jam sit so that the chia seeds can naturally gel, and turn your fruit into a beautiful jam. This generally takes about 10 minutes. As your jam cools, it will gradually thicken.
- Once your jam has reached room temperature, you can store it or serve it. This recipe yields about 2 heaping cups of jam. Store your uneaten jam in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
This is the easiest jam ever. No messing with fickle pectin…and it’s healthy! You know everything that’s in it, and are now free to spread it on anything and everything… Me? I baked up a batch of crescents and am now trying desperately not to eat the entire pan :)