When the snow finally melts away once of the first things I see is the strawberry patch in my garden blossoming and getting ready to provide me with months of sweet, ruby red strawberries. Most of the time the strawberries never make it into the house as my family and the local birds seem to gobble them all up before I can get my hands on them. This year, I was ready to snag all whole first round of fresh strawberries and I intended to preserve them so I could enjoy them all summer long.
In my experience Jam often gets a bad name as being a food loaded with sugar and traditionally not considered to be a healthy condiment. I absolutely love adding jam onto toast, mixed into yogurt, as a healthy swap for maple syrup on my pancakes, and of course, morning porridge would not be as fabulous without a little drizzle of a vibrant fruit preserve.
What I love about making my own jam, is the ability to control ingredients so I can avoid added sugars, chemical thickeners, and shelf stable preservatives. For me, keeping foods as whole and close to nature as possible is important for the health of my entire family. Now making jam can sound like a daunting task or too much work you don’t have time for. Making jam seems to bring about this image of our grandmothers in their aprons making gallons of jam in their kitchens for days at a time and endlessly stirring over the stove.
This method is almost too good to be true, you don’t have to give up a weekend to make jam and this recipe allows the natural sweetness and flavors of the fruit to shine through. You can use this recipe to make a number of flavor combinations, I love using blueberries instead of strawberries with orange instead of lemon juice, raspberries with grapefruit juice is also a great combination. Have fun, get creative and enjoy Jam again!
The Easiest Vanilla Strawberry Chia Jam
- 2 cups + 3 tbsp sliced strawberries
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla powder or contents of 1 vanilla bea
- 1 small lemon, zest and juice
- 1 tbsp good quality honey or maple syrup (optional)
- Cut the green top off the strawberries and place in a mixing bowl. Mash the strawberries with a potato masher or with a fork. If you want a smoother Jam consistency you can blend the strawberries in a blender or food processor.
- Add vanilla, lemon juice, and chia seeds and mix until well combined.
- I like to leave the jam like this, if you like your jam with a little sweetener you can add it here to taste.
- Allow the jam to sit for about 20 minutes, while the chia seeds get plump.
- Spoon the jam into a jar with a secure lid and store in the fridge for 2 weeks.