I first started making my own chia jam when I started making my strawberry vegan muffins. It worked well as a filling and I felt good about feeding it to my kids. When we moved to Florida and realized the fun and deliciousness of picking our own strawberries, I started making large batches of strawberry chia jam to have on hand.
Table of Contents
With six easy-to-find ingredients, you can create a lovely spread that can be used the same way regular jam is used.
- Strawberries: Since strawberries are on the EWG’s dirty dozen list every year, I try to buy or pick organic. Plus, the flavor is sweeter in the smaller, organic berries in my opinion so I tend to use less maple syrup than my recipe calls for based on the sweetness of the berries.
- Water: This is used to make the compote, no need to get fancy with it!
- Maple syrup: I love using natural sweeteners whenever I can. Maple syrup provides a lovely flavor without overly sweetening this recipe.
- Fresh lemon juice: The acidity in lemon reacts with the berries to help the jam set. You don’t really taste it in the final product yet it’s important!
- Chia seeds: The mighty little superfood ingredient that is chia seeds contains protein, fiber, healthy fat and a whole host of incredible nutrients. It turns into a jell when mixed with liquid and is used to set this recipe.
- Vanilla extract: I like the flavor of a little bit of real vanilla in my jam. If this isn’t for you then you can easily omit it.
You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, yet please please make this jam seasonally if using fresh. In Florida, we have two strawberry seasons so I tend to make a batch that can last at least six months.
Your berries will have so much more flavor when picked in season. It’s just not worth it to make this during the winter months.
You can actually use this same recipe with other berries as well. If blueberry, raspberry or blackberry is used more in your house than strawberries then use those fruits instead! I’ve also done some mixed berry jams with delightful results.
Remember that different berries hold different amounts of liquid. When you add the chia seeds and let it set, you may notice some versions are still a bit runny. No worries! Simply add in some more chia seeds, stir and let set again. You’ll figure out the right ratios for different fruits in no time.
Making Jam with Chia Seeds
This recipe is surprisingly easy to make. If you decide to make a large batch, get the kids involved! I use some kid-friendly knives when involving my kids in cutting up fruit (and a lot of patience!) and help them learn how to cut up fruit.
And I always measure extra strawberries to make up for the ones that end up in mouths instead of the saucepan. Here’s how I make it.
- Wash, dry and halve the strawberries. They don’t need to be finely chopped. Combine the strawberries, water, maple syrup and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the fruit softens and releases its natural juices. Remove from heat and mash the mixture well.
- Stir in the chia seeds. Start with 2 tablespoons, especially if the strawberry mixture is pretty thick. Let the jam cool completely on the counter. Stir again and add more chia seeds if the consistency is too runny or thin. You want it to be quite thick and set, just like regular jam. Stir in the vanilla. Transfer to small jars with tight-fitting lids.
That’s it! With a little stove time and cooling time, you are ready to use this spread on everything.
I like to store this recipe in small jelly jars with tight-fitting lids. It will last in the fridge for 7-10 days.
If you want to make a large batch at a time then you can still use these jars and freeze them for future use. Make sure to leave at least 1/2-inch of space in the top of each jar to allow for expansion when freezing and allow jam to cool completely before storing in the freezer.
If I know I’m going to freeze some, I’ll place the finished containers in the fridge overnight then move them to the freezer just to ensure the contents are completely cooled. No one needs exploding glass!
When to Use
Dress up a vegan charcuterie board with this jam, mix it into overnight oats or use it as a vegan ice cream topping. It is a kitchen staple in so many ways! Next time you try vegan yogurt with healthy granola, swap the fresh fruit for a scoop of this jam and enjoy!
Strawberry Chia Jam FAQs
Chia seeds contain fiber that helps regulate blood sugar and can set the jam without needing that pectin and sugar combo to do so. In fact, my chia jam has way less sugar than regular and doesn’t use any refined sugar.
Yes, that’s how I use them in my chia jam. When chia seeds come into contact with liquid, they form a sort of jell that acts like a binding agent. They will thicken up a jam just like pectin. The best part is they won’t change the flavor or sweetness of your jam, so you get all the benefits without any weird taste!
Yes! Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain over four grams of protein. They are easy to add to a variety of foods like oatmeal, jam, smoothies, baked goods and more. You can use them as an egg replacement, too!
Now let’s make it! Don’t forget to rate + review this recipe once you’ve tried it. I love getting your feedback. If yours doesn’t turn out perfectly then let me know. I’m here to help!
Strawberry Chia Jam
- 4 cups strawberries halved
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 tbsp lemon juiced
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, water, maple syrup and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the fruit softens and releases its natural juices. Remove from heat and mash the mixture well.
- Stir in chia seeds. Start with 2 tablespoons, especially if the strawberry mixture is pretty thick. Let the jam cool completely on the counter. Stir again and add more chia seeds if the jam is too runny or thin. Stir in the vanilla. Transfer to small jars with tight-fighting lids.
- Store in the fridge for 7-10 days or freeze for up to several months. If freezing, be sure to leave 1/2-inch headspace in the jar to allow for expansion.
- Feel free to omit the vanilla extract if desired.
- You can swap strawberries with the berry of your choice (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.), just know that different berries will produce different amounts of juice and may need more chia seeds to set completely.