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Easy vegan strawberry chia jam that’s low in sugar, doesn’t need pectin, and is done in 20 minutes. No canning skills needed.
A fan favorite in our house is peanut butter and jelly or sunbutter and jelly sandwiches. They’re a staple in nearly every kids diet. Quick to pull together, satisfying and filling, they’re the perfect for school lunches, picnics, or a quick snack.
We make our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with all natural peanut butter, and whole wheat bread. I like Spread the Love Organic Peanut Butter. When I buy peanut butter I immediately turn around the jar to see the ingredients. When it comes to peanut butter there should only be one; peanuts. This peanut butter checks all the boxes for me. It’s organic, palm oil free, non GMO, sugar free, and salt free. It’s also made by a small family run company.
When it comes to nut-free butters it’s more difficult to find a whole food choice. Like peanut butter, many sunbutters and other nut-free alternative butters have added sugar, salt, and oils. I’m still on the hunt for a nut-free butter that doesn’t have added sugar, or palm-oil. If you’ve found one you love, comment below and let me know.
I’d love to say that I make my own whole wheat bread at home, but I don’t. Maybe one day I’ll be super mom, and bake my own bread, but for now I go with what’s easy, and that’s store bought bread. However, I’m very picky about my bread. There is no white bread in our house. We don’t do refined carbs.
For more information on the difference between refined carbs and whole grains read this article.
My go-to bread is Dave’s Killer 21 Whole Grains and Seeds Bread. It’s non-GMO and uses whole grain ingredients. When you’re looking for a whole wheat bread choice, the first ingredient should be whole wheat flour, not wheat flour. Wheat flour without the word “whole” in front has been processed. Another great bread we often get is Food for Life: Ezekiel Sprouted Grain.
When I’ve got peanut butter I feel good about, and whole grain bread that’s full of nutrients, I don’t want to spoil what could be a nutritious sandwich by using store bought jelly that is high in sugar.
Easy strawberry chia jam delivers big on flavor, natural sweetness, and an extra nutritious boost with chia!
My favorite jam is strawberry. My kids love it too. With a quart of organic strawberries in my fridge that needed to be eaten soon, I decided to make my own quick and easy jam. I didn’t want to use pectin to thicken my jam, but I had chia seeds on hand. I knew how well chia worked when added to water as a binding ingredient when baking, so I figured it would work well to thicken a strawberry jam. Chia is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Not only does the chia help thicken this jam but it also makes it extra nutritious.
My boys loved this jam on their PBandJ sandwiches. They were also great helpers in the kitchen, eager to pour the ingredients in the pot and give it a stir. When I get my kids involved in the cooking process they’re more likely to give what they made a try. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but in this case they were on board with the strawberry chia jam, even though it wasn’t as sweet as the store bought kind.
Ingredients you’ll need for Strawberry Chia Jam:
When choosing the strawberries to use for this jam go with organic. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) puts out their Dirty Dozen list of the top 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amount of pesticide residue. Strawberries are number one on their list. If you buy anything organic, buy organic strawberries.
Chia seeds are a staple in plant-based recipes. They make an excellent binding agent in baking recipes. In this recipe they serve to gel the jam together without the need of pectin.
Not only do chia seeds serve as a plant-based staple, but they have numerous health benefits packed into a small amount of calories. They serve as a plant-based protein source, contain omega-3 fatty acids, are an excellent source of antioxidants, are high in fiber, contain calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and protein that are good for bone health. In fact, gram for gram chia seeds contain more calcium than dairy, making them an excellent source of calcium for vegans or those who do not consume dairy. For more information on the excellent health benefits of chia seeds, check-out this article.
HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY CHIA JAM – STEP BY STEP
STEP 1: De-stem and chop the strawberries into small chunks. You’ll need 2 cups. I had a quart of strawberries, and had a few leftover after measuring out the 2 cups chopped.
STEP 2: Combine chopped strawberries, lemon juice, and water in a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove lid and reduce heat to medium. Stir a few times while it’s cooking. The jam will begin to thicken.
STEP 3: Remove from heat. Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Taste, and add 1 more tablespoon of maple syrup if you’d like it to to be sweeter.
STEP 4: Grind 2 tablespoons of chia seeds in a coffee grinder. Stir the ground chia seeds into the jam. Let sit to cool. The jam will continue to thicken.
STEP 5: When jam has cooled transfer to a jar, and refrigerate. This jam lasts up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
When it comes to this chia jam recipe you can get creative. You may substitute numerous fruits to make other types of jam. Some of our favorites include blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
TIPS FOR MAKING STRAWBERRY CHIA JAM
Make sure you grind the chia seeds into a fine powder. The chia seeds will bind the ingredients much better when ground than if you use whole chia seeds.
Bring the strawberries, water, and lemon juice to a boil with the lid on. Remove the lid and reduce the heat once it reaches boiling. Stir the mixture every few minutes. When I was making this jam I was home with the kids, so I was not as attentive to the jam as I would have liked. I did not stir it for the entire 15 minutes, and it turned out just fine.
Allow the jam to cool completely before transferring it to a sealed jar. There’s no need to do any tricky canning techniques, but this jam does have a shelf life, so enjoy within 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
Strawberry Chia Jam
- 2 cups organic strawberries chopped into chunks
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp organic maple syrup
- 2 tbsp chia seeds finely ground
- Combine strawberries, water, and lemon juice in a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Remove lid. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. The strawberry mixture will thicken.
- Remove from heat. Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Taste and add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup if you like it sweeter.
- Stir in ground chia seeds and let sit to cool.
- When cooled completely, transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can freeze the jam for up to 3 months.
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If you’ve tried my strawberry chia jam recipe, please rate it and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!