Every summer of my childhood our family went strawberry picking and came back home with baskets of fresh strawberries. I probably ate more than I put in my basket, but I suspect that’s true of most kids. The picking was fun for the first 15 minutes then it was time to eat while the adults did the hard work!
Some of the strawberries we ate as is and some went into jam that my mom made. I remember large pots of sugary strawberry jam cooking on the stove for what seemed like hours. The super sweet smell would fill the kitchen and we would have to wait until it was cooked, cooled and bottled before we could dive in. The wait was too long! I still love strawberry jam but I don’t want all that sugar and I certainly don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making it, so when I found myself with more beautiful, local Ontario organic strawberries than I could eat I made a super easy, no cook jam to enjoy later.
Why this no-cook strawberry jam is so good
- This jam is really easy to make and is so fresh & delicious!
- You just need a few ingredients
- All you have to do is chop some strawberries, mash, add sweetener if desired, add chia seeds and let it sit to gel.
No-cook Strawberry Chia Jam
- 1 cup fresh strawberries organic is best
- TBSP chia seeds
- 1 TBSP honey or sweetener of choice optional
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
- Wash, hull and chop strawberries.
- Mash strawberries with a fork or potato masher to desired consistency. If you prefer a smooth jam, mash until the strawberries are completely broken down.
- Add sweetener, if using, and stir to incorporate.
- Add chia seeds and stir.
- Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the chia to form a gel and thicken the jam.
- Bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week
- This recipe is simple and can be adapted to your liking.
- Taste the strawberries as you chop - not only is this a great treat but it helps you determine the sweetness to decide if you want to add any sweeteners.
- If you like a chunkier jam, don't mash the strawberries down to a smooth pulp.
- You can use the same method for other berries - raspberries, blueberries, blackberries - but you may need to adjust the amount of chia used based on the water content of each berry.
Chia seeds are very versatile and since they are tasteless can be used as a thickener in smoothies, juices, puddings and are often used with flax seeds as an egg replacer in baking. They can be ground before using for a smoother consistency of the end product.
Chia seeds have been touted as a source of fibre and anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids (EFAs). While there is Omega-3 in chia seeds, keep in mind that it is in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which your body needs to convert into EPA/DHA before the benefits can be realized so I don’t suggest relying on it as your only source of Omega-3s.