This homemade strawberry chia seed jam recipe is so easy to make. This freezer jam uses chia seeds to gel the jam and eliminates the need for pectin. Homemade jam rules!
In our home, my children have a fear of squishy fruit and brown bananas. As someone who loves to bake, I know that when fruit is a tad bit squishy – or spotted – it means it’s just right for eating. So this uncanny fear of ripened fruit makes me a bit bonkers, but I might as well bang my head on the table because my kids just won’t hear me out on this one. So I either eat it myself or come up with clever ways to use it all up before it goes bad.
This means we make lots of jam. Lots and lots and lots of jam. Why jam? Well, it stays good for months in the freezer and my kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Seriously. They eat them several times a week. So I’d much rather put my own homemade jam on their sandwiches than fill them up with super sugary store bought jam.
When I first started out making jam, I had to follow recipes very closely because I had really no idea what I was doing. Unfortunately, this led me to make homemade jam that was insanely sweet. I cringe when I read some of my earlier recipes – like this one for my Apple Pie Jam. It’s sooooo sweet. But, in all fairness, I only use it as a dessert jam and in moderation. I still stand by my original thought process though – it’s amazing in a nice big bowl of Greek yogurt. The sweetness cuts the tang of the yogurt and you only need a little bit, so go for it! Perhaps this fall, when we go apple picking, I’ll remake it and modify it a bit. Maybe. Maybe not.
But with each new batch of jam I make, I get smarter about what I’m putting in it and how much sugar I really need. My latest trial and error involved making jam with chia seeds. These little seeds kind of creep me out, but my sister uses them all of the time, so I really wanted to give them a chance.
Once I found out that I could use them in place of pectin, I was all in. Plus, chia seeds are like the little Super Heroes of the food world. These itty bitty little seeds are chock full of nutrients and athletes, like my husband, swear by them. Not only are they full of Omega-3s, but studies have shown that they can help you lose weight and reduce high blood pressure. They’re also easier to digest than flax seeds, which my kids already eat, so what did I have to lose?
Oh, yeah – how about the fact that my daughter might balk at the idea of tiny seeds floating around in her pureed jam? Ugh. To prep her, I just focused on how cute they were – she eats more things if they’re deemed cute enough. I kid you not. Please don’t get me started on “Mom’s Magic Meatloaf Muffins,” which reminds me, I really need to write up that recipe up come fall!
So, I prepped her about how the seeds were cute — and powerful — and would make her homemade jam even healthier. I also told her that if she hated them, I’d make her a new batch without any seeds. I always like to give her a safe out because she then feels in control about not having to like something new. Anyways, I’m happy to report that she said she didn’t mind them at all and said they could stay in her jam from here on in! Yay!
I prefer making freezer jams because I find that it’s much quicker and less stressful than double batch processing. Jam doesn’t last very long in our house anyways and since we don’t live on a farm, I never have that much fruit on hand to really warrant full on canning (although I wish we did)! This jam is also called Strawberry Chia Seed Jam, but it does have a handful of blueberries tossed in because they’re Super Heroes in the food world too. Just don’t tell my daughter…yet!
STRAWBERRY CHIA SEED JAM RECIPE
- 2 pints (2 pounds) strawberries
- 1, 4.4-ounce container of blueberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup turbinado sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
Step 1: Wash, hull and chop up strawberries. Wash and de-stem blueberries, if using. Add to a deep-lipped saucepan.
Step 2: Add sugar and cook over medium heat until berries are soft, approximately 5 minutes. Note: If your child only likes smooth jam, carefully remove berries at this point and puree them in a bender. We love our Ninja blender for jobs like this.
Step 3: Carefully pour berry puree back into the pot. Add chia seeds and stir often until jam gets very thick, approximately 15 minutes. Remove jam from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Step 4: Divide jam into any kind of clean, sterilized, freezer-safe containers. I live and die by these Ball Plastic Freezer Jars because they don’t break if they fall out of the freezer, but you can also use Ball Glass Jam Jars or even simple glass containers (like pyrex). When filling, make sure to leave ½-inch of room at the top for expansion upon freezing. Leave jam sitting out at room temperature until it cools down before putting it in the freezer – or refrigerator – if you plan on eating it asap.
Want more jam recipes?
- Cherry Peach Freezer Jam
- Strawberry Blueberry Freezer Jam
- Strawberry Peach Jam
- Strawberry Freezer Jam