I love canning season. The giant pot of boiling water, the rows of sterilized jars, and the overflowing bowls and bins of fresh produce with bags of sugar and giant bottles of vinegar. I’ll preserve almost anything, my favourites being apple-marmalade, tomato jam, roasted corn salsa and blueberries in honey syrup. Without fail, I will make these 4 things each and every year, but I also make THIS one.
So for now, forget about all of the work involved in those other things because this recipe takes…
- no time
- no cooking
- no sugar
- no pectin
- no sterilizing
- and almost no effort!
It’s also the best “berry” freezer jam recipe I’ve ever used, and I’ve been making it for 3 years now! You can make this jam with any berry, and I know some people have used rhubarb or pitted cherries (although I’ve never tried them) successfully. For this recipe I’ve used strawberries and blackberries, and both are delicious.
A question that always comes up with talking about chia seed jam, is whether or not you can preserve it in a hot water bath and store it on the shelves. The answer is NO. I really thought I could figure out a way to do that, and it failed horribly. Listen to Google, it can’t be done. Mine was not only inedible, but it separated and looked completely disgusting. Freezer jam only guys.
The real secret to this jam are the Chia Seeds. Don’t be worried about the seeds feeling gritty, they really don’t! Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries already have seeds, it doesn’t really feel any different. If it really is an issue for you though, you can measure your chia seeds into a well cleaned coffee grinder and crush them into powder before adding.
Chia seeds are also loaded with calcium, iron and fibre, which is perfect for feeding to your kids. My daughter loves homemade jam, and I really dont mind letting her have lots of it because it’s actually good for her. Like everything though, consider your own dietary needs, medications and lifestyle before loading up on something you haven’t really eaten before.
To make this jam, I work in increments of 4 cups of chopped fruit. This gives me about 3 1/4 cups of jam, which I store in freezer jars or sturdy plastic containers. Feel free to mess with the amounts, it’s a forgiving recipe.
- Add it as a base for your smoothies
- Stir it into your yogurt
- Stir it into your overnight oats
- Add it to cottage cheese
- Ice cream Sundae topper
- Use it for healthy jam tarts
If you make a few tiny containers, you can give them away to friends, because healthy jam makes a great gift too!
Super Easy, Totally Healthy, Strawberry Freezer Jam:
- 4 cups of chopped fruit (I used fresh strawberries)
- 5 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup (or Honey)
You’ll also need a blender, and some sturdy plastic freezer containers or freezer jars.
Now here’s where the real work happens. Put all 3 ingredients into the blender. Blend it all together for about a minute. Pour into your freezer containers. Freeze, but keep one in the fridge for immediate consumption. It’ll take about 24 hours for the chia seeds to “gel” completely, but it’s ready for eating now.
That’s it. You’re done.
Congratulate yourself on your domestic talents and accept the praise of your friends and family, who wonder how you find the time to make your own, homemade jam. Wash up the 5 dishes you had to use, and reward yourself for your efforts. Let your kids have jam on everything.