Our mouth-watering Strawberry Chia Jam is a must try, it's also a lot healthier than the store bought kind. You can make it using 4 simple ingredients, it's ready to eat in under 10 minutes, and there are many ways to enjoy it.
This is a great summer recipe, and definitely one to get the kids involved with helping to make. It's a really tasty and fun way to show them how to make healthier versions of everyday foods. We also have a section on how to make this a baby friendly recipe as well.
An added bonus to making homemade strawberry jam - your home will smell incredible for hours.
Some other healthier alternative recipes to make with the kids, are our no-bake peanut butter cookies, our black bean brownies, or some healthy edible cookie dough.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's great for kids! There's no need to load them up with loads of sugar when you can easily make your own healthy strawberry jam. You can even make this homemade chia jam recipe with no added sugars at all (see our substitutions section).
- It's easy to make. You can whip up a batch of this in under 10 minutes, and it keeps in the fridge for a week.
- This recipe contains chia seeds - an easily accessible superfood loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and plant based protein.
- You can enjoy it with most sweet breakfasts, such as overnight oats, spread over warm toast, in our healthy oatmeal crumble bars, or with our fluffy sugar free pancakes.
- It tastes much better than jams you get from the grocery store. Nothing quite beats making your own jam with fresh fruit.
- Making homemade jam is a delicious way to use up fresh berries that are looking a little past their best.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Chia Seeds - Chia seeds are commonly used in healthier alternative jams. This is because they not only thicken the jam, but they offer a great nutritional profile. Chia seeds are packed omega 3 fatty acids, a nutrient which is great for brain and heart health. They also contain a high amount of iron and plant based protein, along with other minerals. For a full nutritional breakdown of our chia jam, see the bottom of the recipe card. Chia seeds are also a great option for adding more calcium in to your diet.
- Lemon Juice - We use this for flavour mostly, but it is commonly used in jams. This is because is works in unison with the pectin in the berries to thicken the cooked fruits. You can also use lemon zest in your jam if you're a fan of the flavour. Lemon zest goes particularly well with blueberry chia jam. Fresh lemon juice tastes best, but you can use the pre-bottled version if that's available to you.
- Maple Syrup - We use pure maple syrup to sweeten our jams. Opting for less refined sugars, when available, is our preferred way of eating. Maple Syrup is less refined than table sugar, and contains minerals. It's more cost effective when bought in larger quantities, we typically buy it by the kilo from Amazon. If you want a sugar free option (for babies under 12 months), we recommend using powdered erythritol or xylitol.
- Strawberries (fresh or frozen) - We chose to use fresh, but you can easily use frozen strawberries instead. We like to go strawberry picking as a family activity when they're in season. In the UK, strawberries are in season from May to October. In the US, it depends on the state, but they are generally considered a spring time crop, which means they'll be in season from May - July.
For full instructions, and ingredient quantities, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chopping Board
- Mason jar for storing
- Potato Masher (optional)
- Sharp Knife
- Wooden Spoon
How to make it
Step 1 - Chop your strawberries in to approximately 2cm chunks.
Step 2 - Add to your saucepan and cook on a medium heat. Cook the strawberries for 5 minutes, until very juicy and fragrant. Stir regularly to ensure none stick to the bottom of the pan.
Step 3 - Add the maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla, then give it a good stir.
Step 4 - Mash the strawberry mixture as much or as little as you like. The more you mash it, the smoother your jam will be. Or if you prefer a chunkier jam, keep the mashing to a minimum. By mashing the strawberries you help to release more of the juices, and breakdown the larger fruit pieces.
Hint: Now is the time to taste your jam. If you prefer it sweeter, add more maple syrup as desired. Add a tablespoon at a time, tasting between the additions, until you get the level of sweetness you like. Remember though, if making this for young kids, it's recommended to add as little as possible.
Step 5 - Add in the chia seeds and stir well until they're all well incorporated in to the cooked strawberries.
Step 6 - Cook the jam for 5 minutes on a low heat. The chia seeds will soak up some of those strawberry juices and begin to thicken. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before transferring to a jar for storage. The jam will continue to thicken and have a more jammy texture as it cools.
- Cardamon makes a great addition to our healthy strawberry jam. The flavours compliment each other very well. Add in ½ teaspoon of ground cardamon to the saucepan at the same time as adding the maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla.
Making chia seed jam for babies
To make this a baby friendly jam, you can reduce the ingredients to just the strawberries and chia seeds (no added sugar), and cook as per the recipe instructions.
Serving suggestions for strawberry chia jam
- On oatmeal
- Spread over your morning toast
- In jam tarts
- On top of pancakes
- Spread over rice cakes with peanut butter
- In a classic pb&j sandwich
- With vanilla ice cream or with greek yogurt & raw honey
How long does chia jam last in the fridge?
You can keep this in the fridge for a week. Just make sure to use an sealed container such as a mason jar when storing.
You can also freeze your jam if you feel like you wont eat all of this within a week. Keep in the freezer, in an air-tight container, for up to 3 months. Thaw fully before using, and then use within 3 days.
When buying fresh strawberries, the more in season the are, the better and sweeter they taste. And where possible, buy local/grown in your country. We're lucky in the UK to supply all our own strawberries, but in the US it will vary by State.
Yes and no. If you're using a traditional jam recipe, then yes. And that's why jam sugar is needed for such recipes. It contains the pectin needed to make a gel like consistency to the cooked fruit. Adding the lemon juice to traditional recipes is a must, because this raises the acidity level of the jam mixture, which in turns helps the pectin to create the gelatinous texture of jam.
In non-traditional/healthy jam recipes, instead of pectin and sugar, chia seeds are used to thicken the fruit, and therefore mimic the texture of regular sugar jam.
Pectin in a carbohydrate found mostly in the skin of fruits, in varying quantities. It's essentially a compound that holds cell walls together inside the fruits, or in other words, it gives the fruit structure.
For low pectin fruits such as berries, more is added in the jam making process, to get the gelatinous texture we are familiar with. An example of a high pectin fruits are plums, blackcurrants and oranges.
Due to the fact that it contains much less sugar that regular jam, it tastes more like the fruit you're using. Which gives it much more appeal in our opinion.
More chia recipes to try:
More homemade healthy recipes:
- Homemade Vegan Nutella
- Chocolate Orange Spread
- Vanilla Cashew Butter
Healthy Homemade Strawberry Jam
- Chopping Board
- Mason /glass jar for storage
- Potato Masher optional
- Sharp Knife
- Wooden Spoon
- 3 cups Strawberries fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsps Chia Seeds
- 2 tbsps Maple Syrup
- 1 tbsps Lemon Juice approx half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Chop all of the strawberries in to approximately 2cm chunks. You don't have to be specific with this, as they will be mashed a little later on.3 cups Strawberries
- Add the chopped strawberries to your saucepan and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes, until very juicy and fragrant. Stir regularly to ensure none stick to the bottom of the pan. The strawberries will seem quite watery but don't worry about this, the chia seeds will be soaking up that yummy fruit juices in a few minutes.
- Add the maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla, then stir well.2 tbsps Maple Syrup, 1 tbsps Lemon Juice, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Using the back of a wooden spoon, or a potato masher. Mash/squish the strawberry mixture as much or as little as you like. The more you mash it, the smoother your jam will be.
- Add the chia seeds and stir well until everything has mixed together thoroughly.2 tbsps Chia Seeds
- Turn the hob heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn the hob off and remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Leave to cool. The jam will thicken as it cools, resulting in the perfect consistency.
- Once the jam has cooled, transfer to an airtight jar and store in the fridge.