Where I live, the first spring strawberries are now available directly from the farmer. When you’ve bought too many, and they are no longer quite at their peak, try making this quick and no added sugar strawberry jam to make them last longer.
These early season strawberries are ones that really taste like strawberries. When I stop off at the local farm to buy some, there is always the deal if you buy three…and they look so yummy… And then you get home and eat some straight away, but because the berries don’t have preservatives sprayed all over them, they don’t look quite as appetizing by the next day. That’s when I make them into a jam, thickened with chia seeds.
- No sugar of any kind is added to this recipe – and isn’t needed as the strawberries are sweet enough. When making traditional jam, the sugar is added not only as a sweetener, but also as a preservative. So this jam won’t last a long time and needs to be kept in the fridge – but it’s yummy so it gets eaten quickly anyhow.
- A dash of white balsamic vinegar brings out the taste of the strawberries. This is a good trick to know for any strawberry dish. Just a splash and it tastes more strawberry-y! Works on a bowl of fresh strawberries or in recipes.
- The chia seeds add a great punch of omega 3 fats and fiber to the jam. They are what thickens the strawberries to make them jammy.
- You can also add spices too. How about cinnamon – helps balance the blood sugar levels too from the sweetness of the strawbs.
Of course, we all know how to “use” jam. You can spread it on bread/toast. But also think about:
- putting some on your cereal
- stirring some into your porridge
- making a strawberry tart
- using it in this granola recipe instead of marmalade
- making a parfait with yoghurt, nuts, and jams alternating in a glass
- adding it to salad dressing…..
There are many ways to use jam.
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds (I used white seeds as they look prettier than black)
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
- In a small saucepan, bring the fruit to a low boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Use a potato masher to mash the fruit, but leaving a few pieces larger for texture.
- Stir in the chia seeds
- Simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.
- When thickened (be patient, it will thicken), remove from the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and stir.
- Pour into a jar/container. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.
- This recipe is only a small quantity as I typically use it for "leftover" fresh strawberries. If you have more fruit, just double or triple the quantity.