If you’ve heard of chia seeds but are still unsure how to use them, this is the recipe for you. It’s a simple, 3-ingredient strawberry jam that’s so easy a kid could make it! Plus, it can be modified to suit your taste in just about every way, be it with different fruits or making it extra sweet, thick or thin.
I whipped this batch up one night last week and couldn’t wait to dig into it the next morning over some whole wheat toast. The result was perfect – thick, subtly sweet and not too tart. Plus, the chia seeds provided a subtle crunch and creamy thickness that I just adored. That’s the power of chia seeds – they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, lending themselves perfectly to this jam.
Chia is the edible seed from the desert plant salvia hispanica, which primarily grows in southern Mexico. The seeds are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, containing up to four times more essential fatty acids than other grains. In this way, chia seeds are considered a super food and thought to help decrease risk for type 2 diabetes, cancers and even heart disease.
They’re also extremely high in soluble fiber and help decrease cholesterol levels. Couple that with the health benefits of strawberries and this jam provides a serious one-two punch.
Strawberry Chia Seed Jam
Yields about 2 cups
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
2-3 Tbsp sugar, depending on taste (or sub other sweetener)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
Method | In a small saucepan, bring the strawberries and sugar to a low boil and lightly mash the berries with either a spoon, fork or potato masher. Reduce to a simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chia seeds and stir. Cook the jam down until it thickens – about 15 minutes – stirring frequently. Once the jam has thickened, remove from heat. Sample and adjust flavor, adding more sugar if you prefer a sweeter jam or extracts if you wish. Let cool then store in a jar or airtight container in the fridge; should keep for at least a week.
Besides being healthy – each 1 Tbsp serving contains less than 20 calories and 2 grams of sugar – this jam is also incredibly easy to make and can be modified to suit just about any taste. For instance, you could substitute blueberries or blackberries for the strawberries, add in spices or extracts to give it a more pronounced flavor, and even increase the quantity and freeze the leftovers for later use.
A few of my personal favorite ways to use it are over toast (pictured above with almond butter and bananas), stirred into yogurt or as a faux-compote on top of waffles and pancakes. Dream big! The possibilities are endless with this versatile jam.
recipe and photos by Dana Shultz
November 26th, 2012