Last summer I went on a strawberry-picking frenzy. Because we had committed to only eating local food for the next year, that meant that once strawberry season was over, it was OVER. No little plastic clamshell grocery-store strawberries. Not even one. And for those of you who call southwestern Ontario home, you know that strawberry season is a mere 2-4 week blip in the annual summer calendar. So, I did what any strawberry-loving, local-eating person would do – and spent almost $350 in picking fresh strawberries.
Since then, I have realized that we could likely have spent maybe $200 on strawberries for the year instead. Three-fifty was a little generous since I’m still up to my eyeballs in freezer bags of strawberries. Turns out that frozen strawberries really don’t equate to fresh. Even local ones. (Although, truth be told, our kids have been known to gnaw away on a bowl-full of frozen strawberries. Their minds are going to be blown once strawberry season is upon us again…)
When I made this jam today, the girls could hardly wait to try it. We didn’t wait for it to cool down completely, but it was still the perfect consistency. And slathered thickly on top of a thick hunk of homemade white bread, life really couldn’t get much better.
This recipe is beyond easy. Feel free to switch it up to suit whatever frostbitten fruit you have languishing in the back of your freezer. (I have a couple bags of frozen peaches left that might be super delicious with the addition of a bit of cinnamon and/or ginger….might have to try that one next!)
Strawberry Chia Jam
- measuring spoons
- potato masher
- 3 cups frozen strawberries , or other frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc…)
- 4 tbsp honey , or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- Pour the frozen berries and honey into a medium-sized sauce pan and simmer over low heat for approximately 5 minutes. Watch it carefully as honey can burn easily.
- Pour in the chia seeds and let the mixture continue to simmer on the stove top for approximately 20 minutes. The chia seeds will cause the mixture to thicken. If using frozen strawberries, they may not disintegrate as uniformly into a jam-like texture as other smaller berries. Simply mash them with a potato masher until you get the desired jam-like consistency. Alternatively, you can quickly blitz the mixture in your blender as well. (This will help to grind down the chia seeds a bit if you happen to be one of those people who does not appreciate the "tapioca-like" texture of chia seeds.)
- Allow to cool before keeping in the fridge. It will also thicken up a bit as it cools.