As you might’ve read in my previous articles (like the strawberry-mint lemonade), strawberry season is in full swing in Canada, and it also happens to be one of my favourite time of the year! I LOVE fresh, local, organic strawberries! It’s a very short season, so I try to take advantage of it as much as I can. I make jams and preserves, I freeze a few large bags full, and of course, I eat them until it’s coming out of my ears! haha I’ve been doing this with a lot of local produce actually. When it’s in-season, I eat them so much that I’m good until the following year!
I made strawberry preserves last year, and I ended-up using that all year! I still have 1 jar left! I only bought a few jars of jam in a year, and the only reason why I bought some was because we were on vacation at the cottage, and I wanted to support a small local artisanal company. 🙂
It’s kind of cool to make your own food, there’s something incredibly rewarding about creating your own food using whole food, real, organic, and local ingredients. You know exactly what is in it, you use ingredients you trust, you support small local organic farms, and you use produce at the height of its nutritional value, and at its peak taste! It really couldn’t be any better. I highly recommend it!
So, last weekend I made another batch of strawberry jam. Gosh, I could eat it by the spoonful. Definitely the best jam/preserve I’ve ever had! I love my cooking and everything, but it’s pretty unusual that I voluntarily admit that it’s the best I’ve ever had. Well, this jam/preserve is AH-mazing. Only a few ingredients, no white sugar, no gelatin or pectin added. The chia seeds naturally give a gelatinous texture, which works wonderfully to make jam, and it’s a whole food!
Very simple to make, but you should reserve a 3-4 hours of your time, including the prep and canning part.
I use it not just for jam, but also on top of pancakes, ice cream, desserts, or in smoothies, etc.
Strawberry, Rhubarb and Chia Seed Jam | Vegan, No Refined Sugar
- 8 pints organic strawberries (must be local and in-season + organic), washed, dried, stems removed
- 1 1/2 cup rhubarb washed, ends trimmed, peeled, and cut into small cubes
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 cup chia seeds
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- Simply put the strawberries and rhubarb in a large pot over medium heat, mix, cover and bring to a boil. Then lower temperature to low, cover and wait 10-15 minutes. Use a potato masher or a large fork and mash everything. You do want some chunks left but no big pieces. Add the maple syrup, lemon juice, and chia seeds, mix really well. Cover and let simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- In the meantime, get your pre-cleaned mason jars ready. Bring a very large pot of water (and the jars and lids in it) to a boil, let it boil for 6-8 minutes.
- When the jam mixture is ready, carefully remove the hot jars and lids from the boiling water. If you do not have special tongs for canning (I don't), use regular cooking tongs and a perforated spatula to do the job.
- BE CAREFUL, it’ll be really hot!!! You want to remove the jars empty (leave the hot water in the pot). Then using a small ladle, fill up the mason jars, but not all the way to the top, you want to leave a bit of room (about 1/2"). Then place the lids on top and tighten as much as you can without forcing too much.
- Put the jars back in the boiling water (you may need to remove some water). Make sure you have water covering all jars, by at least 1" or so of water.
- Keep boiling for 10 minutes.
- Then, carefully remove the jars from the water and wait to hear a little “pop” from each jar (it might take 10 minutes or so). That sound means that it’s sealed and air-tight, ready to cool down for several hours and be stored away for later use!
- You can tighten the lid, every so often, as it cools down.
- That's it! Enjoy these little jars for many months to come!
Note: I do not believe anyone should worry about counting calories, but here is the nutritional information for one serving
Calories: 197kcal | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 550mg | Carbohydrates: 38g | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 23g | Protein: 4g | Vitamin A: 1% | Vitamin C: 199.2% | Calcium: 15.2% | Iron: 11.9%