I grew up eating my Grandma’s strawberry freezer jam. We ate it on bread, pancakes, muffins, and when we thought we could get away with it, by the spoonful right out of the jar. Those were the days of young taste buds that crave sugar and nothing is ever too sweet. When I started making my own jam, I was shocked at how much sugar went into traditional jam. Nowadays, my mature taste buds prefer to taste more of the fruit and far less sugar.
Cooking Light (June 2004) has a good recipe I discovered several years ago that has 3 ingredients, no pectin, and far lass sugar than the recipe my Grandma used to use. Recently, I was a chaperone on a field trip with my son to a farm where our group got to pick fresh strawberries. The berries were sweet so I bought more afterwards and wanted to create an even better version of the Cooking Light recipe I had been using. What if I cut out the sugar all together and used honey? And what if I increased the nutrition value without changing the texture by adding chia seeds? My Simple Natural Strawberry Jam was born and the fruit is the star of the show in this recipe.
- 8-10 cups chopped Strawberries
- Zest of 2 lemons & juice of the same 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/3 cup apple or grape juice
- 1/2-3/4 cup honey
In a large pot or sauce pan, add chopped strawberries and lemon zest; bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reserve the juice of the lemons for later. Simmer (low boil) uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Combine chia seeds and apple/grape juice and allow to sit while the strawberries cook. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes, and stir in reserved lemon juice, soaked chia seeds, and honey. Allow to cool for another 10 minutes prior to pouring into glass jars or containers. Refrigerate or freeze. Use to top yogurt or ice cream, on bread or toast, or by the spoonful!