Strawberry season is upon us here in California and strawberries are among my favorite fruit. I love strawberries on my breakfast oatmeal, in a green smoothie, and most of all, generously topped on pancakes or waffles. Now, I’ve made plenty of homemade strawberry compotes and jams in my day too. I gently blend the berries, cook to a simmer, add pectin for binding, can it in a glass mason jar, and patiently wait for it to cool overnight. But craving the fresh, delicate, tart and sweet strawberry flavor at the start of the season I decided to experiment with chia as a binder and thickener. And so this delectable raw creation, that preserves the fresh strawberry flavor, came to be.
1 cup fresh strawberries, pureed
2 tablespoons white chia seeds
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar, or to taste
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 – 3 tablespoons water
- Prepare your fresh strawberries, wash, trim, and puree. Pour into a sealable container. A mason jar is perfect.
- Stir in chia, agave, lemon zest and juice. Stir in water 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Seal your container and allow to sit for about 8 hours. The chia will soak up the water and give the jam its gelatinous consistency. If desired, refrigerate for an hour before serving or serve at room temperature.
Yields approximately 1 1/4 cup
Serving suggestions: This jam is the perfect pairing to waffles and toast. Make a traditional PB&rawJ, add a dollop to your overnight oats, or make a layered yogurt parfait.
Variations: This recipe is perfect for all berries although you may need to adjust the agave nectar based on the natural tartness of the berry. You can also use orange zest and juice in place of lemon.
Tip: Consume this jam right away. Unlike cooked jams, this raw jam is more perishable than most. However, it is well worth it.