Strawberries are so quintessential summer, and we capitalize on all that red, ripe deliciousness (you can even use frozen strawberries out of season)! This is an easy sugar free strawberry jam recipe, using just 3 ingredients, and no added sugar. We don't even complicate it with pectin (which can be finicky to say the least!). Just strawberries, chia seeds, and lemon juice stand between you and yummy, healthy strawberry jam heaven!
Are strawberries good for your heart?
Strawberries, like all berries, are high in antioxidants, which is great news for your heart! Even better, because strawberries are one of the most eaten, and most easily obtained of the berries in the US.
Strawberries have also been studied extensively for their health benefits, and when it comes to heart health, they definitely should make the cut in your diet! Strawberries are probably most widely known for their vitamin C content - 1 cup of strawberry halves contains 150% of your daily value! But strawberries also contain manganese, iodine, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus, and, to a lesser extent, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K. Strawberries even have one of the highest folate contents among fruit (9% per 1 cup serving)! (1)
Studies are a bit split on strawberries' effects on inflammation, with more studies showing strawberries lower inflammatory markers than don't. Studies have also reported a positive effect on blood lipid size distribution, and decreases in blood pressure and artery stiffness (2). Sounds like a good little fighter to have in your heart health corner!
FAQs and Substitutions
Normally, the answer is 'yes'. But in this case, flax seeds won't work the same. Chia seeds have an outer coating that absorb water and create a gel-like consistency. This makes them ideal for thickening foods like jam and pudding.
If you don't have chia seeds, you could mix a little cornstarch or arrowroot powder with cold water, and slowly add it to the simmering strawberries until it reaches the consistency you like. I haven't tested this method, so I can't recommend amounts, but if you try it, let me know in the comments how it works, and how much you use!
Yep! This recipe will work with most any fruit! If you have a fruit that doesn't have larger seeds (like the strawberries do) use ground chia seeds for a smoother jam.
I get it. Not everyone loves a chunky jam. If that's you, once your jam cools, pour it into your food processor or blender and blitz it until it's how you like it!
This recipe can be canned, but I am by no means a canning expert. Be sure to follow best canning practices from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Need some ideas? Here are some great ways to use your strawberry chia jam:
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Dessert Bars
- Use as a topping for pancakes! Try my Heart Healthy Pancake Mix for easy pancakes anytime!
- The healthiest peanut butter and jelly sandwich you've ever had! (Get tips on choosing a healthy peanut butter brand, too!)
- On a whole grain bagel with Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Spread
- Swirled in your morning oatmeal
- Mix a spoonful in with some plain nonfat yogurt for a high protein, low sugar snack
- Straight out the jar! Mmmm
You will also want to try my Blueberry Thyme Chia Jam! YUM!
If you make sugar free strawberry jam, tell me in the comments!
Sugar Free Strawberry Jam
- 1 lb Strawberries washed and tops removed if fresh, thawed if frozen
- 2 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- (optional) 1-2 tablespoon Honey or sweetener of choice
- Place strawberries into a medium sized pot, and cook over medium heat, mashing with a potato masher as they cook.
- Bring to a simmer, and cook about 5-10 minutes, continuing to stir and mash.
- Remove from heat, and stir in chia seeds and lemon juice.
- Taste, and add sweetener only if needed (ripe strawberries shouldn’t need any, but if they aren’t in season you may find you need some sweetener).
- Cool to room temperature before transferring to jars or an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Will last refrigerated for about 7 days. Can be frozen up to 6 months.