5 Minute Strawberry Jam

Makes 3/4 cup

Paleo; vegan; no grain, gluten, dairy or cane sugar

Vivid, fruity and fabulous. Just 4 ingredients, 5 minutes prep and about 15 minutes for chilling. Use on toast, or for a snack or dessert dollop on or ripple through coconut yoghurt or my Apricot Whip. Or sandwich between cookies or cake layers. Make while summer berries are at their luscious best. Or experiment with other seasonal fruits.

Instead of loads of sugar, the setting agent is chia seeds. These are similar in use, looks and nutrients to linseed or flaxseed and are in most supermarkets. Native to Central America, they are members of the salvia family, as is mint. They come in pale and dark varieties. Chia is a good source of protein, soluble fibre, Omega 3, magnesium, calcium and iron. Use soaked, ground or cooked. Have in or with fluid to maximise the soluble fibre and ensure proper digestion (eating whole seeds without fluid can block the esophagus). Chia when mixed with fluid forms a thick gel. In this recipe that action means no cane sugar is needed as a setting agent. However, sugar also acts as a preservative, so this jam won’t last long. See also my Chia Pudding ideas.

The jam must be chilled for storage; it will last 1-2 weeks. The pale chia seeds (it will state “white” on packets, but they are more of a beige sesame seed colour) are ideal in terms of appearance. In the jam they resemble the tiny seeds of berries.

1 cup sliced or chopped sweet strawberries
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 tsp white chia seeds

In a small saucepan add the maple syrup and lemon juice. Top with the berries. Cook over medium heat until the fruit breaks down and becomes syrupy – about 5 minutes. If there are any big pieces, mash with a fork or potato masher. Mixture will be liquidy. Remove from the heat and stir in the chia seeds. Pour into a small jar, cover and refrigerate. Mixture will firm upon chilling – about 15 minutes.


Dennis Lyons

Hi Maria
I feel compelled to query your strawberry jam recipe (“no cane sugar”).
Maple syrup 2 Tablespoons …

Maple syrup (au naturelle) is 60% sugar – and commercial vareties almost 100% sugar(s)

As you know all sugars are biochemically a stress on the pancreas, insulin system, regardless of type or origin.

Therefore all jams and fruit spreads must be (at least) doubtful, and for many people downright unhealthy.

My view of nutrition is a result of at least 60 years research (retired dental surgeon). I’m now a healthy nonagerian not on medication, with a very basic plant based diet.

Regards & a Happy New Year to you.

Maria Middlestead

Dennis, thanks for your comments. People have eaten added sugars for centuries. Problems started due to amount and types, especially highly processed versions. A few people need to avoid all added sugars. Most of us can have a small amount of less processed types occasionally, which is especially healthful in terms of social flexibility. I too am a senior citizen in very good health!

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