It is the perfect combination of sweet, creamy and tangy. But instead of a lot of white sugar we are using whole food sweeteners, fresh fruits and seeds to achieve the best taste, texture and color. An essential staple in my household. It pairs perfectly with literally anything from yoghurt bowls, to bread and rice cakes.
An Austrian Tradition
In Austria, where I am from, it is very common to eat jam. And lots of jam with bread and butter. It is an Austrian tradition I guess, and both of my grandmothers have taught me how to make the classic. You will find it on every single typical Austrian breakfast table or in any breakfast restaurant. We love it. Most of the time it is paired with a Semmel (a white bread) and some butter. The go-to breakfast.
Why is jam not healthy?
And because it is so typical and popular I decided to make it a little healthier. But what actually is not healthy in it? I mean there is fruit in it! – That is right. There is fruit in it. But because we cook it, a lot of vitamins get to loss. Not all of them but many. Additionally, when we add lots of sugar and gelatine this is not healthy either. We all know that sugar is not the best friend of a healthy diet, especially not white and refined one. To make it healthier I recommend using a healthy sweetener such as raw honey, pure maple syrup or coconut sugar. These still contain sugar but also other nutrients, such as antioxidants and fibre which helps control the sugar rush in your blood.
Is jam vegan or vegetarian?
The answer might surprise or shock you: no it is not. At least most you can find in a supermarket are not. The reason for this is that they contain gelatine in some form. Either pure gelatine or mixed into the sugar. And gelatine is made from animal bones. This means that it is neither vegetarian nor vegan. When you want to buy one that is vegetarian or vegan you have to carefully study the labels and check that it doesn’t contain any gelatine. What is used in most places is called agar-agar or agartine.
How to make homemade jam:
This actually is really simple. Probably easier than you think. And it does not differ much from regular jam. As a first step you add your raspberries to a pot. They can be fresh or frozen, whatever you have on hand. Depending on ho sweet your berries are and how sweet you like your jam to be, you add as much or as little sweetener as you like. If you want, and it makes it really tasty, you can now add a squeeze of lemon juice. It adds some freshness and brings out the flavours even more. Then we let everything simmer for a little while until the strawberries have softened up a lot. Now it is time to transfer it to a blender. If you really do not like the texture of chia seeds in your jam, add them now but adding them later really adds a nice texture to it! So we are blending it up, adding it back to the pot and bringing it to a boil again. Then we let it cool a bit and you will immediately see how it starts to thicken up. After cooling, transfer it to a jar and store in the fridge for a few weeks.
Does it only work with strawberries?
NO! Definitely not. You can make this jam with any fruit of your preference. I also find it to be super tasty with raspberries, apricots, pineapple or orange. Do it with whatever sounds good to you!
How to best eat it:
So, this really is up to an individual! I personally like it most with a rice cracker and some cream cheese. This combination is just out of this world and makes a great snack or dessert. But in a yoghurt bowl, on a toasted slice of sourdough bread or with some brownies it tastes amazing too! Even with cake it works well! Just use it for whatever you would use normal jam too.
I hope that you like this recipe and that you will try it out soon!
Stay healthy & have fun cooking!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière
Strawberry Chia Jam (healthy & vegan)
A healthy version of the classic. Quick, simple and so good! Crazily addicting, perfect addition to any sweet meal!
What you will need
- 750 g strawberries
- 150 g chia seeds
- 100-200 g pure maple syrup or honey or cocnut sugar (a healthy sweetener of choice)
- juice of 1 lemon (optional)
Remove the green leaves from the strawberries and then cut them in half or in quarters. Add them to a pot along with the maple syrup and the lemon juice.
Bring to a boil and let them boil until they are soft and mushy, for about 5 to 10 minutes. If you have one that is heat safe, transfer it to a blender or a food processor, otherwise purée it with a hand blender.*
Pour it back into the pot and add the chia seeds. Bring to a boil again and then take it off the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. You will immediately see how it starts to thicken.
Transfer to jars and store in the fridge for up to 5 weeks.
* you can add the chia seeds before blending if you want a smoother consistency. But adding them after makes it really interesting!