Made without pectin, without sugar and without canning equipment, this quick and delicious lemony strawberry chia seed jam recipe is delightful spread a-top a slice of bread or Saturday morning waffles.
Raw. Uncooked. Sugar free.
During the spring and summer months that is how we prefer to eat many of our fresh fruits and veggies that we harvest from our garden.
Jam is a different story.
Most traditional jam recipes are cooked down and preserved using sugar. While I don’t doubt it is tasty, on our homestead we try to limit our sugar intake so home canned jam isn’t something you’ll find on our pantry shelves.
Over the past few years, I have delved into learning how to make homemade jam without sugar. I started with the Naturally Sweet Food in Jars book, making everything from jams and ketchups to fruit butters. Along the way I stumbled across a raw jam recipe from Stacy over at Off Grid with Doug and Stacy. She is all about using raw fruits and veggies as much as possible. After watching her video tutorial, I was inspired to begin creating my own raw jams, using chia seeds instead of pectin as the thickener. To my amazement, the jam turned out beautifully. And so incredibly flavorful!
Today, I am pleased to share with you my sugarless, no-cook lemony strawberry jam recipe. It is bursting with sweet red strawberry flavor and a tart lemon taste, giving it an extra pop of brightness. It requires no special tools to make and can easily be whipped up in minutes for a delicious afternoon snack.
Can You Make Jam Without Sugar?
Yes, making jam without sugar or sweeteners is possible. While many jam recipes, especially those that are meant for canning, contain oodles of refined sugar, you can make a simple homemade jam using only fruit. This is all feasible thanks to the gelatinous capabilities of chia seeds.
In this strawberry jam no sugar recipe, you will discover it is sweetened with flavorful frozen strawberries. Frozen strawberries work best in this recipe instead of freshly picked. If you’d like the jam to be sweeter, you may wonder “what can I use instead of sugar in jam?”. To subtly sweeten the jam, you can add a small amount of a natural sweetener such as agave nectar, honey or even stevia, if you so desire.
What are Chia Seeds?
Considered a superfood, chia seeds are edible seeds that come from a flowering plant called a salvia hispanica. This plant is related to the mint family and is native to the dessert climates of Central America. Highly nutritious and rich in fiber, magnesium, protein and other nutrients, these tiny black and white seeds can be used in a variety of ways including homemade pudding, granola, smoothies and of course, chia seed jam.
Can Chia Seeds Be Used Instead of Pectin?
Chia seeds make a wonderful substitute for pectin. This is due to their ability to absorb a tremendous amount of liquid, creating a thick jam-like agent, similar to what you’d receive if you were to make jam with pectin. If the thought of adding crunchy seeds to your jam sounds unappetizing, never fear. Once the seeds have absorbed the liquid from the berries, they become soft and smooth.
What are the Benefits of Chia Seed Jam?
- This chia seed jam is made with raw ingredients, meaning it retains all of it nutrients
- Simple and quick to make, in only a couple of minutes
- No cook jam recipe
- 100% sugar free (no added refined sugar)
- No canning strawberry jam
- No pectin required
- Uses frozen fruit, picked at the peak of freshness, making this a jam recipe you can make year-around
- Versatile recipe — swap out the strawberries for blueberries, raspberries or blackberries
How to Serve Chia Seed Jam
Chia seed jam is delicious spread onto homemade bread, pancakes, waffles, French toast and bagels. Thinking outside the box, you can add this fresh fruit jam to smoothies, vanilla ice cream and yogurt.
How to Make No Sugar Strawberry Jam
Juicy red strawberries and fresh lemon come together is this sugar free strawberry jam recipe. Thickened with nutrient-dense chia seeds, this homemade jam requires no sugar or pectin and can be made within mere moments.
2 heaping cups frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey, optional
In a bowl, add the frozen strawberries. Allow to thaw for a few hours. Using a potato masher, the back of a large spoon or a fermentation tamper, mash the fruit to the desire consistency. I prefer to have a bit of fruit pieces in my jam so I don’t completely pulverize it.
Add lemon juice, lemon zest and chia seeds. If using a sweetener, stir in agave or honey. Allow the mixture to rest for a 30-40 minutes. As the jam sits you will notice that the chia seeds begin to get plump, creating a thick consistency. For a more solid, spreadable jam, place the mixture into the fridge for a couple of hours.
Spread jam onto fresh baked bread, biscuits or waffles or top a bowl of yogurt and granola. Store chia seed jam in a jar inside the fridge.
Try These Sugar Free Recipe Ideas
Lemony Strawberry Jam
If you make this sugar free jam recipe and enjoy it, come back and give it a 5 star rating! Share in the comments below what is your favorite part of this from scratch jam recipe — I’d love to hear from you!
- 2 heaping cups frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey, optional
- In a bowl, add the frozen strawberries. Allow to thaw for a few hours. Using a potato masher, the back of a large spoon or a fermentation tamper, mash the fruit to the desire consistency. I prefer to have a bit of fruit pieces in my jam so I don’t completely pulverize it.
- Add lemon juice, lemon zest and chia seeds. If using a sweetener, stir in agave or honey. Allow the mixture to rest for a 30-40 minutes. As the jam sits you will notice that the chia seeds begin to get plump, creating a thick consistency. For a more solid, spreadable jam, place the mixture into the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Spread jam onto fresh baked bread, biscuits or waffles or top a bowl of yogurt and granola. Store chia seed jam in a jar inside the fridge.