Strawberries, not sugar, is the star of this fresh strawberry jam–making it the perfect addition to your Mother’s Day breakfast.
I have a confession to make. I cannot pass up a sale on strawberries. Last summer, I had 4 boxes of peaches that I picked from a neighbor’s tree. I was in the middle of canning them in syrup and making peach jam when I ran out of canning lids. So, I made a quick trip to the store. As I walked through the front door, there sat a huge stack of strawberry flats selling for $8 a flat. That is $1 a pound, which I think is a fantastic deal.
I looked at the strawberries and they looked back at me. I thought about all the peaches waiting for me at home. I looked back at the strawberries. I tried to walk away. Honest, I did. I think I got about 10 feet away before the cart turned back around and I loaded 3 flats of strawberries in my cart and headed to the checkout (after getting the canning lids of course). 🙂
Now, I’m so excited because it is strawberry season again, and I have a new recipe and a new excuse to buy flats of strawberries. This strawberry jam was a big hit with the family. In fact, they devoured 3 batches in two days. (Luckily, I also stashed a few containers in the freezer.)
I love the chia seeds in the jam. It thickens up the jam, without you needing to cook the berries. Consequently, your jam has the fresh-picked strawberry taste. The chia seeds look similar to the strawberry seeds, so nobody really noticed (or complained).
There is just enough vanilla bean to give a subtle hint of complex flavor without overpowering the strawberries. So, if you don’t have a vanilla bean, just leave it out. But if you do have a vanilla bean, give it a try. I think you will agree the taste is amazing.
For some of my batches, I used white sugar instead of honey. I preferred the honey, but the sugar also worked well.
Because there isn’t tons of sugar in this jam to act as a preservative, I would use any jam stored the refrigerator within a week. Any jam frozen in the freezer should last a few months, or until your family notices it in there.
Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam
Makes about 3 cups
1 lb strawberries
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2-4 Tbsp honey (depending on your preferences and the sweetness of the strawberries)
Wash strawberries and remove stems. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using just 1/4 of the vanilla bean, scrape the tiny black seeds from the inside of the pod using a knife and use the seeds in the jam. Place all ingredients in a food processor with the blade attachment. Blend until smooth. Pour into a jar or freezer container. Freeze or keep in fridge. Wait one day for the jam to set-up (the chia seeds to swell) before using. Or use right away with the jam being a thinner sauce for a delicious strawberry topping.
Toss the rest of the vanilla bean into your sugar bowl for vanilla sugar.
Have a lovely Mother’s Day!