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Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

I’ve never given the idea of jarring sauces or jams even one second of thought. Why? Usually the cost of the organic produce coupled with the time and the mess do not equal (actually do not even come close) to the store-bought options out there. So why now, why this recipe (I hope you read that like Elle Woods)? Well, there’s no cooking, we’re using frozen strawberries, there are no jars to be found, and with the addition of chia seeds as the thickening agent, this jam is healthier than what I can buy. I’m a big fan of seeds. I try to get some ground flax or chia seeds into my system every day, and considering I bought a bag of chia seeds that’s the size of my head at Costco, the challenge is officially on. Chia is high in calcium, fiber, iron, and Omega-3. Typically I add them to yogurt or oatmeal, or even hide them in snacks like these healthy chocolate bonbons. I haven’t tried the chia “pudding” because it doesn’t appeal to me (and it’s easy enough to get them in other ways).

Ok, onto this jam. It’s delicious, with no white sugar or preservatives. I use strawberry jam to sweeten the kid’s yogurt or cottage cheese (always buy it plain) or for sandwiches (my kids love cream cheese and jelly as well as the standard pb). As I say below, it will be a-okay for two weeks in your fridge. If you don’t want to mess with freezing it, then use the tail end to make these strawberry jam bars, one of my summertime favorites.

Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 (16 oz) bag frozen strawberries

1/4 c. chia seeds

1/3 c. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Thaw strawberries, either in microwave or at room temperature, until completely soft.

2. Mash strawberries with potato masher until only small lumps remain. Stir in seeds, maple syrup and vanilla until combined.

3. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Store up to two weeks in the fridge or freeze up to 3 months.