Why you need to start making your own Strawberry Chia Jam at home

If you haven’t tried making your own jams before than you need to start. It is easier than you think, much more flavoursome and this recipe contains no added refined sugar so making it much better for you.

I’m an advocate of sugar free foods that is added refined sugars and only like to use natural sweeteners in small amounts where necessary. When making this strawberry chia jam I just let the juicy overripe strawberries be the star of the show. Adding some pure honey as a natural sweetener, though the real sweetness evolves when the strawberries are gently boiled and start to break down and soften.

Like most homemade products the quality starts from the produce. Look out for some good quality, ripe strawberries from your local fruit shop or farmers market usually on sale or quick sell stand are ideal. Adding chia seeds means you don’t need pectin which is the thickening agent used in most jams. Chia seeds absorb liquid when left to set and the added bonus is they are little balls of goodness. Chia seeds are full of protein, minerals and fibre they can be found in the health food isle in the supermarket or health food store.

Make sure to have sterilised jars handy to fill, let the jam set in the fridge until cool for a few hours at least and you will have juicy flavoursome fruit jam ready for your morning toast, afternoon scones or children’s sandwiches.

Homemade Strawberry Chia Jam

  • Servings: makes 2 large jars
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Recipe from Donna Hay

Ingredients

800g ripe strawberries, hulled and halved

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup maple syrup, honey or rice malt syrup

2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped

1 tablespoon white chia seeds

Directions

  1. Place the strawberries, lemon juice, water, maple syrup and vanilla beans and seeds in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  2. Cook for 15mins, stirring occasionally until strawberries are soft.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds. Transfer to sterilised Jars and refrigerate until cool.

Strawberry Jam Drop Cookies

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Baking cookies is one of my favourite things to make with my kids. Letting them take control is hard at the start as my anxiety of perfection kicks in but I just have to let that go for this time. The smiles and excitement  when they are measuring the ingredients, pouring and mixing makes me realise I’m giving them life long lessons and memories that they are not even aware of yet.

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Not to forget the best part for them not necessarily me as I am a clean freak, getting their hands dirty and having imperfect shapes and sizes to my dismay and cant help myself to fix a few odd ones here and there.

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As we wait for the them to bake the clean up begins not surprising they have bolted in need of a bathroom break then disappeared into space for this part of the fun can’t blame them.

Once the cookies are done the excitement and anticipation on their little faces melts my heart to jelly, to them seeing their creations is one of the most rewarding moments, the bursting of  confidence streams through and the look of accomplishment as they take a bite of what they have just made makes it all worth the mess.

Now to keep their cheeky fingers out of the cookie jar will be another wishful task..

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Strawberry Jam Drop Cookies

  • Servings: 24-26 cookies
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A fun easy kid friendly cookie recipe that is also gluten and refined sugar-free

Ingredients

2 cups buckwheat flour

1 1/2 cups almond meal

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

3/4 cup rice malt syrup

1/2 cup grapeseed oil or coconut oil

1/4 cup 100% pure strawberry spread no added sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C
  2. In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients except the strawberry jam
  3. Mix well to combine till takes the form of a dough
  4. With clean hands roll tablespoons of dough into ball and place on a lined baking tray
  5. Gently press down with your thumb to make a indent in the centre of each cookie
  6. Spoon teaspoon amounts of strawberry jam onto the cookies
  7. Bake in oven for 15mins till just golden
  8. Let them cool for 2-5 mins until firm