(Refined) Sugar-Free, Strawberry Lavender Chia Seed Jam
Recipe type: Jam
Cuisine: Canning / Preserves
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 pints of jam
 
What You'll Need
  • 12 cups of frozen organic strawberries
  • (previously washed and hulled)
  • 2 cups raw honey
  • ¾ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 8 tablespoons dried (culinary) english lavender
  • INVALUABLE CANNING GEAR BASICS:
  • Jars
  • Ball utensil set, including funnel, jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter and bubble removing knife
  • Large pot and rack - just get a kit! You'll get the Ball utensil set, the pot and the rack
  • Potato masher
  • Ladle
How You Do
  1. INSTRUCTIONS (JAM):
  2. Prep your lavender if you have dried sprigs from your garden or market. If you bought them already to go then obviously skip this step! Lavender is really easy to prep, it swipes off of the twigs and branches effortlessly. Tie 8 tablespoons up into a make-shift cheesecloth sack.
  3. Using a large dutch oven (or other heavy bottomed pot, jam easily burns!) use your potato masher to give those berries a good mash-up before bringing the strawberries, honey and cheesecloth lavender satchel to a boil. Some say to mash them on cookie sheets, I say naye - why make extra mess? I had just a fine time doing it straight in the pot. Simmer on high for a bout 20 minutes, stirring quite often. Since I used frozen berries from the summer, I had quite a bit of juice that had released, so need for water. If you're using fresh, or frozen from the store, you'll want to add a bit of water into the pot. Half an inch or so. Reduce heat to low after that 20 minutes and simmer for 1.5 hours, lid off. Longer than what you'd usually cook jam for yes, you're reducing a bit here. Thickening the strawberries up a little bit, naturally, before adding in the chia seeds.
  4. Stir in the chia seeds and the lemon juice! That's it! You'll notice the jam won't immediately thicken (hey, it's not THAT magical). It takes time for the chia seeds to do their thang, soaking up all the liquid and gelling everything up. I've also found that the jam is thicker when cold. I hot water bath canned them all immediately, and then left them on the counter for a few hours before putting them in the fridge overnight. My tester, the one we get to devour…was the perfect jam-like consistency the next day.
  5. INSTRUCTIONS (CANNING/PREPARING THE JARS):
  6. While the jam is cooking, sterilize your jars, lids and bands in boiling hot water. I do the jars in a traditional canning pot. Fill it with (3/4 full) water and bring to a boil. Do the lids in a smaller pot of boiling water. Lower and submerge your jars using the rack and boil those jars, lids and bands for a good 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave everything in that hot, sterile water until you are ready to lift them out and fill them up one at a time.
  7. When you're good and ready, take a jar out of the water using the jar lifter and shake out the excess water. Don't touch anything (especially the inside of the jar), you want things to remain sterile, right? Put the funnel through the top of the par and use your ladle to fill up the jar leaving a ¼ inch headspace at the top. Use the bubble removing knife to swipe all around the inside of the jar. Bye bye air. Wipe the rim with a clean wet cloth.
  8. Grab your magnetic lid lifter and take out one of your lids, shaking off the excess water. Set it on top of the jar and follow lead with a band, screwing it on gently. Firm enough to be closed, but not super tight.
  9. PRESERVE IT!
  10. Bring that big pot of water back up to a boil and place your filled jars of jam in the rack. (Not touching, I never put more than 8 pint ball or mason jars in it.) Slowly submerge the rack into the boiling water, making sure there is at least 3-4 inches water covered over the jars. Process those beauties in the boiling water for a good 10-13 minutes, no less.
  11. When your timer goes off, lift them out one by one using your jar lifter. Put them on a towel and walk away. Do not disturb! Sit back with a hot cup of tea or something fine to sip on and wait to hear one of the sweetest sounds in the world…that Pop! Pop! Pop! Of the lids sealing. If some of your jars didn't seal, (which doesn't typically happen if you followed all of the steps properly), pop them in the fridge and eat within 4 weeks. Remove the bands and wipe any reside away with a wet cloth to prevent mold/bacterial growth. Don't screw the bands on too tightly!
  12. Those suckers can be labelled and stored in a cool dark place for up to a year! Don't stack your jars if you've been on a real canning kick, you're liable to break the seal. Or you know, until the holidays - when you get to hit your shelves up for some homemade holiday gifts, nothing better!
Recipe by They Roar at http://www.theyroar.com/2013/10/25-days-of-handmade-christmas-gifts-refined-sugar-free-strawberry-lavender-chia-seed-jam/