Fresh juicy strawberries. What’s better than these lush berries on a warm summer day? In my book, almost nothing. When I am able to find beautiful, red, sweet strawberries at the market, I like to eat them with as little adulteration as possible. So, I buy a box to eat as is and then some more to form into something pure and delicious.

This strawberry jam is just perfect. It uses lots of fresh strawberries and the few other ingredients that are used to make up the jam, won’t detract at all from that fresh berry flavor. In fact, the addition of chia seeds actually brings out the flavor even more. Sometimes I’ll make a fruit jam with no sweetener at all, but this time I added a little bit of raw honey because I know my daughter will love this sweetened jam mixed into her yogurt.

Chia seeds seem to be the “it” ingredient these days. They have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance. And, they are really good for you. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. They also help keep you feeling full.

The only other ingredient in this jam is tangerine or orange peel. In Chinese medicine, this is called chen pi. Chen pi is great for abdominal fullness, belching, nausea and it’s also good at getting rid of excess phlegm. So, save those orange and tangerine and clementine peels. Let them dry in the sun or on a sunny counter until they harden and save them in a bowl. Toss one in whatever you are cooking or throw one into your tea. It’s good for you and it gives things a very slight orange flavor.

Get some beautiful strawberries…
strawberries whole metal colander2

Cut them up…
strawberries cut up

Put them in a pan with a little bit of raw honey…
strawberries and honey in pot

And add some chia seeds…
chia seeds pic

Let it cook for a little bit…
strawberry chia jam boiling pot

Then, let it cool and enjoy it on toast or in yogurt, or right off the spoon…
strawberry chia jam dun looking inside jar

Strawberry Chia Jam
(makes about 1 cup)

1 quart of fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into smallish pieces
1 Tbs raw honey
2 Tbs chia seeds
1 piece chen pi (an orange peel or tangerine peel that has been dried in the sun) This is optional — but read above to learn the benefits of chen pi.

Put the strawberries and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir often until it comes to a boil. Stir in the chia seeds. Lower the heat a little and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for 15 minutes. Serve it warm on toast or let it cool completely and store it in a covered jar in the fridge. Enjoy!


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