How on earth is it already June 1st? We are having a series of muggy summer days here in NYC, and it seems like just yesterday that I was excitedly welcoming spring blossoms and when the temperature finally reached above 50 degrees. With Memorial Day behind us, it is full steam ahead for the summer!
So speaking of summertime, one of my absolute favorite signs of the summer is STRAWBERRY SEASON!
I'm typically the type of person that gets annoyed when people abuse all caps when they want to make a point, but strawberries deserve it. I'm especially excited for the juicy Tristar strawberries that are soon to come, but for right now, the local ones I'm finding at the farmer's market are making me happy as all the puppies frolicking around NYC right now.
Now, everyone loves to pair complementing produce together, and rhubarb is typically strawberry's best friend... but I have never bought rhubarb in my life. I've had it in pie and drinks, but I didn't even know what it looked like until I passed a large sign for rhubarb at my farmer's market.
Once I saw it, I knew that this season was finally the time to try experimenting with it- what gorgeous colors! Like honeydew melon melted into a rich raspberry red. I decided I had to go with the classic pairing and make something with the beautiful strawberries I also snagged that day. After all, don't those two fruits look like they belong together?
After contemplating a pie, I settled on making a chia jam because of two things: First, I love me a classic chia jam and have used it a raspberry chia jam for breakfast bars, cranberry chia jam for cookie sandwiches, and classic blueberry chia jam for any and all, well, everything.
Secondly, because I've noticed that so many people buy the prepackaged greek yogurt cups that usually come with fruit- but what most people don't realize is that they're eating fruit preserves loaded with unnecessary sugars and added pectin. It makes way more sense, economically and health-wise to just buy a big tub of greek yogurt (or almond milk, sheeps milk, or goats milk), then make your own fruit topping to use.
Chia jam is ridiculously simple and relatively quick to make, and the health benefits of chia are beyond amazing:
- 1 oz (~2 tbsp)= 137 calories, 9g of fat (majority are Omega-3's!), 12g carb (11g fiber!), and 4g protein.
- Awesome source of antioxidants, manganese, and magnesium (30% of the recommended daily intake for the latter two)
Normally I blend the fruit after cooking it and before adding the chia seeds in to achieve a smoother consistency, but I love strawberry preserves with chunks of strawberries, so I opted against it this time. Plus, that cuts down on the number of cooking steps, so bonus.
Tip for washing your fresh berries: Submerge your berries in a bowl of cold water with a splash of vinegar. Drain and rinse, then pat dry.
Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam
Gluten Free, Vegan, and Nut Free
*fills ~1 16 oz. mason jar
1 pint of Strawberries, washed, tops removed, and diced
4-5 medium Rhubarb stalks, washed and diced
2 tbsp of Raw Honey
4-5 tbsp of Chia Seeds, pending on consistency desired
1. Place diced rhubarb in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Drizzle honey on top, and frequently stir while cooking for about 5 minutes or until rhubarb is completely softened and mushy.
2. Add diced strawberries in rhubarb mix and continue cooking for another 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until only several chunks remain. Remove from heat.
3. Pour chia seeds in, tablespoon by tablespoon, stirring after each addition. Cover pot and let sit until cooled. Transfer to airtight storage container like a mason jar, and refrigerate. Jam is good for a little over a week!