Table of Contents
  1. Are you ready to make a super easy freezer jam?
  2. What is the difference between freezer jam and canned jam?
  3. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  4. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  5. These tips will make this recipe a success.
  6. Frequently asked questions about this recipe
  7. You'll love these strawberry recipes as well.
  8. Watch how to make this recipe
  9. Have I convinced you to make this jam?
  10. Low-Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe

This strawberry freezer jam is the ultimate quickly preserved jam! Made with a drastically lower amount of sugar than traditional freezer jams, it’s thickened with chia seeds with no loss of flavor. The true essence of the strawberries shines through and will be perfect to use at a later time.

Are you ready to make a super easy freezer jam?

Jam is a quick way to preserve fruit when it’s ripe and in season. If you can pick fruit grown locally it will have more flavor than store-bought, but it can easily end up being too much fruit to use at one time. Jam-making is a quick and easy way to preserve fresh fruit flavor for later use.

This freezer jam simplifies the process for any home cook who wants to start preserving. Freezer jam is not canned, meaning it is not shelf-stable, but instead relies on the cold temperature to lock in freshness. If canning seems overwhelming, then this is the jam for you.

Traditional freezer jam recipes use high amounts of sugar to achieve the correct consistency. But the sugar often overpowers the flavor. This recipe uses a small amount of sugar and thickens the mixture with chia seeds. If you haven’t used chia seeds before, they have the unique ability to soak in liquid and thicken. The result is a jam that’s quick to make with great consistency. Once frozen, the jam will keep for at least a year and have a fresh flavor every time you use it.

Large tall glass jar filled with strawberry freezer jam with chia seeds showing sitting on white surface with more jars in background.

What is the difference between freezer jam and canned jam?

Canned strawberry jam has a longer cooking time where the sugar and (sometimes) pectin are cooked to a temperature that will thicken the jam. In comparison, this freezer jam has a short cooking time. Dissolving the sugar and breaking down the strawberries only takes a few minutes, and then the cooking part of this jam is finished. To thicken and provide a jam-like consistency, chia seeds are added after cooking. The addition of chia seeds is not traditional for a canned jam. Once the chia seeds are added, they thicken the jam in about five minutes.

Glass container filled with red colored strawberry jam with chia seeds showing with glass lids sitting on marble countertop along with other glass jars.
You can see those chia seeds right in the jam. Trust me, they’ll fool you and anyone who eats this jam that they’re simply strawberry seeds.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

The ingredients for this recipe are pretty minimal, but each one is selected for a specific reason. When they’re combined and cooked on the stove, something magical happens. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Strawberries – When strawberries are in season, there’s no fruit that can compare. If possible, buy strawberries from a local farmers’ market or roadside stand, or pick them yourself. You’ll want to find strawberries that are red from stem to tip as this means they’ll be the ripest with the sweetest flavor.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar is super important in this recipe because of the clean flavor it imparts to the jam. While freezer jams typically have a high amount of sugar, this recipe is much less.
  • Chia seeds – While chia seeds are not typical in jam, these have a very specific purpose in this recipe. Since there is less sugar in this jam than in typical freezer jams, the chia seeds are used as a thickening agent.
  • Lemon juice – As it does in so many recipes, lemon juice brightens and strengthens the flavor of the strawberries. Even though you don’t think of a citrus flavor when you think of strawberry jam, lemon is a perfect complement.
White countertop with bowl of strawberries, whole lemon, chia seeds, and bowl of sugar on top.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

While traditional canned strawberry jam can seem like quite a few steps, this freezer jam is pretty simple with only five main steps. Here’s how to make the recipe:

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries. To hull, take a knife and slice around the stem of the strawberry at an angle. Once all the way around, the stem should pop out. Discard, or compost, any stems.
  2. Cook the strawberries to form the jam. Place the washed and hulled strawberries in a mid-sized stockpot. Add the sugar and fresh lemon juice right on top of the strawberries. With a potato masher (or similar tool), mash the strawberries before placing the pan on the stove. This smashing will release the strawberries’ juices, allowing them to break down even further when heated on the stove. Place the pot with the mashed strawberries on the stove over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for about five minutes.
  1. Cook until a foam forms on top. Once cooked, the mixture should be bubbling throughout and foam will have formed on top. You can remove the foam if you desire, but there is no need to do so. In traditional canning, the foam is usually removed as there is a question as to whether it is safe to can the foam. Since there is no canning in this process, there is no need to take the time to remove it.
  1. Add the chia seeds and stir into the strawberry mixture. Allow this to sit for about five minutes. After that amount of time, check the consistency to see if it’s as thick as desired by placing a small amount on a frozen plate. As the jam cools on the plate, the true consistency will be shown. If not as thick as desired, add in more chia seeds and allow them to sit for another five minutes.
  2. Ladle the jam into freezer-safe jars. If freezing in glass jars, make sure to leave half an inch at the top of the jar, which will allow the jam mixture plenty of space to expand when frozen. Once all jars are filled, allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Then label and place in the freezer.

These tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Allow the chia seeds to thicken for at least five minutes. You can always add more chia seeds to continue making the jam thicker. Simply add more seeds and allow the new amount to thicken for five minutes as well.
  • Frozen strawberries can be used in place of fresh strawberries. If you don’t have time to make jam while strawberries are in season, quickly freeze some and make this later. To prepare the jam using frozen strawberries, let them thaw to room temperature before cooking.
  • To test the consistency of the jam, keep a small plate in the freezer and pour a small amount of jam on it. The jam will quickly chill and show its consistency. Instantly, you’ll know whether you need to add more chia seeds.
Plastic containers filled with strawberry freezer jam with blue lids sitting in front with glass jars sitting around also filled with red colored jam.
The freezer jam can be frozen in either glass containers or plastic containers. If freezing in a glass container, make sure to leave half an inch at the top for any expansion that occurs while freezing.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe

Can you make this jam recipe and process it via the canning method?

No, this recipe cannot be canned or pressure cooked. Chia seeds are not a safe thickening agent with which to can. The only safe thickener to can with is Clear Jel.

Can you take a canned jam recipe and simply freeze it?

You can freeze traditional jams. The main difference is that they will freeze solid. You’ll simply need to allow them time to thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Is there anything else besides chia seeds that can be used to thicken the jam?

Chia seeds are the only thickener that does not need to be cooked in order to thicken. You could thicken the jam with cornstarch or minute tapioca but would need to cook them in order to activate each of these properly.

Do you taste the chia seeds in this jam?

No, not at all. In fact, the chia seeds almost seem like they would be seeds from the strawberries.

When I’m ready to use the jam, how far in advance do I have to get it out of the freezer?

Usually, taking this jam out of the freezer the night before and putting in the refrigerator will be perfect.

Can honey be used instead of sugar in this recipe?

Yes, honey can be used in place of sugar. But I feel that sugar is the best sweetener when it comes to fruit in a jam. The sugar works as a very clean sweetener and allows the true flavor of the jam to come through. Honey would work, but the flavor might not be as “true.”

How long will this jam last in the freezer?

Freezer jams typically keep well for about one year. Sometimes, a frost-free freezer, like most fridge freezers, does not keep things as long as a deep freeze.

Watch how to make this recipe

More jam recipes to make

Have I convinced you to make this jam?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your dessert table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they too can make, enjoy, and love!

Glass container filled with strawberry freezer jam with large chunk showing all on white countertop with other glass jars all around.

Low-Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam

5 from 2 votes
Author: Kaleb
This strawberry freezer jam is the ultimate quickly preserved jam! Made with a drastically lower amount of sugar than traditional freezer jams, it’s thickened with chia seeds with no loss of flavor. The true essence of the strawberries shines through and will be perfect to use at a later time.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 8 cups (approx.)

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs strawberries washed and hulled
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup chia seeds

Instructions
 

  • In a large stock pot, combine the hulled and washed strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Use a potato masher to crush the berries slightly. Place the stock pot over medium heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
    5 lbs strawberries, 1 ¼ cups sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Once the jam has cooked for 5 minutes and the sugar is dissolved, remove the jam from the heat. Add the chia seeds and stir. Allow the chia seeds to thicken for 5 minutes and stir again. Check the consistency of the jam by placing a small amount on a frozen plate. As the jam cools, it will show the true consistency. Add more chia seeds, one tablespoon at a time, and allow them to thicken for 5 minutes until the desired consistency is achieved.
    ½ cup chia seeds
  • Pour into airtight containers, label, and freeze the jam. The jam will freeze solid but will thaw in the refrigerator overnight. If kept in the refrigerator, the jam will last 2-3 weeks.

Notes

  • Allow the chia seeds to thicken for at least five minutes. You can always add more chia seeds to continue making the jam thicker. Simply add more seeds and allow the new amount to thicken for five minutes as well.
  • Frozen strawberries can be used in place of fresh strawberries. If you don’t have time to make jam while strawberries are in season, quickly freeze some and make this later. To prepare the jam using frozen strawberries, let them thaw to room temperature before cooking.
  • To test the consistency of the jam, keep a small plate in the freezer and pour a small amount of jam on it. The jam will quickly chill and show its consistency. Instantly, you’ll know whether you need to add more chia seeds.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbspCalories: 16kcalCarbohydrates: 3.6gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0.3mgPotassium: 29.9mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 2.8gVitamin A: 0.2IUVitamin C: 10.5mgCalcium: 6.7mgIron: 0.1mg
Course Spreads
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Cooking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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1 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe that was a quick and easy way to use my fresh picked Maine strawberries that were turning quickly!! I had never used chia seeds to thicken a jam but will from now on since it allows you to use less sugar.