With berries extremely affordable right now, I decided to give making my own jelly a whirl. Today I made my very own pectin free strawberry jelly using chia seeds to gel it up! I have been considering canning my own food for years now and have never gotten up the never to do it. I know I will eventually, I just need a canning expert to come into my life and give me some lessons. (If you are one, or know of one, here in Phoenix, I would LOVE to meet you and them.)
In doing my research I learned a lot about pectin. Pectin is what makes jelly, well, gel. Pectin, in its natural form, gives structure to the fruit and fiber for us. However, commercial pectin for canning requires 55-85% sugar to gel correctly!! Here we were thinking those PB&J’s were semi-healthy options for our kids. On top of the sugar requirements, they are often mixed with corn products. I have a corn allergy and for those who have apple allergies, it is a hidden source of pain. (source)
One option for making jelly is to use chia seeds. I love chia seeds for many reasons. They are a great source of fiber, help keep us hydrated (perfect for those hot summer months or long endurance activities), and are a source of ALA’s, one of the 3 types of omega 3 fatty acids. On top of that they give us calcium, magnesium, phosporous, zinc, and B vitamins 1, 2, and 3. (source)
I decided to use strawberries because we love strawberries and they smelled amazing. The bonus is that 1 cup of strawberries give us vitamin C, manganese, folate, iodine, and more. (source) They are also naturally rich in pectin, which makes the consistency easier to attain.
As always, I love that this recipe is simple and requires minimum ingredients. I used a touch of honey to sweeten up the recipe a little but by no means is required if you have truly ripe strawberries. To make it vegan you can use maple syrup as well.
Pectin Free Chia Seed Strawberry Jelly
- 16 oz strawberries organic preferrable
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp black chia seeds
- Rinse and pat dry strawberries. Cut of the tops, slice in half, and place into a small pot.
- Add in honey. Swirl around until strawberries are coated.
- Cook on low heat until warm and strawberries have softened. They will give when you press with a spoon.
- Turn off heat. Add in lemon juice and chia seeds. Cover and leave for 5 minutes.
- Pour mixture into food processor and process to desired consistency.
- Store in glass container in the fridge. This will last about two weeks.