This Strawberry Chia Jam is sweet, delicious, and perfectly healthy as it contains no refined sugar! Made in an electric pressure cooker, this Instant Pot Jam takes very little hands-on time and is super convenient to make. Great way to add a little sunshine and sweetness to your breakfast without any guilt!
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As I write this post at the end of April, there are still piles of snow outside. The weather is playing tricks and the winter doesn’t want to let go and leave. Yet, with this Strawberry Chia Jam you will forget all about the cold and ice and snow.
Your kitchen will smell like summer. Making Instant Pot Jam will transport you back to your childhood and to the hot summer days of making jam with your grandparents. The smells conjure images of windowsills crowded with glistening ruby jars, fresh warm bread, spread with soft butter, and delicious Strawberry Jam licked from a spoon.
I made this Strawberry Chia Jam three times in the past three weeks and it is definitely going to become a staple in my kitchen. Using an Instant Pot means that it is easy and really convenient to make and it requires almost no hands-on cooking.
Is Strawberry Chia Jam a canning jam or a fridge/freezer jam?
It is not a canning jam. You need around the same amount of sugar as there’s fruit to make a jam that could be canned as the sugar acts as a preservative. There’s no refined sugar in this recipe and only very little maple syrup is used to sweeten this Instant Pot Jam. Because of that, this jam has to be stored in the fridge or it can be frozen.
How to store and freeze Instant Pot Jam?
Once this Instant Pot Jam is cooked, it must be stored in the fridge or freezer.
- Freezer: Divide the jam into small glass canning jars. I prefer to use 4 ounce (half cup) or 8 ounce (1 cup) jars. Cool the freezer jam in the fridge first and then transfer the jars to the freezer.
- To defrost: Place the frozen jar into the fridge. It will defrost in under 24 hours.
- Important Tip: Remember, do not fill the jar to the edge!! You must leave about 1/3 inch (1-1.5cm) space at the top as the jam will expand in the freezer.
- Fridge: This Strawberry Chia Jam can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Can you make Strawberry Chia Jam completely sugar-free?
If sugar-free desserts are your jam (you see what I did there? bad pun very much intended!) then by all means, you can omit all maple syrup. While developing this Strawberry Chia Jam recipe, I made it with 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) of maple syrup and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of maple syrup. They both tasted exactly the same!
Why use Chia seeds?
Chia seeds are nutrient-packed and full of fibre and protein, yet the main reason to use Chia seeds while making Strawberry Chia Jam is that they have jelling properties. In fact, this is an ingredient that cannot be omitted if you’d like your Instant Pot Jam to be, well, jammy.
Without the chia seeds, the Instant Pot Jam won’t have that characteristic thick jelly-ish consistency. However, if you really cannot find chia seeds anywhere, you could try boiling out the syrup as much as possible to make the Strawberry Jam thick.
Making Strawberry Chia Jam in an Instant Pot (or another electric pressure cooker)
If you have been following my blog for a while, then you know that I have a love and hate relationship with my Instant Pot. Read an article on 7 Things You Need To Know About Instant Pot. On one hand – I love it and use it a few times a week. On the other hand – it is not Instant. Moreover, it’s very often not faster than using the stove!
Instant Pot Jam is one of those instances when making it in the electric pressure cooker doesn’t really save much time, yet it is still an amazing way of cooking the jam, as it is very hands-off and super convenient.
You start by adding all your fruit, maple syrup, and lemon juice to the Instant Pot, then turn it on to cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked and the pressure is released, mash the fruit, boil the mixture out a little bit to reduce the syrup, add the chia seeds, and cool. No need to stir the jam to make sure it doesn’t burn, no need to watch the pot for over boiling or spills.
Does it sound too good to be true that Instant Pot Jam cooks in 2 minutes?
Well, that’s because it is! This Strawberry Chia Jam made in electric pressure cooker does NOT take just 2 minutes to make. Don’t forget that your Instant Pot needs time to come to pressure and then it needs time to release the pressure. You also need a few extra minutes to thicken the Strawberry Jam. But with all that, it still takes only 35 minutes from start to finish.
Frozen fruit and Instant Pot jam
Electric pressure cooker needs liquid. Without the liquid it there will be no steam, without the steam there will be no pressure. Using frozen fruit means that as it melts, it’ll create liquid which in turn will make sure that the Instant Pot comes to pressure.
You can use any sweet stone frozen fruit or frozen berries. I’ve made this Strawberry Chia Jam with frozen peaches, frozen mango, and a mixture of both. You can try using frozen raspberries or frozen blueberries instead.
You could even use frozen rhubarb but you might need to add more maple syrup to counteract the acidity. You can even make it pure Strawberry jam if you use half fresh and half frozen strawberries.
Update: I made it with a mix of frozen fruits that included pineapple. I suggest NOT to use pineapple. The pressure cooking time of 2 minutes wasn’t enough to make it soft and I wasn’t able to mash it well into the jam. It also tastes a bit too sour.
How to use Strawberry Chia Jam
- Spread a warm dinner roll with softened butter and add Instant Pot Jam on top – my favourite!
- Use this strawberry jam to make a healthier version of a classic Peanut Butter and Jam sandwich
- Spread the jam over warm waffles
- Add it to thick and tangy Greek yogurt with some granola for crunch
- Warm the jam up a bit in a microwave and pour over vanilla ice cream
- Add the Strawberry Chia Jam to a cheese platter – my friend loved this jam with blue cheese
- Add a big spoonful of the jam to your toddler’s oatmeal
- Make a delicious 3-ingredient Cake Roll and fill it with this Jam.
What else can you make with Chia Seeds?
This Instant Pot Jam was actually my first time using chia seeds and I am in love with them! Here are a few delicious Chia Seeds recipes that I am looking forward to trying:
- Tropical Kale Green Tea Smoothie from mywifecancook.com
- Coconut Chia Snack Bowls from gastrosenses.com
- Pomegranate Chia Popsicles from thefitcookie.com
- Cranberry Chip Power Balls from garlicandzest.com
As a bonus, if you do not have an Instant Pot (and you should definitely buy one if you don’t), you can make a Small Batch Strawberry Chia Jam from rhubarbarians.com on the stove.
Do you want more Instant Pot Recipes?
Join my Real Ingredients Instant Pot Recipes Facebook Group!!! It’s a fun and safe place to share your own Instant Pot recipes made with Real Ingredients.
Watch the video to see how incredibly easy it is to make Strawberry Chia Jam in an Instant Pot
Strawberry Chia Jam (Instant Pot)
- Hull and quarter the strawberries.
- Turn the sauté mode on in the Instant Pot.
- Add the frozen peaches to the pot first, add the prepared strawberries on top.
- Pour the maple syrup and the lemon juice over the fruit.
- Wait for about 2-3 minutes until the frozen peaches start melting and there's liquid at the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Put the lid on and turn the vent into the sealing position.
- Press cancel to turn the sauté mode off.
- Press Manual or Pressure Cooker button (depending on your model) and using the arrow buttons set the cook time to 2 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot beeps that the 2 minutes of cooking are done, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes before doing a quick release!IMPORTANT: it is very important to do a natural pressure release first! If you don't wait for a few minutes before venting the pressure manually, the liquid WILL OVERFLOW from the back of the Instant Pot! I learned it the hard way! Also, make sure to put a kitchen towel over the vent when doing a manual release to catch all the pink juices. The back cup for the liquid will most likely get at least half full.
- Mash the fruit with a fork or a masher until it's no longer in big chunks.
- Turn the sauté function on and add the chia seeds. Mix.
- Let the Instant Pot Jam cook for about 3-5 minutes to thicken. I usually do it for about 5 minutes but depending on how much liquid is in the pot, you might need to do it for a bit longer.
- Transfer to the clean jars and cool before eating. Cooling will help this Strawberry Chia Jam thicken and the chia seeds will soften a bit.
- Use any sweet stone frozen fruit like peaches, mangoes, nectarines, apricots, or plums. You can also use frozen berries or frozen strawberries.
- You can omit all the maple syrup if you have really sweet fruit or you can add a bit more maple syrup for a sweeter treat.
- It is VERY important to let the Instant Pot Jam release naturally for a little bit. Leaving it be for 5 minutes will ensure that the mixture settles inside a bit. But just in case, you can place a kitchen towel under the Instant Pot to catch the spillovers.