Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam (Refined Sugar Free)

This Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam has fresh and vibrant fruit flavor, and it’s made without pectin – it uses chia seeds as the thickener! This easy refrigerator jam is refined sugar free, vegan and Paleo-friendly.

This Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam has fresh and vibrant fruit flavor, and it's made without pectin - it uses chia seeds as the thickener! This easy refrigerator jam is refined sugar free, vegan and Paleo-friendly.Are you one to make your own jam? If you are, you already know the beauty of transforming a bounty of fresh fruit into a delectable spread you can enjoy on everything. If you’re not, it may seem like a time consuming process that’s not particularly worthwhile – you can just grab a jar of your favorite flavor for a few bucks when you’re at the grocery store, right?

Right, in theory…but, wrong. Because the jam that you buy from the supermarket will never be as fresh and vibrant and delicious as the jams that you can taste warm from the saucepan, watching the fruit as it bubbles along into jammy goodness. 

This Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam has fresh and vibrant fruit flavor, and it's made without pectin - it uses chia seeds as the thickener! This easy refrigerator jam is refined sugar free, vegan and Paleo-friendly.You also know exactly what’s going into that jam. You can admire the fresh stalks of vibrant red rhubarb as you grab them from the farmer’s market, and steal a sun-ripened strawberry or two as you cut the stems off. Oh, and forget about those cups and cups of sugar most jam recipes call for. 1/3 cup of maple syrup is all this jam needs – I shutter when I see recipes calling for upwards of 5 cups of white sugar!

We’re just using enough maple syrup to sweeten up the tart rhubarb, while still letting the flavors of the sweet strawberries sing without overpowering them. This precariously short time of year where rhubarb season and strawberry season overlap deserves to be commemorated, and this jam gives me all the farmer’s market fresh flavor I could have ever dreamed of.

This Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam has fresh and vibrant fruit flavor, and it's made without pectin - it uses chia seeds as the thickener! This easy refrigerator jam is refined sugar free, vegan and Paleo-friendly.Most jam and jelly recipes call for pectin to help thicken the mixture. I didn’t have any pectin, and I was wanting to make jam ASAP (a.k.a. I was too lazy to go to the grocery store), so chia seeds stepped in to save the day. The chia seeds, when exposed to moisture, plump up and thicken the jam (or any liquid) right up, totally naturally.

Chia seeds are also a nutritional powerhouse, which doesn’t hurt. The tiny seeds contain a ton of fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and vitamins. The chia seeds, in combination with the time the fruit spends cooking down on the stove, create the perfect spoonable and spreadable “jam” texture. A splash of lemon juice, added at the end of cooking, introduces a bit of brightness back into the jam and rounds it out perfect.

This Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam has fresh and vibrant fruit flavor, and it's made without pectin - it uses chia seeds as the thickener! This easy refrigerator jam is refined sugar free, vegan and Paleo-friendly.This jam is a refrigerator jam – it doesn’t require any canning so no need to sterilize the jars or boil them or anything. On that note, you also can’t pop it in the pantry and have it in November. It will stay good in the refrigerator for a few weeks though, and I don’t think you’ll have a problem taking it down in that time.

The five simple ingredients used in this recipe are in perfect harmony here, and you’ll want to be spreading this jam on everything! Swirl it into yogurt (SO good) or add a dollop on top of your oatmeal. It will make your PB&J sandwiches way better…and might I recommend you add a bit to these Homemade Peanut Butter Cups for a PB&J cup? You won’t be disappointed! Enjoy :)

This Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam has fresh and vibrant fruit flavor, and it's made without pectin - it uses chia seeds as the thickener! This easy refrigerator jam is refined sugar free, vegan and Paleo-friendly.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3 cups
  • 12 oz. rhubarb, cubed (cut each stalk down the middle and then chop)
  • 12 oz. strawberries, quartered
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and maple syrup. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. After 5 minutes, when the mixture is starting to release juices, use a potato masher (or a fork) to lightly mash the strawberries and rhubarb.
  2. Add the chia seeds and lemon juice and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from scorching, for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and there are no big fruit chunks left. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools so don’t let it reduce too much.
  3. Let cool completely before transferring to clean jars. Keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe adapted from Cookie & Kate's Rhubarb Jam

Cut this recipe in half if you only want one jar of jam!
This Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam is refined sugar free and made without pectin - it uses chia seeds as the thickener! This easy refrigerator jam is refined sugar free, vegan and Paleo-friendly.


  1. I definitely need to start making my own jam! This is just gorgeous, Rachel! Why have I not tried this before? Fresh is always better, especially when you know exactly what is going in the jam. I think I would just eat this by the spoonful…looks SO good!

  2. I love all the nutrition of chia jam. I really like putting it on my oatmeal in the morning. I’ve made strawberry before, but never strawberry rhubarb. This is spring in a jar. Sounds great.
    Amanda recently posted…Spiced Sweet Mexican CoffeeMy Profile

  3. Homemade jam is such a treat! I would never have thought to use chia seeds as a thickener in jam. What a great idea!
    Laura @ Laura’s Cuiary Advenures recently posted…AlfajoresMy Profile

  4. I love strawberry rhubarb anything! This jam looks delicious and I love the chia seeds here. Chia seed jam is the best!
    Rebecca @ NOURISHED. the blog recently posted…Easy Cheesy Black Bean Quesadillas with GuacMy Profile

  5. I have never made my own jam but I really REALLY want to get into the habit of doing it! Especially when you consider how much sugar they put in the store-bought jars! I was worried that I would have to use obscene amounts of sugar when I finally came to making my own jam, but seeing that you used maple syrup puts me at ease! Another reason why I love your blog cause you make all the things I thought I couldn’t eat anymore now possible to eat! Definitely saving this for later when I finally get some rhubarb!
    linda \\ the baker who kerns recently posted…Vegan Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Matcha Cashew FillingMy Profile

  6. I was so happy to see rhubarb at Whole Foods this week! Strawberry and rhubarb are such a great combo. Love how healthy this jam is! The store bought kind has SO much refined sugar. This is much healthier. Yum!

  7. What a creative idea to use chia instead of running to the store! This jam is so pretty too!

  8. Can you believe I’ve never tried refrigerator jam? Well I’m trying this one! I have everything I need for this in the house so it’s happening today. This looks delicious and I can’t wait to stir it into my oatmeal and eat with my yogurt!
    marcie recently posted…Fish Tacos with Strawberry Avocado SalsaMy Profile

  9. I have been wanting to try Chia jam for a long time! Im going to just do it lol. Strawberries will be ready pretty quick in my part of the world.

  10. This jam is gorgeous! I love that you used chia seeds and the strawberry and rhubarb combo is just perfect for summer! I would be happily eating this by the spoonful! :)

  11. Love the strawberry rhubarb flavors Rachel. Great idea to use the chia seeds as a thickener! I love to make homemade jams, so I’ll be adding this to my list!
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen recently posted…Mexican Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Dulce de Leche FillingMy Profile

  12. Joanne says:

    Homemade Jam is the best, and love strawberry and rhubarb together.

  13. I’ve been meaning to make something with rhubarb – I like how this is so easy! Such a great idea to use chia seeds!!
    Alyssa @ My Sequined Life recently posted…Share Some Love with Cheerios™ + No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal BarsMy Profile

  14. How does this only require 5 ingredients!? I’m always so scared to try and make jams – you’ve just given me hope that I could do it. I need a huge spoon of this on a piece of toast right now.

  15. I have been wanting to make chia jam for the longest time but have never got around to it. Fortunately rhubarb is in abundance at the moment here, and I always have a supply of chia seeds handy, so I can’t wait to try making this delicious jam soon Rachel! :D

  16. Rachel this jam looks so delicious! I have never used chia seeds in my jams and now I want to! :-)

  17. Okay, would you believe that I’ve never tried chia seed jam before?? I seriously don’t know what’s stopping me, because pectin-filled jams were never my favorite, but THIS? I can definitely get behind chia seeds taking over the jam spotlight! Love love all that rhubarb/strawberry goodness going on!
    Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven recently posted…Greek-Style Pesto Tortellini Pasta SaladMy Profile

  18. That beautiful color alone makes me want to eat this with a spoon – and then that flavor combination makes me want to forget the spoon and just faceplant in this jam. Need to try this one soon!
    Liz @ Ready to Yumble recently posted…Grilled PizzaMy Profile

  19. Perfect recipe for my leftover rhubarb! I was just wondering what shall I make with it!! Your jam looks soooo good!
    Oana@AdoreFoods recently posted…Dark Chocolate Rhubarb CrumbleMy Profile

  20. Can this be frozen to use later?

  21. Could this recipe be stored in the freezer?

  22. I have fresh strawberries but no food scale. How do I convert 12 ounces to cups?

    • Hi Renae! Because strawberries comes in many shapes and it’s hard to measure them in cups, weight is way more accurate. Most strawberry containers have the weight listed, but if you must measure by cup, it’s probably about 2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries.

  23. If you want to make this out of rhubarb season is it okay to use frozen rhubarb instead of fresh? And if so, do I have to do anything differently?

    • You can definitely use frozen, and the instructions would the same – it just might take a little while longer for the rhubarb to fully break down. Enjoy :)

  24. This Strawberry Rhubarb jam is just what I’m looking for. My friend had some rhubarb that I picked in her yard and I had a ton of strawberries so how perfect is this jam. Ive been canning for years but have recently started cooking without sugar. Im interested in the chia seeds for thickening however I have some hemp seeds in my fridge. What do you think of using them instead?

    • Hi Dee, hemp seeds don’t have the same thickening properties as chia seeds so it wouldn’t do the thickening that’s needed here. I’d recommend sticking with chia! Also, jealous you got some rhubarb from your friend’s yard!

  25. Can I can this?? I want to make a ton to give and enjoy….

    • Hi Becky, I don’t know much about canning but I know that due to acidity levels, it’s best not to can chia jam. It can be stored in the freezer though!

  26. Phyllis says:

    I am new to making jams and my question is: If I sterilize the jars & lids, etc, would I be able to make this Chia Strawberry Rhubarb Jam to keep longer in the pantry? Thx in advance for your reply.

  27. Made this today with ground chia. We like yogurt and fruit for breakfast but I don’t like the seeds getting stuck in my teeth so I grind it in my coffee grinder or buy it ground. I love the flavour of this jam. Thank you!


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