Amy Lippert, NTP
Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam (Whole30)
Updated: Mar 6
Sweet juicy strawberries with bright and tart rhubarb are the perfect summertime combination in this easy and nutritious chia jam. If you have been eyeing that rhubarb lately and have wondered what to make with it, look no further than this easy Paleo and Whole30 friendly jam. My family gobbles up my homemade jams and I love making them for a few reasons: I know that I am providing them with a whole food, delicious option that is made without any chemicals and preservatives, AND using seasonal produce I know that what they are eating is more nutrient dense! Try this on your next almond butter and jelly sandwich and you may never go back to plain old strawberry jam!
Ways to enjoy Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam
Homemade jam is one of my favorite things to make because I love to find new ways to enjoy fresh seasonal produce, and because I can control what is going in! It is really hard to find high quality jams and fruit preserves that don't contain refined sugars, preservatives, or additives that I'm just not a fan of. Making your own jam at home opens the door to high quality ingredients and the ability to come up with flavor combinations in the ratios you love! Some of my favorite ways to enjoy homemade jam are:
Mixed in with unsweetened plant based yogurt
Over a bowl of ice cream
Added to a smoothie
On a loaded sandwich with lots of raw almond butter
On some crackers with a spread of goat cheese
As a topping to my morning chia pudding
As a waffle or pancake topping instead of syrup
On toasted and buttered sourdough
As a filling for cakes or cupcakes
As an easy fruit dip for a snack
Anyway you have it, this simple and delicious strawberry rhubarb chia jam is ah-mazing!
Why Strawberries and Rhubarb are So Good For You!
The strawberries that we know and love belong to the Rosaceae family of flowering plants and were first cultivated in Europe during the 1700s between the Fragaria virginiana species of eastern North America and the Fragaria chiloensis species from Chile in South America .
Strawberries are known for their delicately sweet and juicy red flesh and are used in everything from salads to desserts. They are the most nutritionally dense during their peak season in early summer, but you can enjoy the benefits of strawberries all year when selecting high quality frozen options.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): There are many benefits from a diet rich in vitamin B6. It plays a role in our immune health, metabolism, and brain health. Vitamin B6 is essential in creating neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which play a role in emotional health and sleep .
Vitamin B9 (folate): This vitamin is essential in the production of your genetic material (DNA and RNA), supports metabolism, and works with other B vitamins in regulating homocysteine .
Vitamin E (antioxidant): Supports immune function and works to regulate free radicals that cause cellular damage.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is essential in bone health and it is converted to vitamin K2 by our gut microbiome, which supports our heart health and bone health. Vitamin K2 is what supports the integration of calcium to the bones.
Vitamin C (antioxidant): Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant our bodies use to neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
Iron: The iron in strawberries, like all plant sources of iron is non-heme iron. Iron is necessary in the production of hemoglobin, supports the endocrine system, and is necessary in growth and development .
Magnesium: The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, it supports healthy nerve functions, healthy blood pressure, and detoxification.Potassium
Phosphorus: Essential in metabolic pathways.
Copper: Essential in the production of red blood cells.
Manganese: Necessary in brain and nervous system health and supports metabolic pathways.
There are more benefits to eating strawberries, they are full of fiber to support a healthy and optimized digestive tract! They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber:
Insoluble fiber: Works to keep things moving along and helps with toxin and waste elimination.
Soluble fiber : Soluble fiber works to support a healthy microbiome and supports healthy blood sugar regulation.
Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds, including:
Anthocyanins (Pelargonidin): the plant compound that gives strawberries their delightful red hue.
Ellagic acid: A polyphenol antioxidant that has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.
Ellagitannins. A bioactive polyphenol that is a powerful antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory benefits, is a source of prebiotic fiber to the microbiome, and is anticancer.
Procyanidins: See Proanthocyanidins below
Rhubarb, also known as pieplant, is part of the Polygonaceae family of perennial plants and despite common misconception, they are not related to celery . Rhubarb leaves are toxic and should not be eaten or used in recipes, however, their tart and acidic stems are perfect for jams, pies, soups and more!
Rhubarb is at peak season April-June and if you're in the PNW, you may get a second harvest in late June-July. So get it while it's hot, freeze if for later, or make delicious jams to enjoy all year long!
Vitamin B9 (folate), Vitamin K, Vitamin C
Potassium: The fourth most abundant mineral in your body and it is an essential electrolyte necessary in nervous system function, metabolism, hydration, and in regulating your heartbeat .
Calcium: The most abundant mineral in the body and is essential in maintaining health teeth and bones as well as heart, muscle and nerve function .
Lots of insoluble and soluble fiber just like strawberries!
Proanthocyanidins are chemical compounds also known as polyphoenols and contain the plant compound also known as flavonoids. These compounds are what give veggies, fruits and other plants their beautiful purple, red, and blue hues. These powerful plant compounds have been shown to have anti-cancer properties as well as support a healthy heart .
So grab some healthy and delicious strawberries and fresh rhubarb and let's get cooking!
Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam Ingredients
Makes approximately 16 ounces
3-4 stalks Fresh Rhubarb, 1/4" slices
2 cups Fresh Organic Strawberries
1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup or Pure Honey
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Pinch of Fine Sea Salt or Pink Salt
2 Tbsp Organic Raw Chia Seeds
How to Make Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam
1. Rinse the rhubarb and berries under cool water.
2. Slice the rhubarb into 1/4" slices, for really large stalks of rhubarb, cut them in half lengthwise first, add them to a medium saucepan.
3. Dice the strawberries and add them with the rhubarb to the saucepan.
4. Add the maple syrup or honey, lemon juice, and sea salt, stirring to mix well.
5. Heat over medium heat for 7-10 mins until the rhubarb and berries have broken down.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the chia seeds, stirring for a few minutes to ensure there isn't any clumping.
7. Transfer the jam to a clean glass jar with a lid and cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator.
8. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours before serving.
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Q: Why is my strawberry chia jam runny?
A: There may have not been enough chia seeds added to help gel the jam. You can always add another Tablespoon, stir it really well and let it sit for another 4-6 hours. This will help to gel the jam more.
Q: What can I use instead of chia seeds to get the jam to set?
A: You can bloom a little beef gelatin and then add it at the end or you can try using pectin.
Q: Should I peel the rhubarb before adding it to the saucepan?
A: No, rhubarb does not need to be peeled before cooking, the skin is actually very delicate and will quickly breakdown while cooking.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy
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