Rhubarb is in season, and that means a huge surplus of this weird and mysterious plant! In the spirit of finding new and delightful ways to eat these bunches of stalks, I’ve started with something simple: a classic jam made from strawberries and rhubarb, thickened with chia seeds instead of pectin. This healthy alternative has so many uses!
I was inspired to put it on some oatmeal, and the flavours worked really well together. The jam is sweet with sour note that kicks you in your back teeth after each bite, so the mellow oats make a great pairing.
As for toppings, I tried out something new I picked up recently – maple syrup flakes. How weird is that? But they were really tasty. Do recommend.
Not that I think anybody reading this doesn’t already know, but rhubarb leaves are toxic, so you have to make sure you avoid them if you’re harvesting the stuff yourself. Also, if the plant is damaged by a cold snap, some of the toxicity can seep into the stalk. So just keep an eye on it when it starts to grow, and get rid of those leaves when you harvest.
Regarding the chia seeds: I have regular black chia seeds on hand, so that’s what I used. I don’t think it did much to alter the colour of the jam, but you could switch it out for white chia seeds if you were feeling very particular. It won’t matter in terms of taste or texture.
I only used two tbsp of sugar in this recipe because I like the tartness (it isn’t overpowering thanks to the additional sugar in the strawberries). But do add a little more to taste, if you prefer.
This recipe makes a small amount of jam, maybe 3/4 cups total. You can increase it proportionally to the amount of rhubarb that you’re dealing with!
Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam
- 3/4 cup rhubarb
- 3/4 cup strawberries
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
Chop up the rhubarb and strawberries into small pieces.
Put the pieces into a small pot over medium heat. Add the water and the sugar to the pot and allow to simmer.
When the fruit has softened, stir to break up the pieces. Allow to reduce by about half.
Remove the jam from the stove and allow to cool. Add in the chia seeds and stir, leaving it to sit for a few minutes to set.
Serve jam as desired - for oatmeal, cook 1 cup of oats with 1 cup of almond milk on the stove until creamy.