This sweet-tart low-sugar strawberry rhubarb jam is set with chia seed instead of loads of sugar or pectin, for a light, fresh taste that you'll love! Serve this refined sugar-free jam on toast, in PBJs, over pancakes, stirred into yogurt, or in chia pudding.
I can never get enough of strawberries and rhubarb together. Whether it's in the form of crisp, crumble, pie, cobbler, or galettes, the sweet-tart combo ends up greater than the sum of its parts. The uniquely floral taste of tangy rhubarb melds perfectly with ripe red berries, turning a luscious shade of crimson.
I've been capturing these alluring flavors in a quick, small-batch jam gently set with chia seeds to minimize cooking and subtly sweetened with maple syrup. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks, or in the freezer for up to several months. Sometimes I throw in raspberries if I have some hanging around. I hope you love it!
This low-sugar strawberry rhubarb jam recipe uses just 4 ingredients, and each plays a vital roll.
- Strawberries and rhubarb are the stars of this show. You can absolutely use frozen fruit if that's what you've got. Feel free to swap some or all of the strawberries for another berry such as raspberries.
- Chia seed gives the jam a soft set.
- Maple syrup adds gentle sweetness and extra flavor.
How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
This jam is quite simple to make. You could probably just throw all the ingredients in a pot, but I like to add them in stages for the best results.
- Since rhubarb takes longer to cook than strawberries, start by simmering the rhubarb and maple syrup together until the rhubarb just starts to break down.
- Stir in the berries and simmer until the liquid in the pot is reduced by about a third.
- Stir in the chia seeds and simmer for 1 minute.
- Spoon into jars and chill until set.
- Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, or freeze and enjoy low-sugar strawberry rhubarb jam through the winter months when you're craving something bright.
Maple-Sweetened: Low-Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Most jam recipes are sugary AF, which is part of the reason I avoid making and eating them. Sugar helps set jam; you can also add pectin to help it set with less sugar.
This recipe skips the sugar entirely in favor of maple syrup. This refined sugar-free strawberry rhubarb jam recipe is on the tangy side, so feel free to add more sweetener if you like. Rhubarb's tartness means that it does want some sweetener to make it palatable.
Chia Seed Jam = Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with no Pectin
Chia seeds have an outer coating with the ability to absorb ten times its weight in water. This quality causes them to form a gel-like consistency when combined with liquid.
Here chia seed replaces pectin as a gelling agent, helping the jam thicken as it sets in the fridge. This further reduces the need for sugar, which, as I said before, is what sets more traditional jams.
How to Enjoy Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
This low-sugar strawberry rhubarb jam recipe is balanced enough to devour straight from the jar with a spoon. But here are some other ways to dress it up:
- Slather on multi-grain bread, sourdough, or gluten-free nut and seed bread
- Layer into breakfast chia pudding, tahini chia pudding cups, or overnight oats
- Pile on gluten-free biscuits or shortcake
- Spread on PBJs
- Swirl into oatmeal or yogurt bowls topped with homemade granola
- Dollop on gluten-free pancakes: sorghum buttermilk, grain-free almond flour poppyseed, or lemon ricotta or almond flour crepes
- Bake into crumble bars or linzer cookies
- Make it part of an epic cheese platter or chocolate board
- Put it in gluten-free ricotta tart
- Use it to top a cheesecake or cheesecake bars or tart
- Gussy it up in a pavlova, Eton mess, or fools
And you can layer this tangy strawberry rhubarb compote with tahini chia pudding for "pbj" chia pudding vibes. Get the recipe here!
How do you like to use jam? Let me know in the comments below!
*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this low-sugar strawberry rhubarb jam recipe, I’d love to see. Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
Maple-Sweetened Strawberry Rhubarb Chia JamPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 cups (230 g / 8 ounces) rhubarb in ½-inch lengths
- ⅓ cup (90 ml) maple syrup more to taste
- 3 cups (13 ounces / 370 g) stemmed, quartered strawberries or halved if small
- 1 tablespoon chia seed more if you want a firmer set
- Combine the rhubarb and maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the rhubarb is tender and just starting to break down, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the strawberries and simmer until the jam is reduced by about a third, 10 - 15 minutes. The berries should be very soft and falling apart but not completely disintegrated; I like them to hold a bit of a shape in the finished jam.
- Stir in the chia seeds and cook 1 minute more. Remove from the heat. Transfer the jam into jars and chill until set, at least a few hours and up to 2 weeks, or freeze for longer storage.
- You can make this with frozen fruit if you like. Just increase the cooking time if needed.
- Feel free to trade some or all of the strawberries for other berries – raspberries, tayberries, blackberries, blueberries, or any others.
- See the post above for serving suggestions!
Jody Foote says
What do you suggest as a replacement for maple syrup in your recipes? I do not like the taste of it which is why I ask. I have gone through enough of your recipes to seem to be your go to.
Hi Jody, in this recipe you could use any sweetener you like! Just add it to your taste. For baked recipes, you could try agave, which has a similar consistency but might be sweeter, I'm not sure. You could also try thinning another liquid sweetener with water, or making simple syrup by dissolving sugar in hot water.
Most of my recipes prior to last year just use sugar, and so do the ones in my book, so you might prefer those!
Hi Alanna, just wondering something. I want to try your rhubarb roulade from your cookbook and am wondering if it would work well to use this instead of the rhubarb purée ? I just today finally found fresh rhubarb but don’t have the amount called for in the purée recipe. Looking forward to your response & trying it!
Ooh yes, I bet that would be divine! Please let me know how it turns out!
This worked perfectly, Alanna! The jam complemented the creme fraiche filling in the roulade and just made the flavor and moistness in the cake even better the next day. It makes for a pretty presentation too which is always a plus. The tartness of the rhubarb is offset nicely by the strawberries. It has received very positive reviews from my taste testers :-) It will be on the farmer’s market table this weekend!
I'm so glad you all liked it! I can imagine how delicious these flavors must all taste together. Wish I could come pick up a slice!
Made this today, absolutely delicious! I added a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and used 2 Tablespoons of chia as I like a nice firm jam. I mixed it into some Greek yoghurt to try some out and it was so good. I wouldn't usually give my 10 month old jam because of the sugar content, but happy to let her try this one with the yoghurt, we ended up sharing the bowl because she couldn't get enough!
Alanna Taylor-Tobin says
Awww I'm so glad that this was a hit with you and your kiddo! Vanilla bean paste sounds totally dreamy here, and I'm glad that the extra chia seed worked well. Thanks so much for the sweet note!
I use pure maple syrup to sweeten many things but it gives this jam an odd after taste. Next time I’ll use a different sweetener but I did like the texture and love rhubarb strawberry anything.
Alanna Taylor-Tobin says
Sorry to hear this wasn't to your taste! Did you use a very dark maple syrup? Please let me know if you try it again with a different sweetener. The recipe is very forgiving!