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This vegan strawberry jam is the perfect sweet addition to your summer cakes, pies, and pancakes.
This recipe is simple and you'll just need 3 ingredients and no more than 20 min of cooking time! It goes great as a topping on your morning porridge too.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Strawberries: you can do this recipe also with blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
- Lemon: you'll need lemon peel and lemon juice. Since we let the peel marinate with the strawberries we recommend using an organic lemon. We use lemon peel because it contains a good amount of natural pectin, which will help thicken the jam.
- Sugar: any sugar will work here. Cane sugar, coconut sugar, agave syrup, maple syrup. We prefer organic unrefined cane sugar for a richer flavour.
- Agar Agar or Chia Seeds: they both work as vegan natural thickener. They are optional for this recipe, but we do recommend to use one of them if you want to have a thicker jam. For instance, for a vegan cake or pie.
You'll need a hand blender if you want your jam smooth.
Use small, red, ripe strawberries
Those are the sweetest and best strawberries for your jam. Even better if they are fresh from your local farmer or organic market.
Make sure you remove the parts of the strawberries that are damaged or over-ripe and with a brown colour. They will spoil your jam faster.
Larger strawberries that are not fully red and are still white close to the stem are not the best. They are full of water and you'll need more sugar to make your jam tasty.
Marinate with lemon peel
The lemon peel has a double purpose. First, it infuses a nice zesty lemon flavour to the jam. Second, during the marination time, it releases natural pectin into the strawberries. Pectin is a natural thickener and will help your jam set.
If you stop stirring your jam will stick to the bottom of your saucepan and it will burn. And no-one likes burnt jam. So keep stirring often, especially around the sides of the pot.
Smooth vs Chunky
We prefer a smooth jam for cakes and pies and a chunkier jam for pancakes and as a topping for our porridge.
Runny vs Thick
We prefer a runny and more saucy jam for our Sunday pancakes. But when it comes to cakes and pies we strongly recommend a thicker jam. It will be a lot easier to build, cut and eat your cake if the jam is a bit thicker.
Use a natural vegan thickener
Our favourite thickener is agar agar, a naturally vegan powder that comes from algae. It's colourless, tasteless, and it works like magic. You can also use ground chia seeds. They work well, but they will give a darker colour to your jam.
Go organic if you can
We recommend using organic ingredients for your jam. Especially the lemon, as you are soaking the peel with the strawberries.
Questions & answers
Yes. Our jam is 100% vegan!
Yes. Our strawberry jam is 100% gluten-free!
The principle behind the thickening of the jam is simple. First, water reduction through cooking. Second, the sugar melting. Third, the natural fruit pectin acting as a thickener.
Strawberries are poor in natural pectin, and will not set on their own. Lemons have a good amount of pectin, but also the acidity of the lemon will help jellify and set the jam, especially if you don't use a lot of sugar.
Absolutely Yes! We used this exact recipe to fill both our vegan strawberry vanilla cake and our vegan strawberry pie.
Yes. But we do not recommend it. In this case, you'll need a bit more thickener as frozen strawberries contain more water. Also, you will need to add more sugar to make the jam tasty.
The fresh unsealed strawberry jam will last you for up to one week in the refrigerator.
If you seal it well in a glass jar it can last up to 3 months. If you go all the way and pasteurize it, it will last you for a full year.
Yes. This jam freezes well. You can freeze it directly in your glass jar. Just leave some space between the jam and the lid as the jam will expand a little. When frozen, jam can last up to one year.
Yes, it will. In this recipe we do not use added pectin, but rather, we extract the natural pectin from the lemon peel. This should be enough for the jam to set. Also, you can sub pectin with agar or chia seeds.
Yes, your jam will thicken quite a bit as it cools down, and so you should not overcook it or else it will turn out too thick. If this happens, just add a dash of water or some extra lemon juice.
Any sugar will work. We like organic unrefined sugar, but some people don't, as it has its own distinct flavour.
You can use coconut sugar, whole cane sugar, date sugar, and even agave or maple syrup. If you use syrups you might want to add some extra thickener.
Your jam didn't set because 1) you did not cook it long enough and it's still too watery 2) you did not let it marinate with the lemon peel for long enough 3) your strawberries are just too watery and need the help of a thickener.
Just add a teaspoon or two of agar. Also, you could cook the jam for longer, till more water evaporates.
This recipe is super easy to follow. If you want o make sure your jam thickens well, then just get yourself some agar. It thickens like magic!
Our recipe is already quite low in sugar. Usually, jams call for a 1:1 sugar to fruit ratio.
To be able to use less sugar you need to pick the best, reddest, strawberries. Usually, the smaller ones from sunny places are the sweetest. You'll also need to add some agar for thickening the jam.
Canning the jam
Canned homemade jam is the best way to preserve the freshness of spring and summer fresh fruit all year round. While we prefer to make our jam fresh every time, here are the simple steps to can your jam.
In our opinion, the best jars to use are original ball mason jars.
It is very important to sterilize your jars properly when making homemade canned foods as an environment without oxygen (canned food) is fertile for the growth of harmful bacteria. So please, take your time to read and follow the instructions:
- In a large pot, bring plenty of water to the boil and submerge in it all your jars and their lids - open - for at least 20 minutes. This will make sure they are fully sterilized.
- After 20 minutes, carefully take them out of the boiling pot, and place them on a clean surface. While they are still hot, fill them with jam. Leave 0.5 inch (1.5 cm) of space between the jam and the edge of the jar.
- If necessary, clean the edge of the jar with clean kitchen towels quickly dipped in the boiling water.
- Screw the lid on and seal the jars immediately. During the cooling process, the jam will create a vacuum that will perfectly seal the jar.
- If you follow this method, you can store the jam for up to three months.
The best thing about homemade jam is that you can be creative! Our favourite strawberry jam variations are:
- Ginger + Maple Syrup + Rhubarb + Strawberries
- Banana + Strawberries
- Orange Juice + Mint + Strawberries
- Basil + Aged Balsamic Vinegar + Strawberries
- Black Pepper + Strawberries
- Lime + Mint + Strawberries
- Vanilla + Strawberries
Also, our favourite uses for this strawberry jam are:
- Leave it a bit runny and use as sauce for your delicious vegan pancakes.
- Use it as a topping for your healthy morning porridge.
- Make it a bit thicker and use as filling for a delicious vegan strawberry vanilla cake.
- As a filling for your vegan strawberry pie.
Vegan strawberry jam recipe
- 1 kg (35 oz) strawberries
- 250 g (1.3 cups) sugar
- 1 lemon
Optional ingredients for a thicker jam - choose one of the two
- 5 g (2 tsp) agar agar
- 30 g (3 tbsp) chia seeds
- Rinse the strawberries and cut off the stem. Cut each strawberry into four pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add thin stripes of lemon peel to the bowl. Squeeze the lemon and add the juice to the bowl.
- Add the sugar. Mix well until the sugar dissolves with the strawberries and the lemon juice. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or if you have time overnight.
- Pour the mix into a sauce pan and remove the lemon peel. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 minutes while stirring.
- With a hand blender, blend the mix for a few seconds. If you like your jam chunky you can skip this step.
- Add agar agar to make the jam thicker. If you use the jam for pies and cakes we strongly recommend adding some agar agar or chia seeds to thicken up the jam. If you use the jam for pancakes you can skip this step and have the jam more liquid.
- Let boil for another 5 minutes while stirring. This is important to activate the agar agar.
- Pour into a jar and let cool down at room temperature. Store in a fridge for up to a week, or use in your fav cakes and pies!
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Did you try this recipe at home? Let us know in the comments below, or take a picture and tag us on Instagram @italiaplantbased.