Quarter the strawberries and add to a large pan. Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, until soft and bubbling.
Then remove from the heat and use a potato masher to gently mash the strawberries, but still leaving some chunky fruit pieces. Add the chia seeds and maple syrup, if using, and mix well.
Set aside to let cool slightly, and then divide the jam into clean, air tight jars. Jam will completely set once refrigerated overnight or at least 4 hours. Refrigerate to use within 1 week or freeze for up to 4 months.
Use CLEAN jars to store your strawberry jam.If the jam appears a little watery once cooked, not to worry. As it cools, the chia seeds will continue to absorb the liquid and leave behind a perfectly textured, thick jelly.I use black chia seeds, as those are easiest to find where I live. They do darken the jam colour slightly, but you may use white chia seeds for a brighter coloured jam, if available.For a slightly thinner consistency, reduce the chia seeds to ¼ cup.Makes approximately 3.5 cups of strawberry jam. Separate into small jars and keep one refrigerated and freeze the rest for future use.Your strawberry jam will keep refrigerated for 1 week, or freeze for up to 4 months.