Summertime is the perfect time to try your hand at making homemade jam. This blackberry chia seed jam recipe is so easy, and it’s free of pectin and refined sugars. You will love this sweet treat on top of your toast or bagel.
Did your mom make homemade jam when you were growing up? It always seemed so complicated…pectin, and jars, and lids, and sealing things properly.
As a food allergy parent, you probably have a need for safe fruit jam. Many brands of jam are made in facilities with peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, or other allergens. But you may not have the time it takes to make traditional homemade jam or jelly.
That’s why chia seed jam is so great! It’s super easy to make, and because the chia seeds are a natural thickener, you don’t need pectin or a lot of ingredients.
When you add liquid to chia seeds, they become a gel. That gel like consistency is what makes them a good vegan substitute as well as a good thickener for jam.
Chia seeds…it’s almost as if they’re magic. You can use them to grow a crazy plant/pet, you can put them in your smoothie, you can make egg replacers with them, you can make chia seed pudding, and you can make amazing fruit jam with them.
Plus, chia seeds are super healthy for you! They contain calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, fiber, and other important nutrients. They give you energy and keep you full, and they have omega 3 fatty acids as well as antioxidants. Making chia jam is a good way to get some of these seeds into your diet.
Where can I find chia seeds that are free of cross contamination?
A good source for seeds, grains, and dried fruit is Gerbs Allergy Friendly Foods. There may be other brands of chia seeds that are made in an allergy friendly facility, but you will have to call and check on other brands to be sure.
How long can I store chia seeds?
You can store chia seeds in the refrigerator for 2-4 years. They should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best results.
There are lots of chia seed jam recipes floating around on the internet for a variety of different fruits. I chose blackberries, but you could easily use strawberries or blueberries. This is a recipe that you can just experiment with and make your own. Adjust the amount and type of sweetener and chia seeds to your liking.
This recipe is free of refined sugar, and it’s super simple. Blackberries are pretty firm, and don’t release a ton of liquid when you cook them, so if you use a different berry, you may need to increase the amount of chia seeds. Feel free to adjust the amount of maple syrup to your taste! If you have a batch of really sweet berries, you may be able to reduce the amount of sweetener.
What to serve with this blackberry jam:
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Blackberry Chia Seed Jam.
- 1/2 pound fresh blackberries
- 4 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons chia seeds
Place the blackberries and maple syrup in a pot and cook over medium heat. As they cook, mash them up with a large fork or potato masher.
Bring to a boil, then boil for one minute. Reduce heat to low and add the chia seeds. Stir to combine. (If you hate blackberry seeds, you will want to strain the fruit mixture with a fine mesh sieve before you add the chia seeds).
Pour the jam into a glass container and let cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate. Jam can be eaten right away, but it will continue to get thicker as it chills.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator. I have never kept it longer than a week. It does not last long around here!
You can use any berry that you like! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or any other fruit you can think of.
It’s pretty amazing how the chia seeds really thicken up the blackberries. The flavor of the berries really shine in this simple recipe – it’s a great addition to your summer breakfasts or brunches!
This recipe was originally published in April 2015. It has been updated.