This Chia Seed Jam recipe is an easy and healthy alternative to store-bought jams and jellies. It’s made with only three ingredients, four if you add sweeteners. This homemade jam comes together quickly and is perfect spread over toast, pancakes and more!
My mom used to take us strawberry picking when I was a kid. I think I ate more strawberries than I picked, but she let me come anyway.
Then we’d get home and turn all those fresh strawberries into jellies and jams. It was a lot of work but well worth it when we were done. I love a good jam spread over a piece of toast. It’s still a favorite snack even today!
That’s why I feel a little funny about sharing this homemade jam recipe with you today. Because it’s so easy. Too easy, to be honest.
That said, I’m pretty sure if my mom would have had access to chia seeds back in the day, she’d have bypassed all that work too. Because, who would do extra work when it’s not necessary?
Yes, chia jams are so simple to make, and it produces the same great-tasting results. In fact, this recipe transforms the whole concept of making homemade jams.
I like to think of it this way. If making your own jam used to be a complicated, messy, and time-intensive process, this recipe transforms it into something easy and do-able for the masses!
How to Make Chia Jam
I’ve stated my case that chia jams are easy to make, so let’s get to it. First, let’s talk about the chia seed jam ingredients.
- Berries — I’ve used strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries to make chia jam over the years. See my notes below on making strawberry chia seed jam. Also, you can use fresh or frozen berries.
- Chia seeds — Of course the star ingredient in chia jam is the seeds. I use chia seeds in a variety of recipes, including chia eggs and even chia pudding. Chia seeds become gelatinous when exposed to liquids and we’re using that thickening agent here too.
- Lemon juice — The flavor and citrus of lemon juice adds complexity to the overall tastiness of this homemade jam.
- Monkfruit (or sweetener of choice) — Adding a sweetener is totally optional based on your desired sweetness and the ripeness of your fruit. Some berries are so sweet they may not need sweeteners, however, others are more tart. I like using Monkfruit but you can use a teaspoon or two of maple syrup, agave, or whatever your sweetener of preference is.
Personally, my favorite of all of these flavor options is either the blackberry, blueberry, or the raspberry chia seed jam. Of course, you can also mix them all together for a berry good jam!
If you’re making strawberry chia jam, I do have one more ingredient I recommend, but there’s more on that below. First, let’s go into the steps to make chia jam.
- Prepare the Fruit. You can prepare the fruit by removing any stems. If you’re using strawberries, roughly chop the fruit.
- Cook the Fruit. Place the prepared fruit in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes, until the fruit begins to break down. Use a potato masher or the back of a rubber spatula to break the fruit down some more.
- Stir in the Other Ingredients. Next, remove the pan from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Once it cools a bit, taste it and add some sweetener if needed.
- Let Sit. Let the chia jam sit for about 5 minutes, allowing it to thicken slightly.
- Store it. Transfer the jam to a lidded glass jar (like a mason jar) and refrigerate it for up to 2 hours until thoroughly chilled. During this time the chia seeds will continue to thicken the sauce, creating a perfect jam. It will keep in the fridge for 7 – 10 days.
- Serve it. Serve this tasty jam over toast, waffles, or however you prefer to consume jam.
Note: If you’d like to have a chia seed jelly, you can strain some of the berries, leaving behind mostly the juice. Be sure to do this before adding the chia seeds.
How to Make Strawberry Chia Jam
Let’s talk briefly about making strawberry chia jam, because there are a couple of differences. Basically, you’ll follow the recipe, however, as noted, you’ll want to remove the stems and chop the strawberries before adding them to the saucepan.
Another thing I’ve noticed about strawberry chia jam is that I definitely prefer adding a little sweetener. Maybe that’s because my strawberries were more tart.
Finally, the color of the strawberries after they cook is not entirely pleasing. You can add some natural red food coloring, or, you can do like I did and add some other natural red coloring. Here are some of my favorite options:
- I used this Dragon Fruit Powder. Although it’s more pink than red, you can see in the photo below it adds nice hues to this jam
- This Beet Powder is another option
- Add a few raspberries while cooking the strawberries to add color
- I love hibiscus so this Hibiscus Food Coloring Powder is a great option too, although it also appears to be more of a pink color than red.
Adding coloring is truly optional, but I do think people expect strawberry jellies and jams to be more of a bright red. Your homemade version without any coloring may not be as vibrant but it will still taste delicious!
Standard jams are made with a lot of sugar. Jellies differ from jams in that it’s stained, removing most of the fruit and using only the juice to create a more translucent spread. However, whether you’re using a store-bought jelly or jam, both can be made with unnecessary ingredients, such as too much sugar.
Making your own jam at home is healthier because you can control the quantity and type of sugars used, if any.
But there’s even more reason to be excited about a this healthy jam. First, berries are extremely healthy. That’s because they’re low in calories and full of nutrients, like antioxidants. Chia seeds are also very healthy and for the same reason — they deliver a lot of nutrients in a low calorie way.
How to Serve Chia Jam
You can serve chia seed jam just like you would any other jam. Here are some of my favorite serving suggestions:
- Spread this vegan jam over toast with a little vegan butter
- It’s equally great on top of vegan pancakes
- Of course, you can never go wrong with using it on your next PB&J
- I also love serving it with some vegan yogurt. So good!
- If you’ve got bagels, add some chia jam to this vegan cream cheese for a creamy fruit spread!
- You can spread it over these peanut butter muffins for a sort of PB&J muffin effect.
How long does chia seed jam last?
When properly stored chia seed jam can last up to 10 days in the fridge. In fact, the jam will continue to thicken as it chills. You can also freeze this jam for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to serve, simply place it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
This chia fruit spread is so versatile, delicious, and easy to make!
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
- 2 cups berries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon optional: monkfruit (or sweetener of choice – see notes)
- Prepare Fruit. Prepare the fruit by removing any stems.
- Cook Fruit. Place prepared fruit in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for approximately 5 minues, until the fruit begins to break down. Use a potato masher or the back of a rubber spatula to break the fruit down.
- Stir in Other Ingredients. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste and add more sweetener if needed.
- Let Sit. Let the chia jam sit for about 5 minutes, until it thickens.
- Store it. Transfer the mixture to a lidded glass jar (like a mason jar) and refrigerate for up to 2 hours until chilled. During this time the chia seeds will thicken the sauce, creating a perfect jam. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Serve jam over toast, waffles, or however you prefer to consume jam!
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.