This berry-infused 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.
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?
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!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using your favorite berries, such as blueberries, creates a jam that you’ll love and look forward to eating every day
- Adding lemon juice cuts the sweetness and helps to tenderize the fruit
- Choose a favorite sweetener, like monkfruit, maple syrup. If your fruit is ripe enough you may not need any added sweeteners. However, note that sugar is a preservative and without it your chia jam will have a shorter shelf life.
What are Chia Seeds?
The flowering plant in the mint family produces edible chia seeds. These tiny marbled seeds have powerful nutritional benefits, such as fiber, protein, and healthy fats. It’s even better when you realize the culinary applications they provide. Because they create a gel when exposed to water, chia seeds can be used to thicken anything from puddings to sauces.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Berries — Use fresh or frozen strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries. See my notes below on making strawberry chia seed jam.
- Chia seeds — Chia seeds become gelatinous when exposed to liquids and we’re using that thickening agent here too.
- Lemon juice — Use fresh or bottled lemon juice.
- Monkfruit (or sweetener of choice) — Adding a sweetener is 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 your sweetener of choice.
How to Make Chia Jam
Personally, my favorite of all of the flavor options is either blackberry, blueberry, or raspberry chia seed jam. Of course, you can also mix them all together.
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 a chia jam.
- Prepare the Fruit. Remove any stems off washed fruit. If you’re using strawberries, roughly chop the fruit.
- Cook the Fruit. Place the fruit in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 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.
- Stir in the Other Ingredients. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Once it cools, taste it and add some sweetener if needed.
- Let Sit. Let the chia jam sit for about 5 minutes, allowing it to thicken.
- 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 to 10 days.
- Serve it. Serve this tasty jam over toast, waffles, and more.
If you prefer a chia seed jelly, 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.
- Preparation — Remove the stems and chop the strawberries before adding them to the saucepan.
- Sweetening — Strawberry chia jam needs sweetening because strawberries are more tart.
- Color — The color of cooked strawberries is not great. Here are some options to make it look better:
- Add some natural red food coloring
- Use some Dragon Fruit Powder. Although it’s more pink than red, you can see in the photo below it adds nice hues
- This Beet Powder is another option
- Add a few raspberries while cooking the strawberries to add color
- This Hibiscus Food Coloring Powder is another natural color option..
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 strained, using only the juice to create a more translucent spread.
Making your own jam at home is healthier because you can control the quantity and type of sugars used.
But there’s even more reason to be excited about this healthy jam. First, berries are extremely healthy because they’re low in calories and full of nutrients. 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 with the following:
- Toast — Spread it over toast with a little vegan butter
- Pancakes or Waffles — Replace syrup on your vegan pancakes
- Sandwiches — Use it to make your next PB&J
- Yogurt — Serve it with some vegan yogurt.
- Bagels — Add some chia jam to this vegan cream cheese for a creamy fruit spread!
- Muffins — 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.
Chia Seed Jam
- 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!
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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.
This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.