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How To

How to Make Chia Seed Jam

How To Make Chia Seed Jam

How To Make Chia Seed Jam

By now, you probably already know why chia seeds are awesome. For one, these tiny, pinhead-size seeds are rich in omega-3s — and they’re incredibly high in fiber, to boot.

How To Make Chia Seed Jam
They’re so high in fiber, in fact, that they can absorb approximately 10 times their size and weight in water.

These little super-soakers develop a gelatinous coating after they’ve taken in all that liquid, which lends itself to all kinds of interesting food uses. Puddings, smoothies, and — yep — a super-easy, healthy “jam” made with just berries, a little natural sweetener, and chia seeds. And that’s it!

So today, I thought I’d show you exactly how you can make your own chia seed jam.

How To Make Chia Seed Jam
But first, a little about jam. Traditional jam relies on pectin to gel, and if you’ve made it before, you know that it can be a fussy beast. The right balance must be struck between the fruit (and the amount of natural pectin it may already have in it), sugar, added pectin, and acid in order to create the perfect consistency. It can take a lot of time boiling and stirring and fussing and ultimately possibly cursing over a stove. Not that I know anything about that.

But chia seed jam? It’s a piece of cake. And the result is a fruit spread with a similar texture as its predecessor, but it’s one that, to me, tastes more of the fresh, bright fruit it’s made of. Better yet, you can leave the sugar out entirely if you wish. Or if your jam needs to be a touch sweeter, pure maple syrup or some honey will do you just fine. Oh, and there’s also the nutritional boost that those super seeds provide.

How To Make Chia Seed Jam
Probably the only downside is that you can see the seeds in the final product, which might look a little strange to unsuspecting diners if the fruit you’re using doesn’t usually look “seedy” in jam form. Chia raspberry jam, for instance, looks just like traditional raspberry jam, but traditional strawberry jam doesn’t generally have those seeds. One solution is to run the final product through a food processor or high-speed blender to puree the seeds. Here at our house, we don’t mind them.

Quantity-wise, I’ve found that a pretty good formula to start with is 1 pound berries + 1/4 cup (optional) sweetener + 2 tablespoons chia seeds. Of course, the liquid levels in fruits and berries can vary, so you may need to add more chia seeds toward the end of the process to get the exact consistency you’re after. But that’s what’s so cool about this stuff. You can tweak and fiddle until you’ve got a jam you love.

So are you ready for quite possibly the easiest jam ever? Here’s the step-by-step!

Prepare your fruit

How To Make Chia Seed Jam
For this batch of chia seed jam, I started with one pound of strawberries — washed, hulled, and chopped into quarters (chop them into smaller pieces if you want to avoid bigger chunks in the final product). If you’re using raspberries or blueberries, you don’t even have to chop. Just make sure they’re clean and you’ve discarded any that are under-ripe or past their prime.

Cook and smash the fruit

How To Make Chia Seed Jam
Add the fruit, along with a little sweetener if you wish, to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. I chose 1/4 cup of clover honey for this batch of strawberry jam. Pure maple syrup is another nice choice, and of course plain old granulated sugar will work just fine, too. The amount of sweetener needed, if any, can really vary, depending on your fruit. So if you want to wait until the end of the process to taste and then sweeten if necessary, you can.

Once the berries heat up, they’ll start to liquify. Carefully smash the fruit with a masher or fork until you reach the consistency you’d like.

Allow the fruit to come to a boil, and let it continue to boil until it begins to break down and form a saucy consistency, about five minutes.

At this point, you can taste your jam and see if you want to add a bit of sweetener. Add it in and stir until it tastes just right. And then …

Add the chia seeds

How To Make Chia Seed Jam
Stir in two tablespoons of chia seeds and let cook for another minute. Stir again and remove from the heat. Let it sit so the chia seeds can work their magic and turn your lightly cooked fruit into an incredible, healthy jam. It should take about 10 minutes until it’s set and ready to eat. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools.

If the jam seems a little thin, add another teaspoon or two of chia seeds, stir, and let sit for another 10 minutes.

Let cool and store

How To Make Chia Seed Jam

After the jam has cooled to room temperature, it’s ready to serve! Eat your chia seed jam just like you would any other jam and marvel over how easy that was — and how great it tastes!

To store, place it in an airtight jam jar or other container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Preservation note: We do not recommend canning chia seed jam — we don’t have enough information about whether or not it is safe to do so.

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70 Comments

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    May 13, 2014 at 9:14 am

    These jams keep popping up all over my feed, so I feel like I need to bite the bullet and make one!

    • Reply
      Kare Raye
      May 13, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Yes, do! You will be amazed by how easy it is.

  • Reply
    Julia Mueller
    May 13, 2014 at 10:18 am

    This is such a helpful How To, Kare!! I’ve been using chia seeds in my smoothies and have made pudding a time or two, but I’ve been meaning to make jam. I love the idea of adding all those health benefits to a tasty, fruity spread. Honestly, seeing the chia seeds in the jam is an upside..I just think they’re so cute, those cheeky chia seeds ;D

    • Reply
      Kare Raye
      May 13, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Ha, I’m with you on chia seed cuteness. Is there a cuter seed? I think not! 😀

  • Reply
    Cherie
    May 13, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I understand the no-canning rule, but what about freezing it? I used to make a strawberry freezer jam with pectin, but I would like to try the chia seed one and freeze that instead. Has anyone had any luck freezing these jams?

    • Reply
      Kare Raye
      May 13, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Hi Cherie, I have frozen chia seed jam successfully, but only short-term. I’m not sure how it does on a longer term basis (like, many months). I have a hunch it will do great, but just haven’t tried it myself – yet! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole
    May 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Hi! This looks amazing. I’m wondering if you think it would work in the slow cooker? I usually throw mashed strawberries, lemon juice, pectin, and some sugar in there and turns out a super delicious jam. No mess and I don’t have to stay home to stir it…

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      Hi Nicole, this is such a forgiving formula/recipe, I bet it would work just fine in the Crock Pot. I am borderline addicted to my Crock Pot, so maybe I’ll give it a try. It’s just so easy to whip up on the stove, the Crock Pot feels to me like it might be a bit *more* work – not typical for slow cooker cooking! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sue
    May 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks for this idea. I’m a recent convert to chia seeds and just love them in puddings. I grow some fruit so looking forward to making strawberry, raspberry or red currant jam with chia seeds once the fruit is ready. A good way to use up some excess fruit.

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      You grow red currants?! Are they tough to grow? I totally want to plant some. We just moved to a new place and we’re in the process of putting in a new garden – we’ve got blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. I think I need to plant red currants, too. A chia jam made out of them would be unreal!

      • Reply
        Sue
        May 16, 2014 at 4:19 am

        I discovered a wee redcurrant bush hiding under some apple trees in an allotment I took over a few years ago and replanted it to a more sensible location.

        I found it easy to look after – just needs regular pruning to stop it becoming too big and mulching. It has flourished and most years I get a lot of fruit of it. The problem is using all the fruit as few friends & colleagues seem to like them which I find bewildering as I love the taste. Maybe it depends what you grow up eating. I would definitely recommend planting one

  • Reply
    Maria De
    May 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I have made puddings with ground up chia seeds. It makes for acreamier feel. This could work for those who don’t want to see the seeds.

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      I’m going to have to try more things with ground chia seeds. As far as puddings go, it took awhile to grow on me, but now I actually really like the texture of the seeds in there – so tapioca-like!

  • Reply
    Kim Kelly - Liv Life (@LivLifeToo)
    May 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I’m riding the chia jam wave with you!!! I love jam, but I don’t love the high sugar and pectin powders… we discovered chia jam this year and have had 3 version so far. All simply fabulous!! You have a great formula here… thanks!

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      It’s incredible, isn’t it?! Total revelation for us here, too. I’ll be making it all summer for sure.

  • Reply
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    May 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I bought a bag of chia seeds AGES ago (like, literally more than a year ago), promising myself I’d make something super healthy with them, and obviously they’ve sat in the cupboard unopened all this time haha. But THIS, this I can get into! Can’t believe how healthy it is, and so easy! Thanks Kare!

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      I swear, once you start with chia seeds, you can’t stop! They’re addicting. 🙂

  • Reply
    Natasha
    May 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    This looks soooo much easier than using pectin! Just to double check – using the quantities you mentioned would make about one jar of jam? or more? I have limited glass jars I can use (mason jars aren´t chic enough yet where I live to buy without buying online from another country) and don´t want to end up with oodles of jam that I can´t store!

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      It really is easier! Like, lightyears easier. :)! I can usually fill two half-pint jars with one batch – so as a rough guideline, one pound of fruit should yield right around one pint or jam.

  • Reply
    Carrie
    May 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I grind the chia seeds into a powder before adding to my jam so the consistency isn’t so “seedy” 🙂

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      That’s a great idea!

  • Reply
    Ala
    May 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Hi! First off, I just wanted to say that this is my first time visiting and I am in (platonic–okay, maybe slightly creepy) love. Everything from your layout to your photos and recipes is gorgeous! I’m not kidding when I say that the colors and beautiful format make me consider redoing my site yet again. I moseyed over here because my friend Erika of The Pancake Princess thought I would have a lot in common with Kiersten, who has studied Library and Information Studies (I’m in an English PhD program working in children’s lit)…but I can see so much more overlap beyond that! At any rate, I am happy as a clam that I stumbled across this blog and so ecstatic to see more great work, as well as keep connected. Cheers!

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      So glad you’ve found Oh My Veggies! It remains one of my favorite vegetarian blogs, too. And Kiersten has so many great things in store … it just keeps getting better and better. 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes
    May 13, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Wow! Now this is a great way to get the whole family on the Chia bandwagon. I love this idea. Pinning it and planning to use it all summer long!

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Yeah, my family has been a little slower to adopt chia seeds, but this jam is a total gateway recipe!

  • Reply
    Courtney @ The Fig Tree
    May 13, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Love this post Kare! I’ve been wanting to make chia seed jam, but was not sure about the ratios. Looking forward to trying it out very soon. Love that the chia seed jam doesn’t have to have any added sugar. Yummy! Chia seeds are my fav! I have a tablespoon in my cereal every morning. Everyone at works teases me for eating bird seed for breakfast. *haha*

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      I should probably clarify that it depends on the fruit. I did have to add quite a bit of honey to a batch of raspberry chia jam that I made a couple of days ago. Still way healthier than traditional jam, though! 🙂

  • Reply
    Meg van der Kruik
    May 13, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Well, this is just brilliant! I LOVE chia seed jams. Seriously, so good. I am going to have to make a batch now, because my tummy is craving it!

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      Make it! You won’t regret it! 😀

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    May 13, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I love chia seed jam! I love that it highlights the fruit and is so much healthier .. I usually just add a bit of maple syrup as sweetener. I didn’t know you could keep it up to two weeks so that’s good to know and I’ll definitely be using this post as a reference, it’s great!

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      I’m so glad you found it useful! I love using pure maple syrup as a sweetener, too.

  • Reply
    Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    May 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    I seriously just had one of those ‘why-didn’t-I-think-of-that?’ moments. SO smart! And yes, you are a total genius! (Go ahead and pat yourself on the back!)
    My dear friend and I were JUST talking about making jam – she makes it all the time. Me? Notsomuch. But I’m seriously going to give this a try – and I’m stoked! My fave is red raspberry, so that’s where I’ll start! Thanks for an amazing recipe – pinning now!!!

    • Reply
      Kare
      May 15, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Well … we can’t take credit for the idea, somebody else came up with the concept, we just fell in love with it! 🙂 I just made a raspberry version and LOOOOVE it.

  • Reply
    Samina | The Cupcake Confession
    May 14, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Hey toast, say HELLLOOOO to chia seed jam ’cause you guys are going to be my breakfast for a LONG LONG time! <3

  • Reply
    Brittany
    May 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Chia seed jam is the best. I never buy jam now!

  • Reply
    Simone
    May 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    What a brilliant idea to add chia seeds to the jam! And I wouldn’t mind seeing those seeds at all. I think it actually looks good, but yes if someone doesn’t know they might be suspicious…:)

  • Reply
    lisacng @ expandng.com
    May 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I can’t wait to make this once strawberry-picking season starts!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    May 16, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I have intentions of going chia crazy this weekend and am adding chia jam to my agenda! Perfect for using up the gazillion strawberries in my fridge.

  • Reply
    Peggy
    May 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    As a diabetic.. I am just getting into chia seeds and I can’t stop! lol I add them to everything! I’ve made the strawberry jam… and I just luv it. I was just curious, have you ever made dandelion jelly/jam with chia? I’ve seen tons of recipes for dandelion jelly, but they all use pectin. I think I might whip up a batch today just to see what happens =0)

  • Reply
    Beth
    May 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    What a clever use for chia seeds!

  • Reply
    Zachary
    June 29, 2014 at 10:05 am

    This looks awesome and I can’t wait to play with it.
    However, you are right, this can’t be used for canning. In canning, you need to create an environment that discourages bacteria growth, and that is done through either the high acid content (tomato sauces) or high sugar content.
    But with modern day refrigeration, you don’t need to can if you are making small batches, so this is a great easy fruit spread idea.

  • Reply
    Blaine
    June 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I was wondering if frozen fruit would work in this recipe? Or any, really. Thoughts?

    • Reply
      Kare Raye
      June 30, 2014 at 11:26 am

      I think it should work just fine. Raspberries and blueberries in particular would be easy to make from frozen. Strawberries, you’ll want to mash after they thaw of course. 🙂

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