If you want a quick, healthy, and easier alternative to regular jam, try Blueberry Chia Jam. Stir chia seeds into the cooked berries, and they will plump up into a thick, luscious jam. All in 15 minutes and no sugar required!
Why This Recipe Works
- No sugar: This chia jam only requires two ingredients: blueberries and chia seeds. You can add some additional sweetener, or rely on the natural sweetness of the berries themselves, making this a whole food plant-based alternative to regular jam.
- Quick: Traditional jams, like my Haskap Jam Recipe, take over 30 minutes to cook down to the right temperature. But this chia seed jam only takes about 15 minutes to cook. The chia seeds thicken up the blueberries so you don’t need to spend so long reducing the mixture like you would with a typical jam.
- Diet-friendly: Since it’s sugar-free and uses simple healthy ingredients, chia seed jam is suitable for lots of dietary restrictions. It’s gluten-free, paleo and whole food, and vegan. It also has a low glycemic index and high in fiber so it’s also more suitable for diabetics than typical jams.
What You’ll Need
A few important notes on some of the ingredients used in this Blueberry Chia Jam:
Blueberries: It’s the peak of blueberry season right now, so of course I’m using blueberries! But any berry works for this chia jam, like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, honeyberries, etc. (Both fresh and frozen berries work well here, but frozen berries tend not to be as sweet, so you might want to add some additional sweetener.)
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a natural thickener for jam because they are very high in a viscous gel called mucilage. Once they are hydrated, they swell and become gelatinous. That’s why they work so well in gooey, thick recipes like this blueberry jam. (You can read more about chia seeds in my Banana Chocolate Chia Pudding post.) I stock up on a big bag from Costco, or you can also find many buying options online. If you don’t use chia seeds often, you can buy small amounts from bulk foods stores like Bulk Barn.
Sweetener: This is optional. Depending on how ripe your blueberries are, you might not need to add any extra sugar, but you can drop in a tablespoon or two of maple syrup if you’d like.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Add blueberries to a non-reactive pot on medium heat.
Step 2: As the pot heats up, mash the berries to help break them down.
Step 3: Once the blueberries have broken down, around 5 minutes, mix in chia seeds and cook for another 5 minutes.
Step 4: Turn off the heat and let the jam gradually cool down to room temperature. Transfer to jars and refrigerate.
Make Ahead & Storage Tips
Refrigerator: Since this chia jam is low in sugar (a preservative), it’s best to use it up within 1 week.
Freezer: Blueberry chia jam freezes well and it will keep in the freezer for 3 months. Make sure to leave some headroom at the top of the jar because it will expand when frozen.
Yes, chia jam freezes well, making it a convenient option for preserving your homemade jam for longer periods. Chia seeds have natural gelling properties that thicken the jam without the need for traditional pectin, and this gelling effect remains even after freezing. To freeze chia jam, allow it to cool completely after making it. Then, transfer the jam to an airtight container or freezer-safe jars, leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion during freezing. Seal the containers tightly and place them in the freezer. Frozen chia jam can be kept for several months. When you’re ready to use it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature. The texture and flavor of the jam should remain largely unchanged, making it a great way to enjoy the taste of summer fruits long after the harvest season has passed.
Chia seed jam offers several benefits, making it a popular and nutritious alternative to traditional fruit jams thickened with pectin or sugar. Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients, packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins, and minerals. Adding chia seeds to your jam boosts its nutritional value. Chia jam can also be made with minimal or no added sugar, relying instead on the natural sweetness of fruits, as chia seeds have natural gelling properties that create a thick, spreadable consistency without the need for traditional pectin or excessive sugar. This makes it a healthier option for those looking to reduce their sugar intake.
Yes, you can use chia seeds as a natural alternative to pectin to thicken jams and jellies. Chia seeds have natural gelling properties, which allow them to absorb liquid and form a gel-like consistency when mixed with water or fruit juices. Using chia seeds as a natural thickener in jam is a healthy and convenient way to create delicious spreads without the need for commercial pectin or excessive sugar. Plus, you’ll get the added nutritional benefits of chia seeds, such as fiber, protein, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Did you make this recipe? Please consider leaving a rating below to let me know how you liked it.
You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @earthtoveg, I will shout you out in my Stories!
2-Ingredient Blueberry Chia Jam
Use Imperial/Metric buttons below to toggle between volume vs weight measurements. I recommend weighing out your ingredients for best results.
- Non-reactive pot like a Dutch oven or stainless steel saucepan (see Note 1)
- Potato masher (like this one)
- 3 cups blueberries
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- Add 3 cups of blueberries to a non-reactive pot. Turn the stove on to medium heat. As the pot heats up, mash the berries to help break them down.
- Once the blueberries have broken down, around 5 minutes, mix in 3 tbsp of chia seeds. (You can also add maple syrup or another sweetener of your choice, to taste, if you wish.)
- Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then turn off the heat and let the jam cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to jars and refrigerate.
- Use a non-reactive pot like (enameled cast iron or stainless steel) to avoid the tinny taste from transferring into your jam. Other materials like copper, bare cast iron, and aluminum are considered “reactive” and the acidity in the blueberries will eat away at the lining of the pot, resulting a metallic flavour.