chia jamChia jam is super quick and easy to make. It’s sweet, thickened with chia seeds, and doesn’t rely on pectin or sugar to set. In fact, if your fruit is sweet enough, you won’t need any additional sugar at all. Chia seed jam is raw, vegan, grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free.

I have been making instant jam from dried fruit for years. It’s hands down the easiest and possibly quickest jam you can ever make. 

However, this summer, I’ve picked a lot of raspberries and blackberries. Every year in late summer, whenever I go for a walk or bike ride, I take a glass container with a well-fitting lid and a long-sleeved shirt. The container is so I can pick the blackberries and raspberries that grow in wild profusion in the parks and woods near my home. The long sleeves are to protect my arms from the vicious thorns that guard the fruit.

Wherever you live, chances are wild blackberries are growing somewhere nearby. It’s a remarkably resilient plant. Blackberries and raspberries grow in many unexpected places – along paths, roadside verges, river banks, and forest edges.

Everyone in my family LOVES berries, but you can get tired of them pretty quickly – especially if, like me, you harvest them in fairly large quantities while they’re in season. I always freeze a whole bunch for smoothies, whip up a batch or two of berry ice cream, and make jars upon jars of berry chia jam.

raspberry chia jam

Tips for Making Chia Seed Jam

Ingredients

All you need for this chia jam recipe are four simple ingredients:

  • Chia seeds: it wouldn’t be chia jam without chia seeds. Chia seeds come in black and white varieties and are practically flavorless. They are known for their intrinsic ability to form a hydrogel concomitant with moisture retention. In other words, chia seeds absorb water (up to 10 times their weight in liquid!), soften, swell, and gel in the presence of liquid. The feasibility of gel formation increases with increasing seed-to-water ratio – chia seeds form hydrogel at a seed-to-water ratio of 15% or higher. Interestingly, chia seeds form a gel at pH 3 to 12, a partial gel at pH 2, 13-14, and don’t gel at pH 1. So, if you’re adding chia seeds to highly acidic or alkaline solutions, the chia seeds might not always gel properly. 
  • Fruit: chia jam works with nearly any juicy fruit, fresh or frozen. So far, I have made blackberry chia jam, blueberry chia jam, raspberry chia jam, and strawberry chia jam. If you’re using different fruit than berries, you might need to add slightly more or less chia seeds because different fruits have different amounts of naturally occurring pectin, and their water content is often also different. 
  • Lemon juice: a splash of lemon juice helps not only with gelling of the jam but also prevents the growth of bacteria during storage. 
  • Maple syrup: if your fruit isn’t sweet enough, add a sweetener. I like maple syrup, but you can use any sweetener you like.

chia jam ingredients

How to Make Raw Chia Jam

If you’ve ever tried your hand at jam-making, you know that several factors – pectin, sugar, and acid – need to be in perfect balance to achieve a perfectly set jam. Not so with chia seed jam. Here’s how easy it is to make chia jam:

  1. Mash/blend the fruit. If you’re using juicy berries, add the fruit to a bowl and mash it with a fork. If you’re using harder fruit, such as peaches or cherries, you’ll need to use a blender to purée the fruit. For some texture in the jam, don’t mash the fruit thoroughly/use the pulse function on the blender.
  2. Mix in the chia seeds. Sprinkle chia seeds over the fruit and stir until well combined. The best ratio of fruit to chia seeds is 2 cups of fruit to 2 Tbsp./24 g of chia seeds. Start with this ratio; if your fruit is very juicy or you’d like a thicker consistency, stir in more chia seeds, 1 tsp./4 g at a time. The chia seeds will absorb the fruit juices and thicken the fruit to a jelly-like substance.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice and sweetener. Add the lemon juice and maple syrup (optional) and stir. Taste and add more lemon juice or maple syrup if needed.
  4. Chill. Transfer the chia jam to the refrigerator to thicken, for about 20 minutes. 

How to Make Chia Jam without Seeds

The chia seeds will stay visible in the jam after mixing. This isn’t a big deal with darker-colored fruits or fruits with seeds, like raspberries or blackberries, but not everyone likes seeds in their jam. If that’s the case, you might want to make seedless chia jam. It’s a bit of a tedious task to get the seeds out of berries since there are so many of them, but worth the effort if it means everyone gets to enjoy your delicious homemade spread. Here’s the step-by-step process:

  1. Blend the fruit. Add the fruit to a blender and blend until smooth. This way, you can crush some of the seeds, getting as much of the whole fruit as possible. Even with a high-speed blender, you won’t get a completely smooth purée.
  2. Strain the fruit. Using a fine sieve, strain the fruit purée into a clean bowl. You’ll end up with the fruit juices in the bowl and the pulp and seeds in the sieve. Using a large spoon, work the fruit through the sieve, leaving only the seeds behind. This is where it all gets a bit boring and messy, to be honest. You have to work the fruit quite a bit and use the spoon on the bottom of the sieve to keep the mesh clear. It’s definitely a time-drain task, but not difficult. 
  3. Mix in the chia seeds. Once you’ve worked out all the seeds, or as many as you can be bothered with, add ground chia seeds to thicken the purée into seedless berry chia jam.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and sweetener. Add the lemon juice and maple syrup (optional) and stir. Taste and add more lemon juice or maple syrup if needed.
  5. Chill. Transfer the chia jam to the refrigerator to thicken, for about 20 minutes.

homemade chia jam

How to Store Chia Jam

  • Refrigerating: transfer the chia jam to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freezing: transfer the chia jam to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months.

How To Use Chia Jam

Chia jam has a slightly different consistency than cooked jam with pectin and sugar – it’s a bit looser and syrupy but not liquidy. It gets a bit thicker after some time in the fridge but will never thicken to quite the same sturdy, sticky consistency of regular jam.

That said, you can use chia seed jam just like you would classic jam. Spread it over toast with peanut butter, add it to your morning yogurt (you can whip up a quick parfait using coconut yogurt, chia jam, and granola), or serve it with pancakes or waffles. If I am out of frozen berries, I often add this chia seed jam to smoothies or swirl it into my morning porridge. 

chia seed jam

More Jam Recipes

  • Instant jam: this raw jam is not only easy and quick – possibly the quickest jam you’ve ever made, but it also has a very deep and intense flavor you’ve probably never tasted before. It’s made entirely from dried fruit – no added sugar or pectin.

If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

chia jam
5 from 5 votes

Blackberry Chia Seed Jam

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 16 Tbsp.
Chia jam is super quick and easy to make. It's sweet, thickened with chia seeds, and doesn't rely on pectin or sugar to set. In fact, if your fruit is sweet enough, you won't need any additional sugar at all.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups (288 g) blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. (24 g) chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice or orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) maple syrup, (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Mash the blackberries. Add the blackberries to a medium bowl and mash them with a fork. If you like some texture in your jam, don't mash the fruit too much.
  • Mix in the chia seeds. Sprinkle the chia seeds over the mashed blackberries and stir until well combined. The chia seeds will absorb the fruit juices and thicken the fruit to a jelly-like substance.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and maple syrup. Add the lemon juice and maple syrup (optional) and stir. Taste and add more lemon juice or maple syrup if needed.
  • Chill. Transfer the chia jam to the refrigerator to thicken, for about 20 minutes. If the chia jam is not thick enough after that time, stir in more chia seeds, 1 tsp./4 g at a time.
  • Store. Leftover chia jam keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.
*Nutrition information is calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 16, Calories: 17kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.6g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, How-To
Cuisine: American
Keywords: chia jam, chia jam recipe, chia seed jam, chia seed jam recipe
chia jam
5 from 5 votes

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam (without seeds)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 16 Tbsp.
Chia jam is super quick and easy to make. It's sweet, thickened with chia seeds, and doesn't rely on pectin or sugar to set. In fact, if your fruit is sweet enough, you won't need any additional sugar at all.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups (250 g) raspberries
  • 3 Tbsp. (30 g) white chia seeds, , ground
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) maple syrup, (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Blend the raspberries. Add the raspberries, maple syrup (optional), and lemon juice to a high-speed blender and blend until the raspberries are completely puréed.
  • Strain the raspberries. Using a fine sieve, strain the raspberry purée into a clean bowl. You'll end up with the fruit juices in the bowl and the pulp and seeds in the sieve. Using a large spoon, work the fruit through the sieve, leaving only the seeds behind. This is where it all gets a bit boring and messy, to be honest. You have to work the fruit quite a bit and use the spoon on the bottom of the sieve to keep the mesh clear. It took me about 5 minutes to strain the 2 cups/250 g of raspberries.
  • Mix in the chia seeds. Once you’ve worked out all the seeds, or as many as you can be bothered with, add the ground chia seeds to thicken the purée into seedless raspberry chia jam.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and maple syrup. Add the lemon juice and maple syrup (optional) and stir. Taste and add more lemon juice or maple syrup if needed.
  • Chill. Transfer the chia jam to the refrigerator to thicken, for about 20 minutes.
  • Store. Leftover chia jam keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.
*Nutrition information is calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 16, Calories: 21kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, How-To
Cuisine: American
Keywords: chia jam, chia jam recipe, chia seed jam, chia seed jam recipe