Berry Chia Jam 2 Ways
Today, we’re making Berry Chia Jam 2 Ways!
This jam is truly magical. And with flavors like Strawberry Margarita and Blueberry Maple Cinnamon, how can you not be all in?
First of all, let’s talk about chia jam and how/why it works. When you think of traditional jam, there are 4 basic ingredients: fruit, pectin, citrus, and SUGAR. Lots and lots of sugar. The sugar is what works with the pectin to create that gelatinous quality that we know and love about jam.
Chia jam, however, basically uses chia seeds to replace the sugar in the jam. Chia seeds absorb liquid. And when they do that, they almost get this jelly like bubble that forms around them. So, when the chia seeds have the opportunity to absorb the natural liquid from the fruit we’re using to make the jam, the end product is this thickened substance that resembles a traditional jam like product.
Now, chia jam is going to be a little bit thinner than a traditional jam. But, it can still be used in mostly all of the same ways. I’ve used it as a schmear for toast or bagels. I’ve used it as a topping for ice cream. I’ve even used it to make a fruity vinaigrette for a salad.
So bottom line, we’re making a naturally sweetened fruity treat by replacing sugar with a superfood. Chia seeds are high in protein, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, low in calories, and so many other good things. All in one teeny tiny little seed!
If you’re sold on the idea of chia jam, let’s get into the logistics. There’s a basic formulation for chia jam: Reduce down some fruit to get out some of the excess liquid; based on the sweetness of your fruit add in a little bit of a natural sweetener like agave syrup, maple syrup, or honey; mix in your chia seeds; and let everything sit for a few minutes so the chia seeds have the chance to absorb the liquid around it. Once the jam cools, it goes in the fridge where it will continue to thicken up a little bit as it chills. This is not the kind of jam that we would can, so we’re going to get about 2 weeks shelf life out of this jam.
For our Strawberry Margarita flavor, we’re going to reduce our berries with some tequila! Now, if you’re an alcohol free household, you can absolutely use water instead. To flavor the jam, we’ll mix in some lime juice, a little lime zest, a teeny tiny pinch of salt, and a squeeze of agave syrup. Let it cool…BAM, JAM!
For our Blueberry Maple Cinnamon flavor, we’ll add a cinnamon stick to the saucepan with the berries so that the cinnamon has a chance to infuse the berries as they reduce. Then, we’ll remove the cinnamon stick, mix in our seeds, sweeten the deal with a little maple syrup, and our second flavor is finished!
The flavor possibilities are really endless with chia jam. This works with any fruit! Though, we have to keep in mind that different fruits have different natural water contents and pectin levels. So, that will impact the final consistency of our jam. But, we can always add more chia seeds if we want a little bit of a thicker texture. And, I think that’s why I love this concept so much. It’s so flexible!
Ok, everyone. I hope you’re as in love with this all natural jam as I am. I can’t wait to hear what you think! And, if you have any flavor combos that you’d like me to try out for you, send them my way!
Enjoy, and let’s eat!
Berry Chia Jam 2 Ways
For the Strawberry Margarita Chia Jam
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped
- 1 tbsp tequila
- ½ tsp lime zest
- juice of ½ a lime
- ½ – 1 tbsp agave syrup
- tiny pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
For the Blueberry Maple Cinnamon Chia Jam
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ – 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
Make the Strawberry Margarita Chia Jam:
- Add strawberries and tequila to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
- Once the berries start to simmer, use the back of a spoon or potato masher to mash the berries to your desired texture. Simmer the berries for 8-10 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat. Stir in lime juice, lime zest, agave syrup, a teeny pinch of salt, and chia seeds.
- Allow the jam to sit for at least 5 minutes to thicken. Transfer to a storage container, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Make the Blueberry Maple Cinnamon Chia Jam:
- Add blueberries, cinnamon stick, and water to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
- Once the berries start to simmer, use the back of a spoon or potato masher to mash the berries to your desired texture. Simmer the berries for 5-6 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick, and stir in maple syrup and chia seeds.
- Allow the jam to sit for at least 5 minutes to thicken. Transfer to a storage container, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
- Feel free to use water in place of tequila in the strawberry jam.
- You can use fresh or frozen berries for this jam. I find that frozen berries reduce and thicken a little quicker after they start simmering, so you may only need to simmer frozen berries for 4-5 minutes.
- The amount of sweetener you need will depend on the natural sweetness of your fruit. Taste after adding ½ tbsp of sweetener and decide if you want to add more based on your tastes.
- You can use this same basic method for soooooo many different fruits! Fruits that have more natural liquids will yield a thinner jam. You can always add up to 1 more tbsp of chia seeds to help thicken the jam.
- The jam will continue to thicken as it chills in the refrigerator.
- Use this jam just like you would any other jam. It's great on bagels or toast. You can use it as a topping for ice cream. Or, you can even make a fruity salad dressing with it!