July 28, 2021

Blueberry Chia Jam

Receta en Español abajo!

Toast with jam. Toast with ricotta cheese + jam…even better. Peanut butter and jam sandwich. Brie cheese and jam on crackers. Swirling jam into yogurt with granola. Shake it into a cocktail. Top your pancakes or crepes. Top your ice cream. Slather it on fresh, hot biscuits. This Blueberry Chia Jam is so easy to make and so versatile. It won’t last long in your fridge!

Ingredients for Blueberry Chia Jam

ingredients for blueberry chia jam, including blueberries, lemon juice, agave, vanilla extract and chia seeds

  • Fresh (or frozen) blueberries. Nothing beats fresh blueberries in this Blueberry Chia Jam, but we also tested with frozen blueberries and it turned out ahhhmazing. Because there is a higher water content with frozen fruit vs fresh, you may have to cook for a few minutes longer to get your desired texture. Hang in there, it’s worth it!
  • Agave is the sweetener we used based on personal preference. Agave has a very sweet taste but a more mild flavor than honey or maple syrup, so it lets the flavor of the blueberries really shine in this recipe. That being said, you could definitely substitute honey or maple syrup if you prefer. A liquid sweetener such as these blends really well into the jam, so we prefer this over granulated sugar. 
  • Fresh lemon juice adds a brightness and complements the blueberries well. In jams that are made with pectin, lemon juice lowers the pH (since it is acidic) which allows for the jam to “set.” We have some pectin naturally found in blueberries in this recipe, but no added pectin since we are using chia seeds as our thickening agent.
  • Vanilla extract adds some depth and complexity to the flavor profile. 
  • Chia seeds are the thickening agent in this jam. When chia seeds are added to a liquid, they become gelatinous and thicken the liquid they are immersed in. It takes about 10-15 minutes for this process, so you’ll want to follow the instructions below to ensure you reach that desired texture and let the chia seeds do their thing. See the FAQ section below for some more info on thickening jam.

 

How to Make Blueberry Chia Jam 

Combine everything except chia seeds in a saucepan over medium low heat. You might feel like there’s not enough liquid, but don’t be fooled. I promise you it will be fine! It will look like the picture below at first…

Blueberry chia jam ingredients in saucepan prior to cooking

 

Use potato masher (or a large spoon if you don’t have a potato masher) to break up the fruit sporadically. After about 3-4 minutes of this, it should start looking like the picture below.

Blueberry chia jam after 3-4 minutes on the stovetop and some mashing of the blueberries with a potato masher

 

After about 10-15 minutes of heat and mashing, it should start looking like the picture below. If it simmers a bit, that’s alright. If it starts to boil, knock the heat down a bit.

Blueberry chia jam after 10-15 minutes on stove

Keep over heat for about 25 minutes total or until it has reduced in volume by about a third. Then, remove the saucepan from the stovetop. Add and stir in the chia seeds.

Blueberry chia jam in saucepan with chia seeds added

Once the chia seeds are stirred in, it should be looking like this beauty. Wait 10-15 minutes for the chia seeds to do their thing and gelatinize. This thickens the jam.

Blueberry chia jam with chia seeds stirred in

And voilà! You just made your own jam.

Blueberry Chia Jam

5 ingredients and some stovetop time for a delicious homemade jam
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Blueberry chia jam
Servings: 1.25 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

  • Combine everything except chia seeds in a saucepan over medium low heat.
  • Use potato masher to break up the fruit sporadically until most of the blueberries are broken down.
  • Continue heating and stirring occasionally. A gentle simmer is okay, but if it starts to boil, knock the heat down a bit.
  • Keep over the heat for about 25 minutes total or until the mixture has reduced by about a third.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in the chia seeds.
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week.
*See notes below for variations, including using frozen blueberries!

 

Some Variations:

In addition to fresh blueberries, this recipe was tested with… 

  • Fresh raspberries. Such a delicious variation. If you make it with raspberries, there will be more seeds than with the blueberry version given raspberries have lots of seeds. Raspberries are also more tart than blueberries, so taste and adjust the level of sweetener as needed.
  • Fresh peaches. This version is insanely delicious when you have perfectly ripe peaches. Aesthetically, it won’t look quite as pretty as the blueberry version because the chia seeds are a contrasting color to the peach. If you don’t care about that (raises hand), go for it! If you do, consider making it with white chia seeds. Nutritionally, the differences between the two varieties are marginal so choose what you like! 
  • Frozen blueberries. Turned out SO good! Great option if blueberries are not in season when you make this. Because there is a higher water content with frozen fruit vs fresh, you may have to cook for a few minutes longer to get your desired texture. Hang in there, it’s worth it!

 

FAQ

What are jam nutritional benefits?

In terms of nutritional benefits, this Blueberry Chia jam offers slightly less sugar and more protein and fiber than a storebought jam. For example, this Blueberry Jam has about 7g of sugar per tablespoon, whereas our Blueberry Chia jam has about 4.3g of sugar per tablespoon. You’ll get about a gram of fiber and 0.5g of protein per tablespoon of our Blueberry Chia Jam, as compared to 0 grams of each in a traditional store bought jam. The difference in fiber and protein is due to the addition of the chia seeds. When making jam at home, you get to control the amount of sweetener you add as well, which is why we have slightly less sugar per tablespoon in our recipe. Homemade jam such as this one can be a great way to make your meal/snack more delicious, which is helpful if you are trying to help kids expand their palates or just sneak in more fruit or incorporate chia seeds into your diet.

 

Is this a low sugar blueberry jam?

As compared to a storebought jam, yes this Blueberry Chia Jam is a low sugar blueberry jam (see comparison in last point above). That’s the great thing about making your own jam, you have the control! 

 

Can you make this blueberry jam from frozen blueberries?

Yes! Using frozen blueberries is a great option if blueberries are not in season when you make this. Because there is a higher water content with frozen fruit vs fresh, you may have to cook for a few minutes longer to get your desired texture. Hang in there, it’s worth it!

 

Can you use other fruits to make this jam?

Yes! See variations we tested above. You could also do a variety of berries. For example, a bag of mixed frozen berries could be used to get more of a blend of flavors.

 

How long does homemade jam last?

Store this jam in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. I doubt it will last long in your house though ;) 

 

How to make blueberry jam without pectin:

Pectin is a type of starch found in most fruits and vegetables. It’s kind of like a glue that holds the cell walls of these foods together. Pectin can be extracted from fruits and vegetables and sold in a variety of forms. When pectin is combined with sugar and acid in the right conditions, it forms a gel. All fruits have some pectin, but it varies. The type of fruit and ripeness affects the quantity of pectin, which is why many commercial jams and jellies have pectin added to them.

This Blueberry Chia Jam does not need pectin for a few reasons. 1) The chia seeds come in clutch at the end to thicken this jam. Think of them as a pectin substitute with a lot more nutritional bang for your buck. Chia seeds add a boost of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and B vitamins. 2) We cook this for a good amount of time as compared to some other recipes, so that gives the mixture time to reduce and for the gel to form without needing commercial pectin. 

 

How to thicken jam:

When making jam, there are a few different ways to thicken it. In this Blueberry Chia Jam recipe, we use chia seeds and time to reach the perfect consistency. You can also thicken jam by adding more sugar and/or using commercial pectin, or adding a cornstarch slurry. We like the ease and simplicity of using chia seeds, not to mention the added nutritional benefits!

 

We hope you enjoy this recipe! Leave us a comment and let us know what you think! 

 

Receta en Español

Pan tostado con mermelada. Pan tostado con queso ricotta y mermelada…aún mejor. Un sandwich con mantequilla de maní y mermelada. Queso brie con mermelada y galletas. Una mezcla de yogurt con mermelada y granola. Agrega un poco de mermelada a un cóctel. Ponla encima de panqueques o crepes. Ponla encima del helado. Agrégala a galletitas con semillas. Es muy fácil hacer esta mermelada de arándano y chía, y es muy versátil. ¡No durará mucho en tu refrigerador!

Nos encanta esta receta porque las semillas de chía aumentan el espesor de la mermelada y agregan fibra y proteína.

La hemos hecho también con arándanos congelados, ¡y queda muy rica! La única cosita para anotar es que la fruta congelada puede contener un poco más de agua en comparación con la fruta fresca, entonces quizás necesita calentarse por unos minutos más para llevar a la textura perfecta. Además, la hemos hecho con frambuesas y duraznos, y las dos versiones quedan riquísimas.

¡Esperamos que intentes esta mermelada! Si lo intentas, por favor déjanos un comentario para decirnos cómo te gustó. 

Blueberry chia jam recipe card in spanish

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About the Author: Kelly Wagner, MS, RD, LDN

I'm a Registered Dietitian (RD) based in Chicago, IL. I have worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including dialysis, ICU, as well as one-on-one nutrition counseling and groups.
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