About a year ago I decided it was time to reign in our grocery spending, clean up my diet, and stop relying so heavily on packaged convenience foods. This included things like pre-made veggie burgers, granola, non-dairy yogurts, creamer, and jam (basically, a lot of everyday staples with sneaky ingredients like “natural” flavors that I would never add to my food if I were making it myself). I took an inventory of the convenience foods on our grocery list and came up with really simple recipes to replace them. Today I’m sharing my go-to recipe for chia seed jam, and if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to put this on everything.
To make chia jam, all you need are 5 basic ingredients: frozen fruit, maple syrup (or agave, stevia, etc), chia seeds, lemon (juice + zest), and a tiny splash of vanilla. Defrost the fruit, simmer it with the maple syrup and chia seeds for 10 minutes, then stir in the lemon and vanilla. It will make your house smell amazing (definite pie filling vibes!), you can use whichever fruit(s) you like, and you get to control the sugar. My favorite flavors are wild blueberry, cherry, and raspberry chia jams, and in summer I love to do a combination of strawberry and peach.
You can slather your chia jam on toast, mix it into cashew yogurt, or make one very killer pb & j sandwich. I also like to add it to oatmeal or as a sauce for banana soft-serve, and—full disclosure—sometimes I just eat it straight out of the jar.
- 20 ounces frozen fruit, defrosted (and chopped if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or agave nectar)
- 2½ tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon organic lemon zest
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- stevia to taste (optional, or sub with more maple syrup/agave)
- Add the defrosted fruit and maple syrup to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the fruit begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Berries should break down on their own, but you can use a fork or a potato masher to mash firmer fruit like peach slices. Keep the texture a bit chunky, unless you'd prefer a smoother jam.
- Add the chia seeds to the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium-low, stirring constantly. Cook the jam for an additional 5 minutes, or until very thick. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and stevia (if using). Taste and adjust the sweetness, then transfer to a heat-resistant glass jar or airtight container and allow to cool completely. Slather the jam on toast, use it in a parfait, or make one killer pb & j. I also like to add it to oatmeal or as a sauce for banana soft-serve. Leftover jam should be kept in the refrigerator—it will last about a week.
Depending on the natural sweetness of your fruit, you will need more/less sweetener.