Alex Caspero, MA, RD, CLT
Everyday Chef, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters
DIY Jam! Using just 2 ingredients you can create healthy, no-sugar-added fruit jams. Check out my recipes for strawberry and blueberry jams below!
By now, you may have heard about the health benefits of chia seeds. It seems that in the last year chia seeds have popped up just about everywhere – in breads, donuts, smoothies, puddings, and my favorite … homemade jam.
Chia seeds are packed with protein, calcium, healthy omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber. In fact, the fiber in the chia seeds allows them to absorb liquids to swell up to ten times their original size. Toss them in a little liquid and you will have a gelatinous, jelled product in no time – perfect for making homemade jam with just 2 ingredients.
My favorite thing about homemade chia seed jam is that it’s practically foolproof. No need to worry about adding enough sugar or pectin, just blend your fruit, add in chia seeds, toss in the fridge overnight and voila – homemade, sugar-free jam!
Since you’re blending the fruit, I use frozen fruit to make these jams more economical, but feel free to use any fruit you have! Once you make your jam, the possibilities are endless. Try it on morning toast, swirled into yogurt or oatmeal, or mixed with a little whipped cream for a delicious, healthy dessert.
Raspberry-Orange Chia Seed Jam
1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
1/4 cup orange juice
¼ cup chia seeds
Purée the raspberries with ¼ cup orange juice in a blender until puréed. Place into a container and add the chia seeds. Stir together and let sit overnight until thick and jam-like in consistency.
Wild Blueberry Chia Seed Jam
1.5 cups frozen wild blueberries, thawed
3 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp. maple syrup
3 tbsp. water
Place wild blueberries in a blender and pulse them a few times until broken up. I like my jam to have bits of berries in it, but you can pulse until a desired consistency is achieved. Combine wild blueberries, chia seeds, maple syrup and water into a jar.
Cover and shake until combined. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator to set.
Note: Since blueberries can be slightly tart, I added maple syrup to the blueberry jam recipe for added sweetness. For a completely sugar-free jam, feel free to leave it out.
Photo Credit: Alex Caspero