This healthy blueberry chia jam is an easy, foolproof recipe for homemade vegan jam that requires no pectin and can be made with fresh or frozen berries. It’s also customizable, freezer-friendly, and even a great baby food.
Homemade jams are kind of my…jam. Ok sorry, I just had to! But seriously, it’s SO easy to make jams from fresh or frozen fruit. However, depending on the type of fruit you use, they sometimes require pectin to thicken.
Pectin isn’t something that a lot of people having laying around in their pantry, so I’ve been experimenting with ways to make jam without this ingredient. My Blueberry Rhubarb Jam, for instance, doesn’t need added pectin since the rhubarb plus the pectin in the berries act together as natural thickeners.
Using chia seeds is another great way to thicken jams, all while adding a boost of healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s a win-win in my book! Chia seeds become so gelatinous when mixed with cooked berries, yielding a perfect, spreadable texture. This unique property of chia seeds is also why they are a great base for healthy puddings, like my Banana Chia Pudding and Pumpkin Chia Pudding.
Due to its ingredient profile, blueberry chia jam is very healthful. My version is also low in added sugar, with just a tiny bit of maple syrup that can totally be omitted if desired. Read on to learn how to make this recipe with any variation you want, plus how to modify it for babies and kids so the whole family can enjoy it!
- Blueberries: I use fresh blueberries but frozen ones are totally fair game. Use 2 heaping cups.
- Chia seeds: White or black chia seeds both work in this recipe.
- Maple syrup (optional): Add some maple syrup if you think your blueberry chia jam is too tart. You can also substitute honey or agave syrup. Omit any added sweeteners entirely if you are making this for babies, and remember that honey should not be served to babies under 1 year of age.
- Lemon zest: I think lemon and blueberries are a perfect pair for jams, but you can omit this if desired or swap in another type of citrus zest.
Jams are very customizable. Here are some great variations of blueberry chia jam if you’re interested:
- Mix in some blackberries or raspberries with the blueberries
- Add vanilla extract while the berries cook
- Sprinkle in cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, lavender, or another favorite seasoning
- Use orange zest in place of lemon zest
The full recipe card is at the bottom of the post. Here is a preview of the steps with photos.
Add the berries to a saucepan, along with the lemon zest and maple syrup (if using). Do not add any extra water. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the juices release, bubbles form, and the berries are mostly broken down. Use the back of a spoon or a large silicone fork to gently mash the berries as they cook.
Remove the jam from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings or sweeteners as desired. Stir in the chia seeds. Let the mixture sit for at least 15 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.
You can serve blueberry chia jam to babies and kids. However, omit the maple syrup in this instance since it’s not recommended to give babies added sugars. Consider serving the jam on age-appropriate toast sticks and sandwiches or mixed into yogurt and oatmeal. Start with a small amount and see how your baby reacts. If your kid doesn’t like the texture or appearance of chia seeds, you can try blending the jam so that the seeds become less noticeable.
This jam will keep in an airtight container, such as a glass jar with a lid, for up to 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, let it cool completely then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Seal and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator before using. Alternatively, you can freeze individual portions in a silicone ice cube tray. Once frozen, pop them out and transfer to a container or bag to store in the freezer.
Some of my favorite ways to eat blueberry jam include:
- Stirred into yogurt and oatmeal
- Spread on toast, especially on top of ricotta, cream cheese, or Boursin cheese
- Paired with peanut or almond butter on a sandwich
- Blended into a smoothie
- Used as a pancake or waffle topping
- Substituted for regular jam in bars (like my Blueberry Rhubarb Bars) or thumbprint cookies (like my Classic Thumbprint Cookies with Carrot Jam)
More Healthy Fruit Recipes
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Blueberry Chia Jam
- Add the blueberries, maple syrup, and lemon zest to a saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat until the berries start to break down, their juices release and begin to thicken, and bubbles start to form. This usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Use the back of a spoon or large silicone fork to gently mash the berries while they cook to promote their breakdown.
- Remove the mixture from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Stir in the chia seeds.
- Let the jam sit for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that it thickens to a jam-like consistency. Enjoy warm or transfer to the fridge and enjoy cold at a later time.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Serve on toast, sandwiches, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and more.
- Variations: stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, or other seasonings and/or mix in some different berries or orange zest in place of lemon.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days. You can also freeze the jam for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before using. It can be frozen in a freezer-safe container or in individual portions in a silicone ice cube tray. Once frozen, pop them out and transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag to store.
- If you are making this for babies and young kids, omit the maple syrup since added sweeteners are not recommended. Serve on age-appropriate toasts or sandwiches or mixed into oatmeal and yogurt. Start with small amounts. Consider blending the jam if you want to make the chia seeds less noticeable.
Happy berry season! – Lizzie