Chia Jam – Quick & Easy!

Piece of toast with raspberry chia jam

Written by Liz

I’m Liz, I share recipes and easy substitutes to make plant-based living simple!

October 31, 2022

Chia Jam: A Quick, Easy and Healthy Breakfast Spread

Are you always on the lookout for quick and easy breakfast ideas that are also healthy? Chia Jam is the answer! This delicious spread is loaded with omega-3s, plant protein, and fibre, and it’s ready in just 10 minutes. Plus, you can use any type of frozen fruit you have on hand, and you can sweeten it with syrup or sugar to taste (or leave it tangy without added sugar).

Vegan Diaries - Chia Jam

So, what is Chia Jam, exactly?

Chia Seed Jam is a type of fruit spread made with chia seeds, tiny black seeds from the Salvia hispanica plant known for their impressive health benefits. Many people choose to make their own chia jam at home because it’s a healthier alternative to store-bought jams, which can be loaded with added sugars. For those who are diabetic or following a sugar-free diet, chia jam is a great option because it can be made with minimal or no added sweeteners. Plus, making your own chia jam allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor to your liking.

Glass jar tipped on its side with black chia seeds spilling out.

What are the health benefits of chia seeds?

Chia seeds are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. In addition to these benefits, chia seeds are also a good source of several essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

Piece of toast with raspberry chia jam spread and a bite taken out of the toast, served on a white side plate with a linen napkin.

Why put chia seeds in jam?

One of the main reasons to put chia seeds in jam is because they act as a natural thickening agent. Chia seeds are high in fiber and when soaked, they can hold up to 10 times their weight in liquid! This helps form a gel-like consistency and thicken the jam, making it easier to spread.

Chia seeds are also a great alternative to pectin, a common ingredient used to thicken jams and jellies. Pectin is a type of soluble fiber that’s extracted from plants, and it’s often used as a gelling agent in food products. While pectin is considered safe, some people prefer to avoid it because it’s a processed ingredient. Using chia seeds as a thickening agent is a natural and unprocessed alternative to pectin.

In addition to providing a natural thickening agent, chia seeds are also a good source of nutrients like omega-3s, plant protein, and fiber. They’re also rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. By using chia seeds in your jam, you can add a nutritious boost to a household staple.

Close up image of frozen blackberries and raspberries

Key ingredients

Fruit

Fruit is the base of Chia Jam and the defining flavour. I love frozen berries because they are delicious, lower in sugar than other fruits and budget friendly. However, you can use any type of fresh or frozen fruit you like. Some good options include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and mixed berries.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are the main ingredient in this recipe and provide a range of health benefits. They’re an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, and they’re rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. When soaked in liquid, chia seeds form a gel-like consistency, which helps to thicken and bind the mixture together.

Syrup or Sugar

Syrup or sugar is optional in this recipe, so that you can use to sweeten the chia jam to your taste. If you prefer a tangy flavor, you can omit the sweetener entirely. Alternatively, you can use a natural sweetener like agave or maple syrup instead of white sugar.

Close up of frozen strawberries cooking in a stainless steel saucepan on a black electric stovetop.

How to make Chia Seed Jam

To make chia jam, start by heating up some frozen berries in a saucepan with a little bit of water. Stir constantly until the berries have broken down. Once the berries are cooked, you can taste the mixture and add syrup or sugar if you’d like. I like to leave mine tangy without any added sweeteners, but feel free to add as much or as little as you like.

Next, stir in some chia seeds and turn off the heat. The chia seeds will start to absorb the liquid and thicken up the mixture as it cools. Once it’s cooled down, transfer the chia jam to a glass jar, seal it up, and pop it in the fridge. Your chia jam should last for about 10 days in the fridge. Easy peasy!

 

How to use Chia Seed Jam

Don’t feel limited to using Chia Jam in the way you would regular jam, get creative! Here are some of my fave ways to use this healthy spread:

  • Breakfast topping for oatmeal or yogurt
  • Swirled into smoothies or protein shakes
  • Topping for crepes, pancakes or waffles
  • Dessert topping for ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Inclusion in breakfast pastries or muffins
  • Condiment for grilled cheese sandwiches or other savory dishes
  • As a spread for toast, of course!

Piece of toast with raspberry chia jam

FAQs

Can I use a different type of fruit for this recipe?

Absolutely! You can use any type of frozen fruit you like for this recipe. Some good options include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and mixed berries. Feel free to mix and match to create your own unique flavor combinations.

Can I sweeten this recipe with a natural sweetener instead of syrup or sugar?

Yes, you can use a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup instead of white sugar if you prefer. Just be aware that these sweeteners may alter the flavor of the jam slightly.

Can I use this recipe to make a larger batch?

Yes, you can easily double or triple this recipe to make a larger batch of chia jam. Just be sure to use a larger saucepan and adjust the cooking time as needed.

Why should chia seeds should not be eaten raw?

While chia seeds are generally considered to be safe, it’s important to note that they should not be eaten raw. When ingested whole, chia seeds can absorb water in your digestive tract and expand, which can lead to bloating and discomfort. To avoid this, it’s important to soak the seeds in liquid before consuming them or grind them into a fine powder before adding them to recipes.

How long does Chia Jam keep for?

Chia jam will keep for about 1-2 weeks in the fridge. Don’t leave it at room temperature as it will go mouldy.

Piece of toast with raspberry chia jam

Chia jam is a quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for busy mornings. It’s a healthy alternative to store-bought jams, which can be loaded with added sugars, and it’s packed with nutrients like omega-3s, plant protein, and fiber. Plus, it’s super versatile – you can use any type of fruit you have on hand and sweeten it to your taste. Give this recipe a try and see how it becomes a staple in your breakfast routine!

If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a review and let me know how it turned out.

If you’re looking for more recipe inspo using Chia seeds, make sure to try my