I’ve been making fruit and chia seed jam for years. I love it because it’s sugar-free, high in fiber, and delicious!
Fruit and chia jam is so much better than store-bought jam because it is not cloyingly sweet. Even sugar-free store-bought jams are overly sweet, either from an artificial sweetener or concentrated fruit juice (which is also basically sugar).
Instead of faking flavor with sweetness, this jam is packed full of real fruit flavor! It’s also zero-waste and affordable.
How to use fruit and Chia Seed Jam
Honestly, my kids don’t even know what real jam tastes like. We only ever have fruit and chia seed jam. Here are a few ways to use this delicious alternative to jam:
Full fruit flavors
Honestly, we make fruit and chia seed jam at least twice a month. In the summer we use fresh fruit and in the winter we use frozen fruit.
Unless I have a huge amount of a particular type of fruit, I usually use a blend of fruits. I usually include apples or pears to add pulp and sweetness to softer fruits.
Looking for some inspiration? Here are a few of our favorite combinations!
- Gingered peach: A mix of pears and peaches with 1/4 tsp of ground ginger.
- Pear Plum: A combination of pears and plums gives a rich flavor.
- Wildberry: A mix of apple and berries.
- Strawberry Rhubarb: Fermented rhubarb is full of flavor without the sourness of rhubarb. It’s perfect in this sauce. See the section below for information on how to ferment the rhubarb.
- Blueberry Lemon: Blueberries with lemon zest.
- Mango Madness: Mango is perfect all on its own.
- Apricot: Apricot is also thick enough all on its own, however, I recommend adding a squeeze of lemon juice to keep the bright orange color.
Fermented and raw fruit jam
This chia seed jam doesn’t have to be cooked. Soft fruits, like blueberries and mango can be pureed right away.
Fermenting is also a simple and healthy way to skip cooking this jam.
To ferment the jam:
- Puree the fruit right away, then put it in a glass jar with 2 Tbsp of culture (see below for options) and the chia seeds.
- Cover the jar to keep fruit flies out. Either use a tea towel or a lid that will allow the carbonation to escape. If you’re new to fermenting, here’s a post on the different types of jars you could use.
- Place the jar somewhere dark (like a kitchen cupboard) to ferment for 1 to 2 days. Going any longer than a few days will result in a sour jam that is more savory than sweet.
- Stash your jam in the fridge to slow the fermentation, and enjoy within 2 weeks. If you find it a tad tart, feel free to stir in a bit of your favorite sweetener. Fermenting will reduce the natural sugars.
The best cultures for fruit are those that are yeast-based:
- Kombucha, jun or water kefir
- Milk kefir whey
- Ginger bug
- Apple cider vinegar with a mother
- Raw honey (only for those who aren’t pregnant or immunocompromised).
Simple Chia Seed Jam
Looking for a healthy and delicious alternative to jam? This fruit-packed chia seed spread is perfect on toast or stirred into yogurt. See the section above for 6 delicious fruit combinations!
- Yield: 1 pint jar 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stewed
- Cuisine: Healthy
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 cups of fruit (see the section above for suggestions)
- 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds
- The jam can be made with raw fruit, fermented fruit, or cooked fruit. Raw fruit jam is best for soft fruits like berries, or mango. Simply skip cooking and mix the pureed fruits with the chia seeds.
- Fermented jam is a probiotic and no-cook option for homemade jam. See the section above if you want to ferment your jam instead.
- To make a cooked jam, mix the fruit and ground chia in a small saucepan. The fruit should be chopped into bite-sized chunks, but it doesn’t need to be peeled. Apple and pear skin will add fiber!
- Bring the fruit to a boil, then simmer until everything is soft. Soft fruit, like berries and peaches, don’t need to simmer for more than a minute. Apples might need to cook for 5 minutes. You can also cook the fruit in the microwave, just follow your manufacturer’s instructions.
- Pulse the fruit in a blender or with immersion blender until it’s a smooth spread. I usually pack my fruit into a 2 cup jar, the puree with my immersion blender.
- Serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- If the spread isn’t sweet enough for your taste, then feel free to stir in a bit of sugar or maple syrup. It will still have WAY less sugar than commercial jam.
- I usually make fermented jam in the summer when the fruit is abundant and I don’t want to heat my kitchen up by cooking. In the winter, we make jam from frozen fruit, so we make the cooked jam instead.
Keywords: Jam, Jelly, sugar-free, gluten-free, gelatin-free, pectin-free, simple, zero-waste, summer, fall, winter, spring, 2 ingredients, 10 minutes or less