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How to Make Jam Healthier with Chia Seeds

I love the idea of homemade jam, but I hate the messy production. The sterilized jam jars, the pectin, and the massive amounts of added sugar. Isn't fruit sweet enough? Thankfully, with the popularity of chia seeds, there's now an easier and more nutritious way. Introducing chia jam.

Strawberry chia jam recipe

Chia seeds have become popular in vegan puddings thanks to their unique jelling properties (see these quick and easy chia seed recipes), but they also make amazing jam for the same reason. When you add them to a liquid (or in this case, puréed fruit), the little seeds bloom into a thick gelatinized pudding texture, perfect for making thick, spreadable jams without all the added sugar. Aside from their functional properties, they're also nutritional powerhouses. Chia seeds are packed with satiating fiber—just one ounce delivers a whopping 11 grams. They also rock 5 grams of omega-3 fats and 4 grams of protein per ounce, making them a perfect start to your day.

This 20-minute Cherry Strawberry jam from Abbey's Kitchen is delicious on morning toast, but the possibilities are endless. We like layering it into this PB&J protein pudding parfait, smearing pancakes with it, swirling it into oats, or making these chocolate PB&J cups.

Cherry Strawberry Chia Jam

Abbey's Kitchen Chia Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dark cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, heat the cherries and strawberries until they start to bubble and get syrupy. Once super soft, mash them with a potato masher until the mixture is jammy, loose, and with some visible little bits of fruit in it.
  2. Add in the lemon juice and maple syrup, and taste. Adjust the lemon and maple syrup depending on the sweetness of your fruit.
  3. Take the mixture off the heat, transfer it to a container and add the chia seeds. Allow the mixture to set for at least 20 minutes, or until it thickens up. Enjoy immediately, or pack away in the fridge to use throughout the week.

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