All you need to whip up this small batch blackberry chia jam is a few ingredients and 10 minutes of active prep time. Seriously, it’s that simple – not to mention tasty! It’s healthier than store-bought jam, too, with nutritious chia seeds and only maple syrup as a sweetener.
It also happens to be vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and refined-sugar free, so everyone can enjoy it! Smear it over toast or pancakes, swirl it into oatmeal or baked goods, or dollop it on crackers with melted brie. Either way, it’s delish!
Small Batch Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds
I’ve always been partial to blackberries. I think it’s because they feel elusive, since they’re at their ripest at the end of summer. They remind me of my childhood, coming home from the blackberry patch behind our house at dusk with a belly full of berries and my fingers stained purple. Ah, that was the life. 🙂
Sadly, I feel like blackberries are often forgotten the rest of the year. That’s where frozen blackberries come in! They’re available in most grocery stores, and you can definitely use them to make this jam.
We’re making a small batch with this recipe, but you can easily double or triple it if you want! I prefer to make small batches of chia jam, because it doesn’t last as long as regular jam. (This is because it doesn’t have as much sugar or any preservatives). But it’s also great because you can swap out whichever fruit you’re craving that week or need to use up.
You only really need three essential ingredients (plus water) to make this jam, with a couple optional (but recommended) add-ons to elevate the flavor!
- blackberries: Of course, the blackberries are the main event here! You can easily swap these out for other berries, if the mood strikes you. (See the next section for how to use fresh vs. frozen berries).
- chia seeds: These act as a thickening agent, and are essential for that spreadable jammy texture. They’re also super nutritious, packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. (Yet another reason to make this jam!)
- maple syrup: Maple syrup makes a great natural sweetener here. You can also use honey, another liquid sweetener, or even sugar if you prefer. If using sugar, add a little extra water before you heat the berries.
- lemon juice: This isn’t a strictly necessary ingredient, but I highly recommend it. A squeeze of lemon really accentuates the blackberry flavor, and gives the jam some extra brightness. If you don’t have any lemons, it’s ok to leave this out.
- vanilla extract: Again, this isn’t essential, but it adds a little oomph to the jam’s flavor.
Fresh or frozen blackberries?
You can easily use either fresh or frozen blackberries here! Frozen berries are just as good (that’s what I used), and can be found year-round. Just don’t add as much water with frozen berries, since they’ll release some moisture as they cook.
Two teaspoons should be enough (instead of a tablespoon), but you can always add more if the jam seems too thick after you add the chia seeds.
How to Make Blackberry Chia Seed Jam
Start by combining blackberries and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes while stirring. Partway through, start mashing up the blackberries with the back of your utensil, until they reach your desired consistency. (If you like your jam chunkier, just mash the berries less!).
Next, remove from heat. Add chia seeds, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Stir until well-incorporated.
Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through to make sure the chia seeds don’t clump together. As the jam sits, the chia seeds will absorb the extra moisture and become gelatinous.
Lastly, place in a jar or airtight container and store in the refrigerator. You can eat it right away, but it’s best enjoyed after at least a few hours. (That gives the chia seeds a chance to absorb more liquid.)
And that’s it! Who knew making jam could be this easy?
Can I strain out the blackberry seeds?
Absolutely! After cooking the berries, use a sieve (fine mesh strainer) to strain out the blackberry seeds. Then, proceed with the recipe as usual.
If you’re not a fan of seed-like textures at all, you can also blend or puree this chia jam. Just add the chia seeds and wait until it’s thickened up, then blend until smooth.
Store this blackberry chia jam in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator. It should last for up to one week.
Alternatively, you can freeze this jam! It will keep for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, just place in the refrigerator to thaw.
Recipe Variations For Chia Jam
Here are a few ways to mix up this chia seed jam recipe:
- Use different berries: Any type of berry should be delicious here. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, boysenberries, the list goes on!
- Add more sweetener: Feel free to add more sweetener if you like sweeter jam. (Just reduce the amount of water added if using a liquid sweetener).
- Swap out the lemon juice: Try using orange juice or lime juice instead of lemon juice for a unique flavor!
- Add cinnamon: Add a hint of spice with a pinch of cinnamon.
If you try this blackberry chia jam, I’d love if you shared your thoughts with a rating and comment below!
Blackberry Chia Jam (Small Batch)
- 1 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 Tbsp water (only use 2 tsp if using frozen berries)
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional but recommended)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Combine blackberries and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5-10 minutes. When berries begin to soften, start mashing them with the back of your utensil, until your desired consistency is reached.
- Remove from heat. Stir in chia seeds, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- Let cool for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through so the chia seeds don't clump together.
- Place in a jar or airtight container and store in the refrigerator. You can eat it right away, but it's best enjoyed after at least a few hours!