Savor the bright summery taste of fresh blueberries with blueberry chia seed jam. Sweetened with maple syrup and flavored with the added zing of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This small batch of chia seed jam is quick and easy to make and is delicious on biscuits, toast, or bagels.
Ahhhh the fresh berries of summer! Cooked down to a lovely concentrated fruity mash of sweet-tart berrylicious flavor you can spread on muffins, pancakes, biscuits, or freshly baked homemade bread. What’s not to love about homemade jam?
Jams made in small batches like this blueberry jam or small batch strawberry jam are the perfect way to enjoy the jam-making process and the delicious fresh fruits of the season!
You’ll love this blueberry chia seed jam! Inspired by creamy tasty blueberry chia pudding, this small batch blueberry jam is easy to make and is delicious when spread on buttermilk biscuits, white bread toast, cinnamon swirl bread, or on molasses wheat bread.
Why small batch jam is just better!
Have you ever made jam before? I’m talking about real homemade, cook forever, water bath, lids tightly sealed, to be kept in the cupboard forever type of jam!
I did once…It was a disaster! This was many years ago when I was a young mamma. I had found a basic canning kit at a garage sale and decided to make jam from the fresh fruits I saw displayed at a nearby roadside stand. In my enthusiasm, I bought pallets (and pallets) of various fruits dreaming of filling my cupboards with all the “fruits” of my labor.
I had no idea what I was doing. Hours later, covered with sweat (running down all the wrong places), red marks speckling my arms from exploding popping bubbling sticky syrup, counters stained with an undefined goopy purple mess – not to mention two screaming toddlers – and I still wasn’t sure I had done it correctly.
And in fact, when almost half of my lids didn’t properly seal, I knew I hadn’t done it correctly! So I threw out those colorful beautifully filled jam jars and gave up on my jam-making…until I discovered the ease of small-batch jam.
Making small-batch jam is quick and easy and you don't have to stress about correct preservation methods because you will be consuming that lucious berry spread right away!
Small-batch jam doesn’t require hours of prepping and cooking and preserving! The jams and sauces I’m talking about are made in small enough batches that they can reasonably be consumed within the week – while they are still fresh and safe to eat.
Different methods can be used like a slow cooker for Crock Pot pear butter or a stovetop for amaretto peach pineapple butter or strawberry topping – as long as they are made in small enough batches that they don’t require special preservation methods.
Ingredients needed for this blueberry jam recipe
- blueberries – The star of the show! You can use fresh or frozen blueberries. If you use frozen blueberries then you will need to cook the mixture for a few minutes longer (see instructions below).
- maple syrup – Use real maple syrup please, not pancake syrup!
- lemon juice – You will only be using a small amount. I used fresh lemon juice for this recipe but you could use bottled juice as well.
- chia seeds – The supporting actor! I used white chia seeds for this recipe because it’s what I had on hand. You could use black chia seeds as well. There is literally no difference in flavor and what they can do for your recipe.
Why use chia seeds?
When chia seeds are soaked in liquid their outer coating develops a gel-like texture. This works perfectly in vegan cooking because this gel can act as a thickener in egg-free puddings such as mango chia pudding and pumpkin chia pudding. Chia seeds are also useful in providing substance to baked and cooked goods like healthy oatmeal cookies and creamed corn casserole.
Of course, jam doesn’t contain eggs, but that same gel outer coating that can act as an egg replacer is also useful for thickening jams and jellies.
How to make your own small batch of blueberry chia seed jam
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
First step: Prep the blueberries
Before you begin making your blueberry jam, select your blueberries and wash and gently pat them dry. You will be using one-and-a-half cups of fresh blueberries for this recipe. I buy more berries than the required amount so that I can pick through and discard any mushy weird berries. I also take a moment to pluck off any stem pieces that are still attached.
Can you use frozen berries to make blueberry chia seed jam?
Yes, you can! I realize that we don’t always have access to the beautiful, fresh fruits of the season. If you buy good quality frozen berries (or use those you have frozen yourself), you know they are picked and frozen at the peak of freshness.
It might take a few minutes longer to cook the blueberry jam if you are starting from frozen berries. (See the cooking instructions below.) You will be cooking the jam on the stovetop until it has cooked down to about two-thirds of a cup and has nicely thickened. The best measure of completeness will be the consistency and the volume of the jam mixture.
Step two: Cooking the berries
Add the prepared blueberries, maple syrup, and lemon juice to a smallish saucepan. Cook the blueberry mixture on medium heat for about ten minutes.
You will need to stir often to keep the blueberry mixture from sticking to the sides of the saucepan. While you are stirring, smoosh down the blueberries as they cook, smooshing and bursting as many of the whole berries as you’d like to while they cook.
You get to decide how chunky you like your jam. I like my jam fairly saucy BUT with some nice whole fruits and aim for about half-and-half smooshed berries to whole berries.
Next steps: A little taste and then the chia seeds
Now is when I give the cooked jam a little taste to see if I want to add more maple syrup or lemon juice. Because we are working with the bounties of Mother Nature, we can’t guarantee the exact flavor of the berries used. Sometimes I need my jam to be a little sweeter while other times an extra squeeze of lemon brings tones down jam that is a little too sweet. You just don’t know when you are using fresh fruit!
Do make sure to cool your tiny taste on a wooden spoon and test it gently on your lips before putting it in your mouth!
Make sure that your mixture has cooked down enough to make a nice thick jam. The first time or two you make this blueberry jam pay attention to the consistency and measure what you have left in the saucepan after cooking. You want to have between two-thirds and three-fourths of a cup of jam.
Remember that if you are using frozen blueberries then you will be adding an extra couple of minutes to the total time.
Next, it’s time to add the chia seeds. Stir the chia seeds into the hot jam mixture. Stir and fold so that the chia seeds are evenly distributed.
Finally: Jar and cool
Put your hot jam mixture into a small glass jar or another container with a lid that closes tight. I used these small hexagon glass jars because they are the right size and they are cute!
This recipe yields less than a cup and so one recipe will fill one of the small glass jars. I was making my blueberry chia seed jam for gifts and so I tripled the recipe. I used a medium-sized saucepan rather than a small saucepan and added a few extra minutes to the cooking time. It did take longer to cook down to the correct consistency and volume.
I would not do more than triple the recipe though. It is a small-batch jam after all!
Place the sealed containers in the fridge to thicken and cool for about two hours. This chia seed jam is made without preservatives and so you should consume it within about five days. If you don’t think you will be able to eat it that quickly then you can freeze what you won’t eat. Just thaw it in the fridge when you are ready, give it a stir, and you’ll be good to go!
The printable recipe card
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Blueberry Chia Seed Jam
- 1½ cups blueberries
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup more to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice more to taste
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- Pick through, wash, and gently pat dry the fresh blueberries you are going to use. Make sure to remove any stem pieces still attached.
- Add the blueberries, maple syrup, and lemon juice to a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat, smooshing down the blueberries as it cooks for about 10 minutes, stirring often to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan. See notes about cooking time.
- Now is the time to taste the jam and add more lemon juice or maple syrup to taste. Please cool down a small amount on a wooden spoon before tasting.
- Remove from heat and stir in the chia seeds. Add the hot jam mixture to a heat-resistant jar or container. Seal tightly.
- Allow to cool and set for about 2 hours. Keep leftovers in the fridge tightly sealed. Use within 5-7 days for best freshness.