Can we talk about the wonder that is chia seed jam for a minute? With four ingredients you can whip up a simple jam that’s heavy on the fruit, low in added sugar and has a beautiful vibrant color!
Now, if you’re totally weirded out by chia seeds, this is the post where I convince you that they’re actually cool and functional, in a nerdy food science kind of way. And yes, it’s the same seed that was responsible for the chia pet trend of the 90’s (come to find out, you can still buy them).
Besides being used to grow sprouts, the seeds are actually really versatile in the kitchen. Read on to find out how to use them, what the nutritional benefits are and of course to get the recipe for the raspberry lemon jam.
How to Use Chia Seeds
I love keeping chia on hand for tossing in random things for an added nutritional boost. I add them to overnight oats for creamier texture or oatmeal balls for cohesiveness. Another popular use is chia seed pudding, although I’m personally not as big a fan of that. Mix with water for an egg replacer in baked goods for the vegan folks (or in a pinch if you run out).
The Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds
One of the biggest reasons why chia seeds surged in popularity is because they’re a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. While fatty fish provides the most efficient form of omega 3s, I always advocate for consuming a variety of food sources of each nutrient when possible and I also realize that not everyone consumes fish.
Even better, there are plenty of other great qualities in chia. Here are the nutrition facts at-a-glance (per 1/4 cup):
- 180 calories
- 11 grams fat
- 16 grams carbohydrate
- 13 grams dietary fiber
- 6 grams protein
- 230 milligrams calcium (18% of the Daily Value)
- 2.9 milligrams iron (16% of the Daily Value)
Why Would You Add Chia Seeds to Jam?
When added to liquid, chia seeds expand and become gelatinous. This basically creates a thickening quality which is exactly what you want when making jam or preserves so it’s easier to spread. This jam recipe is simple and can be switched up based on whatever fruit you have on hand and the sweetener you prefer. Here are a few other flavor combinations that could work:
- Strawberry Mint
- Blueberry Lemon
- Cherry Vanilla Almond
- Blackberry Orange Ginger
Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed Jam
- 1 12-ounce bag frozen raspberries
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Add all ingredients except chia seeds to a medium saucepan. Bring to a low boil stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.
- Lower heat to a simmer and stir in the chia seeds. Partially cover and continue to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until berries are broken down and slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.