This is a very easy chia blueberry jam recipe! We are going to use much less sugar than what you’d find in a traditional jam and in addition, this is also a no pectin blueberry jam because we are going to use chia seeds to thicken this jam naturally. We will also go over how you can can this jam so you can keep it at room temperature for a few months. Let’s make this delicious blueberry chia seed jam! I have a handy printable for you at the end of the post.
I love blueberries! In my very near future, I see an area of my homestead planted with a whole bunch of different varieties of blueberries. We are very fortunate here in NC, blueberries (and all the rest of the berries…) absolutely love us!
Blueberries are the perfect fruit if you ask me. They grow on bushes that often start producing in their second year. The bushes are low so you don’t have to climb anything to take care of them and you can send your kids to do the harvesting.
You can freeze blueberries, you can eat them fresh, add them to fruit shakes, bake with them, and you can make and can blueberry jam. They are just perfect!
Chia Blueberry Jam Recipe…
This year, instead of making just the basic blueberry jam that I usually make, I decided to make it a chia jam. I usually don’t use pectin in any of my jams. I use lemon seeds instead because they have natural pectin in them (my peach jam post that I linked above has more information on that).
However, when you add chia seeds into your jam there is no need to use the lemon seeds or store-bought pectin.
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are the seeds of the plant Salvia Hispanica (also known simply as the Chia plant) which is a flowering plant from the mint family and is native to Central America.
These tiny black seeds can absorb up to 12 times their body weight in liquid when soaked and when they get wet they form a layer of gel around their coat. If you add them to food, they will absorb some of the liquid and give the food a gel texture (you can see this clearly in my immune boosting chia seed drink recipe here).
Chia seeds are very rich and healthy…
“Dried chia seeds contain 6% water, 42% carbohydrates, 16% protein, and 31% fat. In a 100-gram amount, chia seeds are a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of the B vitamins, thiamin and niacin (54% and 59% DV, respectively), and a moderate source of riboflavin (14% DV) and folate (12% DV). Several dietary minerals are in rich content, including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc (all more than 20% DV; see table).
The fatty acids of chia seed oil are mainly unsaturated, with linoleic acid (17–26% of total fat) and linolenic acid (50–57%) as the major fats.”
Read more HERE.
Like with all other plants and seeds, if we want to get the most out of the health benefits of chia seeds we better use them raw or as close to raw as we can. In order to do that we are going to add the chia seeds to our jam at the very end, just a couple of minutes before we are done cooking the jam.
You might think that they won’t get the chance to gel the jam if we do that but you’d be surprised at how quickly they work (and they will keep working even after the jam is done cooking)!
You can find chia seeds locally or on Amazon.
How to Make Chia Blueberry Jam…
I started with 3 lb of blueberries…
I added them to a shallow pot and added 1.5 lb of sugar. Traditionally, you’re supposed to go by a 1 to 1 ratio between sugar and fruit but for me, it’s just too much sugar. If I add so much sugar I can’t taste the fruit the jam is just too sweet. So for all of my jams, I add half of the weight of the fruit in sugar.
No matter how many blueberries you have you can follow this 1 to 1/2 ratio.
Turn the heat on medium-high and start cooking the fruit, stirring frequently, until all of the sugar melts.
After a few minutes, the fruit/sugar mixture will start to boil. You want to let it boil for about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to stir!
After five minutes, lower the heat to medium and keep cooking. Make sure you are stirring the jam every couple of minutes. You’ll see that there is a lot of juice but that’s fine.
After 10 more minutes of cooking, I used a potato masher to mash the blueberries a little bit. You can also use a hand mixer to really puree it if you’d like. It’s up to you and what kind of texture you want for your jam. If you look at my other jams you’ll see that I usually prefer using the hand mixer but this time I decided to not mash the jam all the way.
After 10 additional minutes of cooking add the zest of one lemon and it’s juice. Make sure you stir those in…
Now, here is the tricky part with chia jams… When you make jam without chia and just add pectin or lemon seeds as I do, you can keep cooking the jam until you see that it has thickened to your liking.
With chia jam, the process is not as clear. You want to still have quite a lot of juice in the pot before you add the chia seeds, and once we add them, we are only going to cook the jam for a couple more minutes before we turn the heat off. The seeds will keep absorbing the liquid and thicken the jam even after you turn the heat off.
So you might have to experiment with this a little bit and it’s a bit hard for me to direct you to the exact time you should add the chia seeds because each batch of fruit is going to have a different amount of juice in it…
To this 3 lb of fruit, I added 2 tablespoons of chia seeds about 30 minutes after I started cooking this jam.
Make sure to stir them in well…
And keep cooking the jam for just a couple more minutes before you turn the heat off and remove the jam from the heat. It might look to you like the jam is not as thick as you’d like it to be but the chia seeds will keep absorbing the juice and thicken the jam further even after it’s done cooking.
If you don’t leave enough juice in there before you add the chia seeds your jam will end up a solid, sticky block in the jar once it’s cooled. Don’t ask me how I know this… And keep reading to find out what you can do to fix it.
Canning Blueberry Jam…
Now that the jam is ready it’s time to can it. Three pounds of fruit is not that big of a batch, it reduces a lot while cooking. You can let your jam cool, transfer it to a quart jar and store in the fridge to use right away.
But I like saving space in my fridge and canning my jams so I can keep the jars in the pantry and I wanted to show you the canning process in case you are making a bigger batch or prefer to be able to keep your jam at room temperature like me.
So, if you do want to can your jam go ahead and sanitize your jars and lids.
Fill your water bath canner with enough water to cover your jars by about an inch and place it on the stove top. Set your empty jars on the rack inside the canner. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, let the jars process for about 7 minutes.
In a separate pot, place the lids and rings and add water to cover them. Make sure to always use new lids so you know for sure that the seal is in good condition but you can reuse rings. Place this pot on the stove top and bring the water to a boil. Then let the lids and rings boil for 5 minutes before you turn the heat off.
Use your jar lifters to remove the jars from the water bath canner and set them on a wooden cutting board or the counter. It’s really important from now on that you don’t touch the inside of the jar or the rim of the jar with your fingers so everything stays super clean.
Also, lower the heat for the water bath canner. No need to let the water boil while you work on filling the jars with the jam but you do want to keep the water hot. So just lower the heat and keep the water simmering for now.
Use your canning funnel and a large spoon to fill each jar with the jam making sure to leave about 1/2 inch headspace.
Next, use the bubble remover to remove air bubbles if there were any…
Before you place the lid on the jar, make sure to wipe it clean with a clean paper towel…
Then, use your magnetic lid lifter to lift the lid from the pot of hot water and place it on the jar. You really have to make sure that you don’t touch the rim or the bottom of the lid so everything stays clean and you don’t introduce bacteria.
Lastly, place the ring on and tighten it just a little bit. Once all the jars are filled it’s time to process the jam in the water bath.
Use the jar lifters again to place the filled jars back in the water bath canner (on the rack). You have to make sure that the water in the canner covers the jars by one inch. Then turn the heat back on and bring the water back to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, process the jam for 10 minutes.
This changes if you live in an altitude higher than 1000 feet so make sure to check for the right processing time if you do.
After ten minutes, turn off the heat and use the jar lifters to take the jars out of the canner. Set them on a kitchen towel on the counter and let them cool and seal undisturbed overnight.
To check if your jars sealed, press your finger to the center of the lid and if there is no movement there it means that the jar has sealed. It’s better to remove the rings before you store the jars in the pantry.
I usually use my jams within a few months and since this jam has chia seeds and less sugar in it, I am not sure that it will last a full year in storage. Last time I made it it was in storage for five months before we opened the last jar and the last jar was just fine.
Every few weeks just peek inside of the jars to make sure that everything is looking as it should. If you see that something funky is developing in there just open the jar, scoop the top layer and toss it and keep the rest of the jam in the fridge.
Also, remember that if it happened and your jam is too thick when you open the jar you can always place it in a pot, add some water and let it cook for just a few minutes.
I make french crepes a lot and sometimes I use my jams to make a fruit sauce for the crepes. I add as much jam as I want to a small pot, add water and cook and mix for a few minutes. It makes a delicious, sweet sauce!
If you liked this recipe you’ll like my other jams that I linked to at the beginning of this post. Also, try my candied oranges which are delicious and you might be interested in learning how to can peaches. You can find more preserving posts on my preserving page.
Lastly, if you are looking for a smaller batch and a refrigerator chia blueberry jam check out Alyssa’s post at My Sequined life for a recipe.
Here is the handy printable for my chia blueberry jam…
- 3 lb blueberries
- 1.5 lb sugar
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Add blueberries and sugar to a shallow pot. Place on the stove top, turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Lower the heat to medium and let mixture cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Use a potato masher or a hand blender to mash the fruit if you like or you can leave it as it is.
- Cook for 10 more minutes to reduce some of the juices. Don't forget to stir every couple of minutes.
- Add lemon zest and juice and stir them in. Cook for a couple more minutes.
- Add chia seeds and stir them in. Cook for 2-3 more minutes before you turn the heat off.
- You can let the jam cool, transfer it to a quart jar and keep in the fridge or you can can it if you want to be able to keep at room temperature.
To Can Your Chia Blueberry Jam...
- Fill the water bath canner with enough water to cover the jars by about an inch and set it on the stove top.
- Wash your jars and add them to the canner. Place them on the rack not touching each other.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Process the jars in the boiling water for 7 minutes.
- Use your jar lifters to remove the jars from the canner and set them on a wooden cutting board or your counter. Make sure to not touch the inside of the jars or the rims.
- In a small pot, place your lids and rings, cover with water, set on the stove top and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, process the lids for 5 minutes or so before turning the heat off.
- Use your canning funnel and a spoon to fill the jars with the jam making sure to leave about 1/2 headspace.
- Use your bubble remover to remove any air bubbles from the jar.
- Clean the rim of the jar with a clean paper towel. Make sure not to touch the rim with your fingers!
- Grab a lid with your magnetic lid lifter and set it on the jar.
- Screw the ring on finger tight.
- Use your jar lifters to place your jars on the rack in the water bath canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by one inch (if you don't have enough water, add some more boiling water to the pot).
- Turn the heat to high, put the lid on the canner and bring the water back to a boil. Once the water is boiling, process the jars for 10 minutes (this changes if you live above 1000 feet in altitude. See post for more details).
- After 10 minutes, use your jar lifters to remove your jars from the canner and set them on kitchen towel on the counter to cool overnight undisturbed.
- In the morning, check that your jars has sealed, remove the ring and store in the pantry. If one of the jars didn't seal, you can store it in the fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 half-pint jar
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 922 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 43mg Carbohydrates: 233g Fiber: 11g Sugar: 212g Protein: 4g