Use chia seeds to thicken your jam and make it in the freezer, no stovetop required. Not only does it add a delicious texture, but fiber, too. Use the berries of your choice and season
By Kelsey Hilts
I grew up spoiled, only eating raspberry and strawberry freezer jam made from the berries that my mom or my family picked. Her freezer jam is like liquid gold, so decadently sweet and good that you literally will lick up any drops. However, after making the jam several times as an adult I was surprised to find how much sugar is added to the jam (necessarily so to allow the pectin to thicken the jam). As a mommy trying to eliminate sugar wherever possible, I loved the idea of having a berry jam that was much lower in sugar.
The addition of the chia seeds is a nutritional bonus because the seeds add nutrients, fiber and protein to the jam. But the chia seeds are, in fact, a key component of the jam in another way because they act as the thickening agent, eliminating the need for pectin (which is the traditional thickener for jams) and therefore eliminating the need for the extra sugar that makes the pectin do its thing.
- 3 cups berries
- 2-3 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey, to taste
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- Combine the berries and syrup in a bowl.
- Gently mash the berries until they reach your desired texture.
- Add the chia seeds and mix well.
- Let the berry-chia seed mixture sit for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
- Refrigerate or freeze in a sealed container.
Kelsey Hilts is the founder of Itsy Bitsy Foodies, an online resource for families looking for ways to spend more time together enjoying food and exploring the world beyond the children’s menu.