Blackberry Jam – a low-sugar, chia seed recipe

Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds

Recipe Makeover

Stephanie Kanoeola Megumi Wong

I love crunchy and chewy toast with homemade almond butter and thick jam with large chunks of fruit. Inspired by the blackberries I saw in my Oakland Redwood hike, I decided to make a super simple blackberry jam – a low-sugar chia seed recipe (without adding extra pectin).

Have you read how much sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) is in your average fruit jam or jelly lately? Some contain about 3 teaspoons of sugar in 1 tablespoon of jam. Ai-yai-yai! No wonder why we are so addicted to sugar. If this is a shocker, then you’ll really appreciate our Top 10 Foods You Must Replace Right Now – a huge chapter in our Eat Real Essentials eBook (full of beautiful photos and life lasting tips).

What is pectin?

Back to the blackberry jam! In most jam or jelly recipes, like this very cute one from a fave food blog, Food in Jars, you need to add pectin, which is a naturally occurring thickening agent found in the cell walls of fruit. However, the powder or liquid pectin that you purchase from the store (although naturally derived) is highly processed – the exact opposite of what we strive for when “eating real.”

Make this instead

So, what do I do to avoid the extra processed stuff? Make up a super simple blackberry jam chia seed recipe with fresh blackberries, one white nectarine, a lemon, a saucepan, and the back of a fork. The water-soluble chia seeds absorb the natural juices of the cooked blackberries and nectarines. In no time, you’ll have a wonderful jar of blackberry jam to enjoy for breakfast (or dessert).

Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds Blackberry Jam with Chia Seeds Blackberry Jam with Chia SeedsBlackberry Jam with Chia Seeds


1 cup blackberries, washed
1 nectarine, washed and chopped into tiny nibble-size chunks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chia seeds


  1. Add the blackberries, chopped nectarine, and lemon juice to a small saucepan, over medium heat.
  2. As it is heating up, smash the fruit with the back of a fork and continue to cook for 2 minutes until the juices start to bubble and the fruit breaks down.
  3. Remove from heat, and stir in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and let it sit for 3 minutes. (This is a great time to toast your bread!)
  4. Cool and store in a tightly sealed jar for about a week. Serve with homemade almond butter too!

Yields ~ 1 cup of jam

Eat Real EssentialsEat Real Essentials - Available Now!

If you like this recipe, then you’ll love our Eat Real Essentials eBook, enhanced and interactive for the iPad or in a digital-friendly PDF. It’s filled with inspirational stories, grocery shopping and pantry stocking tips, a 3-week meal plan with a whole foods detox, and over 100 recipes designed just for the busy person! Check it out here.



Thanks for reading! My name is Stephanie Wong and I am a certified holistic health & nutrition coach, home-grown natural food cook, lover of all things ginger, and a strong believer that strength is beauty. [read more...]


  1. lola says:

    love the recipe above.. how can i use this for the strawberry jam.. i want to try to make it with my kids but without chia and pectin..

    thank you in advance for your help.


    • stephanie says:

      Hi Lola!

      Thanks so much for the note. I wrote a recipe just like you asked in our recent eBook Eat Real Essentials — with strawberries, no pectin, and no chia seeds either. You can check it out there if you’d like for the details, but ultimately it’s simmering down the berries to maintain some chunks, while also making it spreadable. I hate to “plug” the book in the middle of answering your question, but it’s one of those special recipes we saved for the collection.

      Does that help a bit?

  2. Andrew says:

    I’ve just picked loads of blackberries and I’m going to try this recipe – looks great! How long do you think it would keep for? Are there any additional ingredients that might preserve the jam a little longer? I have a lot of blackberries!

    • stephanie says:

      Hi Andrew — Since there are no preservatives, I’d definitely suggest eating it within 2 weeks (if it even lasts that long :) . Be sure to keep it in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge. I’m not the biggest fan of preservatives, BUT what you can do is freeze a few bags to make more all year long :) Hope that helps a bit!

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