A simple piece of toast with butter and jam is one of my favorite little snacks. It may be because I was a toast fiend growing up (I often at three or four slices for breakfast!) but there’s something so comforting about the warm, toasty bread topped with a sweet, fruity compote. I’ve dabbled in making homemade jam over the years – with strawberries, blueberries, and even peaches! The result is often much better than what you can find in stores, especially if you use fresh, local, organic produce. And the jam-making itself is a fun experience – preparing the fruit, boiling it in a big pot on the stove, and waiting anxiously for it to thicken.
This spring, I decided to experiment with a new jam-making technique featuring chia seeds! I often add these tiny black seeds to my morning oatmeal because they’re loaded with protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids – basically, all the good stuff. Another fun use for chia seeds is a healthy take on pudding, where the little guys absorb almond milk, coconut milk, or your liquid of choice to form a thick, jelly-like pudding. It’s this same property of chia seeds – their ability to absorb up to ten times their volume in liquid – that makes them the perfect addition to stovetop jam. Seemingly by magic, a couple spoonfuls of chia seeds in your jam will thicken the compote right up, and in five minutes you’ll be left with a perfectly spreadable, fruity sauce. I especially love this method because it doesn’t rely on lots of added sugar or artificial pectin as a thickening agent, and the seeds pack an extra nutritional punch into your morning toast.
Chia Seed Jam
Makes 1 cup
- 2 cups fruit, fresh or frozen, chopped if large
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or sugar
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
- Place fruit and maple syrup in a small pot. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently and mashing fruit up slightly with a wooden spoon.
- Add chia seeds and continue cooking, stirring regularly, for five more minutes.
- Remove jam from heat, stir in vanilla, and let cool completely. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- I used a combination of frozen blueberries and raspberries, but strawberries, peaches, or cherries would also work well.