Easy sugar free raspberry jam! You will be astonished how quickly this chia seed jam comes together. It’s delicious and healthy, and perfect for spreading on your favorite keto baked goods. Instructional video included.
This sugar free chia seed jam recipe was first published in September of 2013. I haven’t changed the recipe at all, but I’ve updated the photos and added a new video!
If you follow foodie trends, chances are high you’ve heard of chia seeds. If you follow health trends, chances are high you’ve heard of chia seeds. And if you follow running trends, chances are high you’ve heard of chia seeds.
You would essentially have to pay no attention to trends, eat only junk food and never get off your couch to not have heard of chia by now. And even if that were the case, you probably have still heard of chia, because it was made famous by the commercials for ch-ch-chia pets. Remember those? Ah yes. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s discuss those funny little black seeds and why they are so trendy in food, health and fitness.
What is Chia Seed?
Chia seeds are tiny little black seeds from the Salvia hispanics plant native to Mexico and Guatemala.
It’s been on the radar of many a healthy foodie for a while now, but I daresay that it gained some serious fame with the book Born To Run. I am quite certain that the sale of chia seeds saw a significant spike after it was published, as runners of all abilities stocked up, hoping for a competitive advantage from the unassuming black seed.
In the book, chia is described as having nearly magical properties, giving seemingly inhuman strength and energy to the ultra-runners of the Tarahumara. Although it seems new to many of us, Mesoamerican peoples have been consuming it for thousands of years, both as food and as medicine. And according to many sources, Aztec warriors fueled themselves exclusively on chia and water before battle.
Who doesn’t want a little of that in their lives?
How to Cook with Chia Seed
But besides all of the purported health benefits of chia, it’s fascinating to see how chia behaves in cooking and baking.
Take a tablespoon of chia seeds and add some water and you will see what I mean. Within a few short minutes, it becomes a gelatinous mass, like jelly or pudding. It’s slightly hilarious how quickly it gums up. The chia seed shell begins to dissolve and the high soluble fiber content absorbs huge amounts of liquid.
It’s rather like a weird fun science experiment.
This particular quality makes chia very useful in a number of recipes that require a jelly-like consistency, such as pudding. It also makes a great replacement for eggs in egg-free or vegan recipes.
Perfect for Easy Sugar Free Jam
But when I started to see chia seed jam on the foodie blogosphere, I stopped dead in my tracks.
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
Traditional jam takes hours to make, cooking the berries and adding the gelatin, along with copious amounts of sugar. And you can’t just replace the sugar with keto sweeteners, because sugar helps inhibit mold and helps the jam gel properly. Seems counterintuitive but it’s true. So when you make sugar free jam, you have to add more acid in exact quantities and you have to use special pectins.
But chia seed jam gels virtually instantly and those little chia seeds don’t really care what kind of sweetener you use. Of course, it won’t preserve like traditional jam that’s been cooked and canned, but it’s so easy to whip up, you can do small batches to keep in the fridge.
I had to give it a try, sugar-free of course, and I mixed mine with raspberries. I figured raspberries have so many seeds anyway, the addition of a few tablespoons of chia seed would go practically unnoticed. It was delicious and I’ve used it in so many recipes since. A great way to enjoy a little keto friendly jam!
Keto Chia Seed Recipes
Matcha Chia Pudding
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the berries, sweetener, and water. Bring to a boil and cook until berries are soft enough to mash with a fork. Mash to desired consistency.
Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds. Let cool. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours to set.
Keep refrigerated. The jam will last up to a week.