sticky fig, raspberry and chia jam

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I don’t remember when I first discovered chia jam. It must’ve been at least two years ago, possibly via Angela’s beautiful blog, Oh She Glows. Regardless of inspiration, chia jam is a godsend to those who enjoy sweet fruit spreads on buttered toast, scones or puddings. It’s a healthy way to enjoy a thick, glossy jam fix whilst avoiding a ton of refined sugar.

figboard

The chia jam below was the product of a trip to my local market for milk and spelt flour. Whilst walking to the dairy cabinet, I passed a tray of slightly battered figs, the remnants of autumn’s bounty. I dropped a few into a paper bag, contemplating pies and frangipane tarts as I gathered my milk and headed to the check-out.

One hour later, I was eating a buttered scone sandwich with a glossy helping of sticky fig and chia jam.

sconejam

As you might have gathered, this recipe is quick and easy to prepare; far removed from the marmalade days of my English youth. Within half an hour, fresh or frozen fruit transforms into a thick, fragrant pool of jammy deliciousness, just begging to be slathered across fresh, crusty bread.

figs closeup

If you’re unfamiliar with chia seeds, their flavour is best described as ‘nutty’ with a pleasant textural ‘pop’. However, within a sweet fruit jam the flavour itself only mildly discernible.

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Most noteworthy is the fact that these sticky seeds provide a healthy whack of omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium with every mouthful. Definitely a worthy topping for steel-cut oats, thick Greek yoghurt, quinoa porridge… anything, really.

With this type of jam, it’s acceptable to form a habit.

jamaerial

Sticky Fig, Raspberry and Chia Jam

Makes about 1 cup (250ml)

  • 3/4 cup quartered fresh figs (about 6)
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 2 tbsp pure maple or agave syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

Bring the figs, maple syrup and 1/2 cup water to the boil over medium heat. Add the vanilla bean, cover and reduce temperature to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the fruit has softened and started to break down. Mash a little with a fork, then pour in the chia seeds (add the other 1/4 cup water if the fluid has reduced too much).

jamcooking

Cook, uncovered, for another 5-10 minutes or until the chia seeds have swelled and the mixture has reached a jammy consistency. Remove from the heat and pour into a sterilized jar or airtight container.

*I haven’t attempted to properly can this jam due to lack of sugar as a preservative, though most recipes suggest it can be stored for up to 7 days in the refrigerator (possibly longer in the freezer).

squashscone

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102 responses

  1. What a beautiful jam! I’ve been toying with chia jam for a while but haven’t gotten around to it – your combination of figs (which we’re bombarded with at the moment) and raspberries has sprung me into action.

    Also just wanted to say I’ve recently found your blog and love it – beautiful recipes and photography. Keep up the good work :)

    • Hello Yasmeen! I had a look at your blog last night too, it’s beautiful! I am very much looking forward to sharing inspiration as blogging friends :) Thanks for your sweet words. Definitely put that glut of figs to good use! xx

  2. I just saw a book on chia… I think it is just beginning to catch on here in the States. (Unlike its last visit when it was used to make odd plant figurines!) The combination of fig and raspberry is new to me – definitely sounds amazing, and the nuttiness of chia is so intriguing! Thanks!

    • Haha… plant figurines? I had to look that one up, I don’t think it caught on here in Australia! The chia jam is definitely slightly different to mainstream jams and jellies but I love it. It tastes much fresher with a more pure ‘fruit’ flavour that’s not masked with added sugar. Thanks heaps for the input, so interesting to see how different things are marketed in different countries!

  3. This is so great! I have had a long time love for jam, and now I can add a healthy kick to it – yay! :) I’ve never had chia before but I really wanna try it and this looks like the perfect recipe. Another lovely post lovely laura! And I hope you had a wonderful Easter :) xx

    • Oh, definitely give it a go Bec, I think it’ll be just your thing. Healthy but delicious at the same time! In general, I only eat chia seeds when sprinkled over cereal or baked into a slice rather than in ‘soaked’ recipes (like chia pudding) but the gel-like texture works really well in this. Happy Easter to you too beautiful! xx

  4. Lovely! And no weird preservatives! I wonder if you could do it with just fresh fruit–say, just strawberries or blueberries, since fresh figs are very hard to come by (and impossible right now). Might need to experiment with this idea. Have a lovely week. xx

    • Yes, you definitely can make it with just berries! I’ve made a couple of versions myself… it requires much less water (just a splash, due to the moisture content of the fruit) and less cooking time than figs. I’m a huge fan of the strawberry version. Thanks so much lovely Julie! Hope that your week goes well too xx

  5. So intrigued by chia jam Laura. The ‘one hour later’ section of your post had me adding figs to the shopping list. Will keep you posted. My boys *love* jam, and unlike the usual sugary varieties, I’d be quite happy to send them to school with this one!

    • Haha! Yep, it’s super fast. The hour actually incorporated everything, as I was making scones at the same time. I put them in the oven, made the jam, took the scones out of the oven and spread on my butter and jam! Booyah! Hope that you enjoy it. Feel free to use any type of fruit, not just figs and raspberries. The blackberry version is particularly beautiful and glossy xx

  6. I’m so intrigued by the idea of chia seed jam. I love chia seeds, and I love jam, but didn’t even think about putting them together. Definitely going to add that to my “to make” list :) Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Thanks Vanessa. I was intrigued myself when I first heard of it, but it definitely works exceedingly well in jam. The ‘gel-like’ quality works to create a thick, jammy consistency in no time at all! Thanks for the lovely comment xx

    • Me too, it’s so delicious! The jam itself is rather different to the sugary jam that gets cooked down for hours… it’s fresh and delicious. Hope that you love it Kloe! x

    • Thank you Kiyo! I really appreciate the kind words. I visited Maui about ten years ago (a very long time!) and I loved it. One of the most beautiful and relaxing places in the world. Aloha to you too! xx

    • Thank you so much Emma, so nice to hear from you! I’m a London girl myself so it’s making me homesick to look at your blog (despite living in Australia for many, many years!). I appreciate the kind encouragement. You’re right, healthy jam is quite an unusual thing! x

  7. I’ve made chia pudding, but never chia jam – gosh, I’d better get to work! This looks so wonderful and so very healthy! Perfect! :D Pinning for sure! ~Shelley

  8. Love this oh, so good for you and delicious looking recipe, Laura. The nutty flavored chia is supposed to fight Alzheimer’s…You know I’m putting your jam on my must-do list =)

    • Thanks Kim! Yeah, I had heard about the Alzheimers benefit… I’m trying to work out ways to get more chia into my diet and this jam idea has worked brilliantly so far! Thanks for the kind words xx

    • Thanks Graz. It’s such an easy way to get more chia into the diet. I’m loving it so far! We had a great Easter, thanks… how about you guys? Egg central (I should probably just check your blog)? I actually made a cracking burger over the weekend but it was too dark to take photos for the burger off unfortunately… I WILL make a comeback though. Watch this space, bwahahaa ;)

  9. This recipe was meant to be, because I JUST bought my first ever bag of chia seeds on Saturday! So far, I’ve only used them for chia breakfast pudidng, but I love the idea of putting them in jam. You are just too smart :)

    • Thanks lovely. Wasn’t my original idea though… I can’t remember where I first read about chia jam but I’ve been making it ever since! Such an easy recipe. Hope that you enjoy experimenting with your bag of seeds! x

  10. Isn’t blogging wonderful? Only recently did I learn of chia pudding and now I start my day with some. Now you teach me of chia jam, Laura, and it sure does sound good, especially when combined with figs and raspberries. I’ll make and freeze it without any concerns. I’ve got a number of jams in my freezer already. They last very well there. Thanks you so much for sharing your recipe, thereby opening another door for me. Have a great week!

    • Aw, thanks for this lovely comment John. You’re completely right, blogging does teach us, inspire us and open up doors to new techniques and recipes every day! I feel the same when I visit your wonderful blog. Hope that you enjoy the chia jam. It’s another great way to get a daily dose of chia seeds! Hope your week goes well too :)

    • It’s a strange ingredient in some respects, but chia works very well in gel-like recipes, eg. jams or puddings. Give it a go… the nutty taste is very mild in a sweet fruity mix like this. Chia is also wonderful in muesli bars or poured into your daily cereal :) Thanks lovely x

  11. Oh, lovely Laura! I’ve heard of chia jam before but haven’t made it yet. I’m into the fact that it’s a natural, healthy alternative to traditional jam. And your seeds- they’re so much lighter than the ones that I’m used to. A different variety perhaps? Mine are almost black. I didn’t get around to making enough jam last season, but I’m getting myself organized early this year to take advantage of the beautiful seasonal offerings. What an inspiring post. Thank you! Love that blue too!!! xx

    • It’s such an easy thing to make Em! Quick and delicious! As for the seeds, they’re white chia… the market near me sells both the black and white varieties. I don’t think there’s any difference in terms of taste, texture or nutritional value, but they look a little less obvious in chia pudding when I make it :) Definitely give the chia jam a go when you have some spare time. Such a great alternative to sugary varieties (P.S the blue background is a hand-painted linen napkin from Melbourne company Bonnie and Neil, I adore it! http://www.bonnieandneil.com.au/ ) xx

  12. Laura! This jam looks so amazing! I’m all about jam, preserves and spreads when it comes to food! Can you believe I have never tried chia seeds? well, I take that back. . I had them once in a healthy shake but need to try this fig, raspberry and chia jam! beautiful! This, on a scone, is perfection.

    • Oh Alice, it’s such a nice way to eat chia seeds. Much less obvious than in shakes or puddings, in my opinion (as the seeds get swallowed up in whatever bread you’re eating, rather than being discernible within the custard or fluid). Hope that you enjoy it xx

  13. I’m very inspired to try this Chia seed jam. I’ve heard about it, but never tried it before. I love the way you’ve described the texture and it’s transformation into a pool of jammy deliciousness.

    Looks equally amazing smothered onto that scone too :)

  14. I keep hearing about chia – I think it is just becoming known here in the U.S. Thanks for this one on jam. Chia seeds are a new product to me, so I appreciate learning how they can be utilized.

    • I’m fascinated by the fact that chia seeds used to be used to grow ‘pet plants’ in the USA! Such an interesting fact! Hope that you enjoy them in the culinary sense, they’ve become very popular over here in Australia. Thanks for the comment Adri x

    • Thanks so much Claudia! Have they become popular in Germany? They’ve really taken off here in Australia. I can understand why, too, as the nutritional qualities of chia are pretty great. Hope that you are well beautiful! x

  15. This is such a beautiful post Laura! Chia jam is something really fantastic, I feel you need much less sugar than for conventional jam. And I simply love how you composed the photos – gorgeous! The blue cloth with the red jam, looks so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Sylvia! It’s great isn’t it, I’m starting to really appreciate the value of chia seeds! Love your blog… I am looking forward to discovering even more ways to use these super little seeds xx

    • Yes, definitely Karen! I think that fruit (figs and berries in particular) tend to be sweet enough without adding tons of sugar. In terms of jam, the extra sugar content is often also for ‘preservation’ (to stop bacterial growth) and to assist in ‘gelling’ the jam, but the chia seeds do the work in terms of consistency. Not sure how long the jam keeps for at this stage but, well, with something this delicious I need not worry! x

  16. You beat me to it! I was thinking of making a strawberry chia jam & serving it with scones! Your creation look,s utterly delicious too! Great minds think alike! Hey? MMMMMMMMM! Cool pics too! :)

  17. A gorgeous creation Laura. I have chia seeds in my smoothie every morning. I soak them overnight and add them to my fruits before blending. I don’t make jams but I think I need to make this one. Especially after imagining how delicious it is with figs. Bookmarking! I really love your photographs in this post. Colors are fabulous. :)

    • Oh, great idea to soak and blend Seana. It’ll stop your smoothie from turning into custard, like a friend of mine experienced a while ago! The jam is super easy to make. Hope that you enjoy it (oh, and I was really happy with the colours in this post also. The background is a hand-painted textile from an Australian designer in Melbourne, Bonnie and Neil http://www.bonnieandneil.com.au/) x

  18. Very interesting! I’ve read about chia seeds and putting them in jam before, Now that I’ve seen it here in your blog too, I”m going to keep an eye out for it and see if I Can put it in my jams too. Your jam looks delicious by the way. xx

  19. How did I miss this?? I can probably make this with dried figs with a bit of tweaking (ie longer cooking time with more water, before adding chia seeds)? Fig jams – in all their variations – are so good, I could eat them with a spoon. :-)

  20. I’ve been wanting to try chia jam for a while now but I hadn’t thought of doing it with figs…yum! Great recipe Laura.

  21. I can’t think of a better way to use Chia seeds and figs. This is gorgeous! I can imagine the different textures in the jam not to forget the health benefits hidden inside this gorgeousness.

  22. Pingback: Something Beautiful // Strawberry, Banana and Chia Seed Jam | Papaya Pieces

  23. I’ve used chia seeds in my baked goods, and I’ve made a sort of pudding-like concoction with them…but it’s never occurred to me to make jam with them! I can’t wait to try this, thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Jennifer! Thanks for the note. Yes, the pudding concoctions are quite popular at the moment over here, too. I do prefer the jam though, mostly as the chia ‘gel’ quality isn’t quite as prominent atop some toast! Hope that you enjoy it xx

  24. Pingback: chia puddings with spiced apple butter + buckwheat crunch « Laura's Mess

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