This quick and simple cranberry chia seed jam is seriously so goooood! Cranberries, by nature, are tart and that is exactly why I love this jam. The final product is also a stunning color!
Why Chia Seeds?
Jellies and jams are typically made with the addition of a thickener called pectin. Pectin is a starch which can be naturally occurring in certain fruits like pears, apples, and citrus fruits. Berries do contain pectins as well, but in a lower amount. You can also buy powdered or liquid pectin which helps fruit jams to thicken. Without pectin, you need a lot of sugar to get it to the right consistency.
Chia seeds make this jam hold together nicely without having to use any pectin or refined sugar. The dry chia seeds have a covering on them that expands into sort of a gel when they’re wet. They can hold up to 10 times their weight in moisture. Therefore, this jam thickens up nicely without having to use pectin or a ton of refined sugar. Chia seeds are also chock full of Omega-3s, protein, and fiber. A true superfood!
How to Serve This Jam
Well, the obvious answer is to serve this at breakfast with breads like toast or bagels. A few weeks ago, I was gifted some gluten-free sourdough bread from Zukee Kitchen. That bread smothered with butter and this jam is what dreams are made of! I think this would also be great as a spread on a charcuterie board served with a variety of creamy cheeses and crunchy gluten-free crackers!
I actually used this as my cranberry relish on my Thanksgiving day plate of food and the flavor and texture was perfect.
All you need for this recipe is fresh cranberries, maple syrup, orange juice, honey and chia seeds. There is no refined sugar in this recipe. And you’ll be able to whip it up in about 10 minutes on the stovetop.
Easy Cranberry Chia Seed Jam
- 2 Cups Fresh Whole Cranberries - Most small packages come in 8 ounce sizes which is equal to 2 cups full
- ¼ Cup Water
- ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice - Optional
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
- In a small saucepan on the stove, mix together the fresh cranberries, water, and maple syrup over medium heat until it starts to boil. Stir consistently for about 5-7 minutes until all of the berries "pop" and split open. If any berries are still not opened, squish them with a fork against the side of the saucepan.
- Add in orange juice and honey and stir together.
- Add in the 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and mix until they're all well-incorporated in the berry mixture. Let this sit for about 10 minutes until it thickens up. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight jar. This will stay good for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator, but it so good that it definitely won't last that long!
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Here are some other fun gluten-free recipes that are perfect for the holidays: