Forget the overly sweet jam in a jar. This 3-ingredient Cherry Chia Jam is so lush and easy to make (without added sugars or cooking!)
That’s right. No added sugar!
Have you ever looked at just how much sugar is in the average jar of fruit preserves or jam? It’s astounding, really. A peek at the label of a regular sugar-sweetened fruit jam reveals that a 1 tablespoon serving contains 55 calories and 12g of sugar (that’s more than 85% of the total calories coming from sugar). Sure, some of those sugars are from the fruit itself but when the second ingredient on the label is ‘corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup/sucrose/sugar/organic sugar, etc. you can bet your breakfast that much of the sugar is added sugar.
I know you wouldn’t pour 2 packets of sugar onto your morning toast. That’d be crazy, but that’s essentially what you’re getting in each tablespoon serving of regular jam or jelly.
Thankfully there’s a healthy alternative to that sugar-bomb condiment we all love. It’s our 3-ingredient Cherry Chia Jam. Made with just wholesome, unsweetened fruit and chia seeds. You can even make this 2-ingredient by using all one kind of fruit but I chose cherry and mango because I like how the sweeter mango compliments the more tart cherries.
And I like the numbers when it comes to sugar. A 2 tablespoon serving of this upgraded, healthified jam contains just 33 calories and 4 grams of sugar. For the record, I’m not a calorie counter but I am a dietitian and so I’ll use those numbers to illustrate my point. With this homemade version, you’ll get twice the serving (2 tablespoons instead of 1) and the amount of sugar you won’t be consuming is roughly equal to 2 teaspoons (or 2 packets) as compared to a store-bought, sugar-sweetend jam. Wow.
No cooking or canning required.
This Cherry Chia Jam is a breeze to make. The chia seeds, when added to the fruit puree, swell and thicken the jam naturally so you don’t have to boil, stir or mess with fussy pectin additives and all that sugar (seriously, the sugar.)
And while we’re talking chia seeds, let’s take a moment to look at what makes them such a powerhouse food.
Chia is my jam. Pun intended. I love chia seeds for their versatility and their health benefits.
A 1 ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds (roughly 2 tablespoons) provides 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and 30% of your daily needs for calcium, manganese and magnesium. All that for just 135 calories which makes them an excellent way to add fiber and healthy fats to a smoothie, puddings, overnight oats, yogurt or heck, even your jam.
Okay, but I digress. What you’re really here for is the Cherry Chia Jam so you can release yourself from the sticky holds of sugary store-bought preserves. You’re going to love this jam – it’s so simple and makes a mean nut butter + jam sandwich. Or you can just sprinkle a spoonful with a few nuts for a sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy treat that you can feel really good about.
Or you can really crazy and slather it all over one of these unbelievably amazing Crispy Grain-free Waffles (This is what you really want to do, trust me.)
Kick the added sugars to the curb and give this amazingly simple and surprising delicious 3-ingredient Cherry Chia Jam a try.
- 1 cup frozen dark cherries, pitted and thawed
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks, thawed
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
- Place thawed fruit and water in the container of a blender or food processor.
- Blend until smooth (or leave it a little chunky, if you’d like).
- Pour into a bowl or jar, add chia seeds and stir well.
- Place in fridge for 30-60 minutes or until thick and jam-like.
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Are you a chia newbie or chia lover? Leave a comment below with your favorite ways to use chia seeds.
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