Last year at the Mother Earth News Fair I bought some blueberry jam from the Springbank Farm booth. It was incredibly delicious (clearly I was quite a fan since I had been thinking about it for an entire year) and this year when we went to the fair for the second time, I asked Michelle if she would be willing to share her recipe here. I’m happy to be sharing her recipe with you here today!
I love that this jam has such simple ingredients and I LOVE the way it tastes! Not only delicious, this jam is so healthy with the blueberries (one of the most nutrient-dense foods), superfood chia seeds, Vitamin C rich lemon and the raw honey. I also really like the consistency, making me think that chia seeds are a perfect pairing with jam. I have another friend who makes jam with chia seeds as well and I got to try her strawberry chia jam, which I also loved. You can substitute other berries in this recipe, but I haven’t experimented with any others yet because I’m so hooked on this jam just the way it is. (We’ve been enjoying it on these muffins.)
The funny thing is that for so many years, whenever readers saw how often I was sharing blueberry picking posts, they would ask me what we did with all those blueberries and what my favorite blueberry recipes were. I had none to share because we always froze all of our blueberries and our favorite night-time treat was a little bowl of frozen blueberries. We enjoyed our nightly bowl of blueberries so much that I didn’t use them any other way, except for the rare occasion I made blueberry muffins (though we finally have a working blender again so we’ll definitely be using them up in smoothies too.) Now I do have a favorite blueberry recipe, this jam!
The recipe Michelle gave me was modified from this recipe. Michelle’s version called for: 3 cups fresh blueberries, 1/4 cup raw local honey, scant 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1/4 tsp organic lemon juice, and zest of one lemon. I modified it just a tad from there and am sharing that below.
Blueberry Chia Jam with Lemon & Honey
-3 cups blueberries
-1/4 cup chia seeds
-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
-zest of one lemon
-3 tbsp. raw honey
Here’s what I did: I cooked the blueberries on medium heat for 5-10 minutes (it says until the berries start to burst, only some of mine did that.) Then I reduced the heat to medium-low, added the chia seeds, and cooked them for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. (Many of the blueberries were still intact, perhaps I could have turned my heat up a bit, so I just mushed the remaining berries with my stirring spatula.) In between stirring, I got my lemon juice and zest ready so that when I removed the jam from the heat they were ready to add. Lastly, I added the honey. (It made enough jam to fill a little more than one 8 oz. jelly jar and one 4 oz. jelly jar.)
A few notes:
I’ve made this recipe with fresh blueberries and also with frozen blueberries that I thawed. The recipe called for cooking the berries and honey together. I didn’t want to heat my honey because I wanted to keep all those precious enzymes intact, and didn’t want to destroy any of the benefits of raw honey with heat. I added the honey after I had removed the jam from the heat. (When I could touch the jam and not burn my finger, I knew I could add the honey and it would keep the enzymes intact.) That being said, the jam never got that hot, so it might of been fine to add it at the beginning, but I preferred to add my honey at the end. With the jam still being warm, it mixed together just fine.
I found 3 tbsp. to be a perfect amount of honey for our jam because I love it to be lightly sweetened. When the sweetness is light and subtle with the blueberries and a bit of honey, you can taste the refreshing lemon coming through. However, you might prefer your jam to be sweeter, so you can add honey to taste. (One of my dearest friends happens to be a beekeeper and her family’s business, Humble Bee Honey, is my favorite source for raw, unfiltered local honey. You can find them at the Lane County Farmer’s Market.)
I was working on writing this post the other day (and happened to be out of this jam) and while looking at these pictures, I could practically taste it. I had to go make another batch! Enjoy! & Happy Jam Making!