Berry Lemon Chia Jam

I started a new thing where if we’re out of something, I’ll try to make it from scratch. This doesn’t work for the obvious staples (like eggs. We go through 172 each week), but little things like almond butter and jam.

Berry chia jam

Berry Lemon Chia Seed Jam

One night, I was packing Livi’s lunch up for the following day and realized we had no nut butter on hand. A few food processors have died in the quest to make almond butter, but I finally learned the key: patience and rest. It’s going to take at least 5 minutes of boisterously loud churning, alternated with bouts of rest to let the processor cool down aka almond butter interval training. Let it cool down in between, or one of two of the following events will occur: the almond butter will have a charred taste to it (disgusting) or said processor will perish from the earth. I’d show you the finished product, but it lasted far less than it took to make it. Oops.

Another easy homemade creation: jam! I’ve been wanting to make chia seed jam for quite a while, especially since it’s a common recipe for this versatile seed. It’s also a reason to floss more frequently during the day 😉

Berry chia jam

This chia seed jam has a bright citrus flavor, along with a warm spice from the vanilla and cinnamon. It’s also sweetened with nature’s candy: medjool dates.

medjool dates

Homemade Jam with No Refined Sugar

I thought about adding in one of my beloved staple sweeteners to the jam (like maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar), but had some dates on hand. They’re lightly sweet and add a blast of nutrition, including iron, potassium, and Vitamins A and K. (Check out more benefits and facts about dates here.)

To make this jam, all you do is heat up a pack (16 oz) of frozen organic berries in a medium saucepan.

Trader Joe's Frozen Organic Berries

Bring the heat to high, and then after the fruit looks like a dry ice experiment,

berries and lemon zest

reduce the heat to low and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in a few long strands of citrus zest (they’re easier to pick out that way when it’s finished and infuse flavor into the jam), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and some date paste.

For the date paste, I’ll blend up 5 pitted medjool dates with 2 tablespoons water until it makes a thick paste.

Stir in 5 tablespoons of chia seeds, remove from heat, and let set for about 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature before storing, covered, in the fridge.

berry chia jam

Let me know if you give it a try. This jam makes an awesome sandwich spread,

Berry chia jam

pancake topping and sweet addition to a breakfast cookie.


Berry chia lemon jam

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A naturally-sweetened jam using nutrient-dense chia seeds.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20


  • 16 oz frozen berries of choice
  • a few strands of citrus zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • date pate (about 1/4 cup: 5 medjool dates pureed with 2 tablespoons water to make a thick paste)
  • 5 tablespoons chia seeds


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the berries on high until they reach a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and using a spatula to break up the fruit.
  2. Stir in the citrus zest, vanilla, cinnamon and date paste.
  3. Remove from heat and let set for 15 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool to room temperature before storing, covered, in the fridge.

This chia seed jam is made with berries and lemons for a bright and zesty flavor. It's sweetened with healthy dates, so there's no refined sugar!


Happy Monday!



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  1. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on June 9, 2014 at 7:16 am

    What a great recipe! Thanks for sharing. I definitely want to try making this.

    I’m also now incredibly scared to make nut butter in my new food processor! haha

  2. Brynn on June 9, 2014 at 7:27 am

    I love making homemade jam with my mother in law, but I’ve never tried adding citrus zest. What a great addition! I can’t wait to try it.

  3. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More on June 9, 2014 at 8:02 am

    YUM! I’ve seen a few chia jams floating around and they all look so good and pretty easy, I’ll definitely have to give it a try. I love the idea of trying to make something yourself instead of buying it when it comes to some staples or condiments in the kitchen. I’m trying to eat more and more real foods so this is definitely something I need to embrace, as well!

  4. Abi@AbsofSteel on June 9, 2014 at 8:02 am

    mhmm, it looks so pretty! I’ll have to try this out the next time I have chia seeds on hand.

  5. lucie on June 9, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I LOVE homemade Nutbutter – though I killed 2 processors cause of it too. I guess I need to practise patience for those rests…. 🙂

  6. Brittany on June 9, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Looks delish. I make chia jam all the time but haven’t ever tried it with date paste. I’ll have to try it next time!

  7. Samantha O'Hara on June 9, 2014 at 8:18 am

    172 eggs a week ? Crazy!

    • Fitnessista on June 9, 2014 at 10:00 am

      (exaggerating haha) we really go through 18 to 24

  8. Chicago Jogger on June 9, 2014 at 8:42 am

    This looks so easy and delicious- I have a bag of chia seeds in my cupboard but haven’t tried them yet. I think it’s time 🙂

  9. Livi on June 9, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I love those Trader Joe’s frozen berries! So easy for any recipe!

  10. Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} on June 9, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I love this homemade jam!! So good looking and so vibrant for summer!

  11. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on June 9, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I’m in love with this recipe. I don’t buy store bought jams either so this is perfect and om getting a little out if control on the nut butters!

  12. Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome on June 9, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Yum! I’ve been itching to make a homemade chia jam recipe and now that we are actually home can’t wait to do so! Plus it doesn’t hurt that it’s berry season around here 🙂

  13. mary on June 9, 2014 at 9:29 am

    The Vitamix doesn’t do well on nut butters? I don’t make anything that takes a long time in my Blendtec. I can’t stand the noise and thinking I’m frying the motor!

    I made the paleo bread recipe and the Pioneer Woman salsa recipes you posted last week. I have so much salsa, I’m eating it by the bowl like it’s gazpacho! lol Pretty good stuff!

    • Fitnessista on June 9, 2014 at 10:06 am

      the vitamix works well for larger amount, but for small amounts, it sticks around the blade and won’t blend. (in this case, i had about a cup of almonds left i was transforming into almond butter.) i should use it for large batches!
      hahah! it does make a lot! great party recipe, even though i’ve done the gazpacho thing too 😉

      • Masala Girl on June 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm

        what do you use for a small batch? when i made it in my vitamix, i think it was around 2-3 cups? and it turned out great! i used raw sprouted almonds from whole foods 🙂

  14. Rachel @ Blonde with a Chanse on June 9, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Awesome recipe! I just found your blog, and I love it! I am new to the blogging community, and still trying to find my niche with my own blog, but I love how you have your own voice. You’re inspiring!

  15. Hilary on June 9, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I love the idea of using dates in place of natural sweeteners!

  16. Julie on June 9, 2014 at 10:16 am

    How much jam does this make? Looks delicious!

    • Fitnessista on June 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      it was one of the smaller mason jars. half pint?

  17. Courtney Bentley on June 9, 2014 at 10:29 am

    HELLA YUM! This looks so freaking amazing! I just bought a bag of frozen cherries so may try cherry jam hope its just as wonderful 🙂 Lots of Love C

  18. RachelG on June 9, 2014 at 10:33 am

    omg i’m making this this week! 🙂 and holy crap…breakfast cookies! they used to be a staple but the bfast rotiation just hasn’t included them in so long. this needs to be ammended ASAP. 🙂

  19. YvonneJ on June 9, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Talk to me about the dates. I always hear people talk about them but for some reason they intimidate me? Maybe because I don’t know enough? Whole Paycheck for shopping? How do you store them….help 🙁

    • Fitnessista on June 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      trader joes has them, too! i store them in the fridge because they last longer. just pit and eat! so good with almond butter smeared on top, too 🙂

  20. Ashley Parrish on June 9, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Yum! This looks beyond good. I would spread it on everything! Thanks for sharing!!

  21. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat on June 9, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I love making jam, and love the addition of dates to this one. I can’t wait to try it!

  22. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on June 9, 2014 at 11:58 am

    never thought of adding dates to jam — looks beautiful!

  23. Laura T. on June 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    LOVE the fact that this is sweetened with dates and not granular sugar. I’ll definitely have to try out, thanks for sharing!

  24. Britt@MyOwnBalance on June 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I never thought about sweetening jam with dates before but what a great idea!

  25. Tracy on June 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I love this recipe and especially with my favorite frozen fruit blend from TJs! Can’t wait to try it 🙂

    I’ve made a LOT of nut butter and have learned a few tips as well. Roasted nuts are 10x easier to blend then raw as well and warm nuts in general. Sometimes I put them in the oven to warm up before I throw them in my Blendtec. Another tip…if a batch is having trouble coming together, I throw in a handful of macadamias. The high fat content makes the whole mixture blend easily and becomes really creamy. They don’t have a strong taste so doesn’t alter the final nut butter!

    • Fitnessista on June 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      awesome tips- thank you!

  26. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on June 9, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Looks delicious! I will definitely challenge myself to make something we’ve run out of. We rarely buy salad dressing anymore because of that. And now we’ve stopped buying hummus. Homemade is so much better, especially heated up!
    I love the analogy of interval timing the nut butter–good to know, both in terms of taste, as well as for flavor. Will keep that in mind! Thanks!

  27. Sara on June 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I could be mistaken but in your formal directions you didn’t say when the chia seeds are added. Only in the picture directions. Pretty stoked to try this! Another way to get healthy in kids? I’ll take it!

    • Fitnessista on June 9, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      oops, thank you for noticing! i’ll fix it 🙂

  28. Sarah K on June 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    My mouth started water while I was reading the title for this post. Yum!

  29. Amanda on June 9, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I’m excited to try this jam recipe. We are moving in 7 weeks so it will probably be post move. Currently, I’m in operation clean out the pantry and freezer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Alex @ Kenzie Life on June 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Mmm this looks so good! I’ve been wanting to make chia jam too, but I totally forgot about that option when I bought some the other day. My bad. I do love the lemon and berry combo and it seems like there are a million ways to make it so you never get bored! Have a great day, Gina!

  31. Polly @ Tasty Food Project on June 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    This chia jam looks delicious! I like how you sweetened it with cinnamon and vanilla extract!

  32. Kristen @ Vitamin K Girl on June 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Looks berry delicious! (sorry, just had to!:)

    • Fitnessista on June 9, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      heh heh

  33. crystal hodgson on June 10, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Not a huge date fan- and hard to find in BC (Canada!).

    How much maple syrup would you recommend for this as a substitute?

    Can’t wait to try!


    • Fitnessista on June 10, 2014 at 1:30 am

      i’d do a few tablespoons and taste test

      • crystal hodgson on June 11, 2014 at 12:13 am

        can’t wait to try it!

        cheers 🙂

  34. shaina on June 11, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    YUM! just bought a new bag of chia seeds today too. Done. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on June 12, 2014 at 2:21 am

      let me know what you think!

  35. Noelle on June 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I tried this and it’s fabulous! I used frozen raspberries as my base and added 1.5 tbsp of honey to soften the tart flavour but kept everything else exactly the same. Thank you for the recipe!

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