By Dreena Burton, Contributing Author
This jam is sweetened with only berries and dates. The dates also help thicken the jam, along with ground chia seeds. Try making it with your favorite summer berries!
Recipe reprinted from Plant-Powered Families by Dreena Burton, published by BenBella Books.
Photo courtesy of Nicole Axworthy.
Natural Vegan Blueberry Jam
By Dreena Burton
Makes 1¾–2 cups
- 3–3½ cups (roughly 1 pound) whole blueberries (can substitute raspberries, sliced/chopped strawberries, or a combination of the three; see note)
- ½ packed cup finely chopped pitted dates (see note)
- 2–3 pinches sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black or white chia seeds
- ½–1 teaspoon lemon zest to taste
- Extra sweetener to taste (optional; see note)
- Combine the berries, dates, and sea salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow the mixture to heat up so the fruit breaks down and begins to bubble, then reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer until the fruits break down further, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chia and lemon zest, and let cook for another 3–5 minutes until the chia helps the jam thicken. Taste, and add extra sweetener if desired.
- Let cool, then refrigerate.
Measuring 3 cups of berries can produce quite variable amounts—for instance, if measuring whole strawberries, just a few can fill up 1 cup. So, for larger berries like strawberries, simply slice them a few times or roughly chop before measuring. A standard 1-pound clamshell container of strawberries is 3–3½ cups chopped strawberries.
The dates will darken the mixture slightly if using strawberries or raspberries instead of blueberries. Still, they don’t darken it much, and also help thicken the jam. Give them a try: it’s a different twist on jam, but it’s delicious!
I don’t normally add extra sweetener, as I find the dates usually lend enough sweetness. However, depending on the type of berries used, and their ripeness, you may desire a touch of extra sweetener. Options include a few tablespoons of coconut sugar, a drizzle of pure maple syrup, or a few pinches of stevia.
Fresh Blueberry Squares
For even more blueberry goodness, try Dreena's Fresh Blueberry Squares recipe. They are vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, and oil-free.
Dreena says: "These delicious fresh blueberry bars are just sweet enough, and not overly rich. You can enjoy a square (or 2 or 3!) and not feel sickly.
You can also use frozen blueberries in this recipe, but while fresh blueberries are still abundant in markets, why not go for fresh?!"
About the Author
Dreena Burton is one of the pioneering vegan cookbook authors. Vegan for more than 25 years, Dreena is also a mom to three “weegans.” She has charted her journey as a plant-based cook and mother of three through five bestselling cookbooks, including her most recent and beloved title Plant-Powered Families. Dreena has also collaborated with renowned plant-based physician Dr. Barnard on The Cheese Trap, and co-authored their most recent Cookbook for Reversing Diabetes.
Specializing in oil-free, whole-foods vegan recipes, Dreena’s secret ingredient is her passion. Reputed for reliability, her recipes bring whole foods together in unexpected ways to yield delicious flavors and rich textures. Dreena’s recipes are regularly featured by groups including Forks Over Knives, Engine 2 Diet, UC Davis Integrative Medicine, Kris Carr, Blue Zones, The Humane Society, and The Food Network.
Connect with Dreena’s online kitchen and community at www.dreenaburton.com.