Raw Sugar-Free All-But-Instant Raspberry Jam

Dips and Spreads
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It is DAY 27 of "I LOVE Vitamix" month, and we are on the home stretch of our Vitamix giveaway celebration. Just 5 days left to enter for your chance to win the best blender on the planet! 

Today we are celebrating with Vitamix Recipe #27: Raw Sugar-Free Raspberry Jam. Now, I don't eat preserves, jams, and jellies very often. But when I do, I always make my own, so I can control the quality of the ingredients and the level of sugar! I was at my friend Kris's house last year, and she was making home made apricot jam with a bucket load of fresh apricots her neighbours had dropped around from off of their trees. Kris is an AMAZING cook and has a real flare for flavours. Her home made apricot jam WAS delicious. But, as I was sitting at her kitchen bench watching her put cups and cups of refined sugar into the pot, I had to coat-check my liver and colon, and grab hold of my heart! I just about died! There is SOOO much sugar in jam!!!! WOW! 

So, I set about experimenting with all kinds of fresh fruits to create a quick easy sugar free raw vegan jam I could make in my trusty blender. Yes! Another way Vitamix saves the day. Yes! You can make 5 minute jams and jellies in your blender that are healthy! The secret ingredient in this jam is my beloved chia seeds. For those of you who have not used chia seeds -- get acqauinted!! These little beads of joy will become your new best friend!

When mixed with liquids, chia seeds are gelatinous in texture, and help to make things thicken and set. So they are great for use in puddings and desserts, and as a substitute for butter in baked goods. Not only are chia seeds functional, they are the richest plant source of omega 3 fatty acids, and are loaded with antioxidants, protein, fibre, and essential nutrients like calcium. Chia seeds are popular in the dieting world, as water chia puddings contain no calories and help to stave food cravings. Furthermore, the soluble and insoluble fibre has been known to help balance blood sugar levels. 

But the biggest selling point of this jam is the taste! You will never believe this is sugar free. It is important to mention that this jam is also free of pectin. I know quite a lot of people who are allergic to pectin. So, this jam has been a life saver for them! Trust me, this fruity spread is absolutely delicious, and tastes pretty darn close to the real thing, without all of the cooking time! It is SO quick and easy,  you will wonder why you ever made conventional jam! Better still, you are getting all of the benefits of the live enzymes and natural flavour of the fresh fruit. 

My favourite flavour is raspberry. But I have made jam in my Vitamix with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, apricots, figs, and all kinds of other fruits. The sky is the limit. Just remember, that the key to making this look like conventional jam is putting the fruit in at the end, and keeping the blender on low and pulsing. If you blend on high you will get a pudding! 

I love whipping this up when I have guests staying, or invite people over for brunch. I always make some crepes, muffins and toast, and blend up a variety of different flavoured jams. When people ask where I got the spreads from, I love responding, "Oh, I blended those up this morning in 5 minutes!" After jaws hit the floor, this is normally followed with a quick lesson, and several phone calls in the coming weeks from friends sharing their blends, "I just made blueberry jam and it was amazing!" I have friends all over town making their own "5 minute jams".

Find YOUR perfect "5 minute blend" and please share it here with everyone. I would love to hear what flavours you make. 

Raw Sugar-Free All-But-Instant Raspberry Jam

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  • 1/4 cup (60ml) coconut water
  • 1/2 cup (85g) firmly packed chopped pitted dates​
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 cups (320g) fresh raspberries (frozen don’t work well)
  • natural liquid sweetener (coconut nectar or maple syrup) *optional if needed
  1. Pour the coconut water into your blender (I use a Vitamix) and add the dates.
  2. Blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until the dates have broken up.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the container, then add the chia seeds and one-half of the raspberries. Pulse on low a few times, just to break up the berries.
  4. Add the remaining raspberries and pulse a few times on low to get a thick, chunky consistency.
  5. If the jam is too tart, stir in liquid sweetener to taste. Go easy, or the jam will get runny.
  6. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes—the chia seeds will thicken the jam and the flavors will develop. The jam will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Makes 2 cups (500g)

Tip: How to prevent sticking when chopping dried fruits

Chopping dried fruits such as dates, apricots and raisins can be a sticky mess. The fruit sticks to the knife, the board and your fingers. To get yourself out of a sticky situation just rub a tiny drop of cold pressed oil onto the blade of your knife. The fruit will slide right off after cutting.

OOOHHH!  This was soooo GOOD!  I can see this recipe made with blueberries, strawberries, or whatever.  Brilliant!  I love adding chia seeds to it.  Gives it nice bulk and texture.  Have an awesome day!

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Thanks Kibby!
Yes! I have made this with all kinds of berries and tons of other fruits! SO easy and SO delicious! Have a great weekend :)

LOVE! What a GREAT idea! I know I’d have leftovers, but guess I could just freeze them and use them for smoothies :-)

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I was thinking the same thing.  I wouldn’t use it all up in time - and I HATE to waste food!  Freeze some up and then toss into a some homemade nut milk and voila!  Have a tasty, quick smoothie (toss in some spinach for extra greens).  Sounds great!

Thanks Andrea!
Yes. This is a large quantity.
You can halve the recipe.
But going any smaller quantity than that makes the dates and coconut water harder to blend. But you can do it!
But I have frozen this too. Enjoy!

This was jam was just perfect. Nothing like home-made jams on a fresh loaf of warm wholemeal bread in the morning. Thank you for sharing.

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Thanks Patty!
I am so glad you enjoyed this.
How easy is that jam?
Great to have you here :)

Could this recipe be made with grapes to make grape jam? I was curious about grapes since they would be juicier than raspberries and strawberries. Would you add more dates to thicken the jam? I would attempt trying it out myself, but I don’t have a blender. Thanks in advance! Happy blending! Oink!

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Hey Jeanine,
You can make grape jam.
You would just adjust the quantities of dates to get the desired sweetness, and you would need a little more chia seeds to thicken it.
I hope this helps!
We need to get you a blender!

That looks so good!  I’ve only been using chia seeds the past month or so and I love finding new recipes.  Thank you.

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This is SO easy Vibeke.
YOU will LOVE it.
You can use all kinds of different fruits for variation. LOVE Chia seeds.
You can do SOOOO much with them and they are SOOO good for you!

Can you use frozen fruit ? Can the jam be frozen after it’s made or can this recipe be fermented so it will last longer?

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Tannya
You can use defrosted frozen fruit. You will just need to add less water and perhaps some more chia seeds. I find that the flavour and texture isn’t quite as good with the frozen fruit. But you can make it work for economics and convenience. I have not tried fermenting this mixture. But that is a fabulous idea.

Cant handle dates,is there anything else I could use?

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Hey Diane,
You could use any sweetener you like for this recipe. The dates are not an essential ingredient. I have used stevia. You could also use raw agave, yacon syrup, or anything else you like. Enjoy :)

Hello !!! can this reciep be made with oranges? and how long it could last on the fridge?? best regards!!!

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Yes! Marmalade is AMAZING. You just might have to adjust the quantities of dates a little.
This will keep in the fridge for about 5 - 7 days.

Thanks a lot Tess !!!  you are a very generous girl ...
: )
i´ll tell you about my coconut smoothy as soon i make it…

Of course! Thanks Karol.
I can’t wait to hear what you think :)

Love this recipe. I just linked to it from my blog. I had no idea chia could be used to thicken up jam.
http://dontmesswithmama.com/2012/08/20/meatless-monday-spicy-quesadilla-with-chia-seeds/

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Hey Tracey!
Lovely to hear from you.
Yes! This recipe is AMAZING and SO easy.
Thanks for giving it a shout out on your wonderful blog.

Great idea! I’ll have to try this (without coconut since I’m allergic) in my mini blender. :)

I’d add Stevia and remove dates, but only because as a raw vegan and wellness coach, I try to encourage people to use it as it doesn’t cause any kind of sugar spike. Keep it up!

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This is great with filtered water and stevia. Enjoy!

Has anyone tried this with apricots? It sounds fantastic! ;-)

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Yes! It is AMAZING. Just make sure you chop up the apricots if you are using a conventional blender. You will need to adjust the sweetener too. Enjoy :)

Thank you! Must try this , , , ;-)

Great! Please do, and let me know how you go :)

I was just asking myself today if I was up to finding a way to make my own jam/jelly that was free of refined sugar. SCORE! Here’s the catch though: My husband can’t eat seeds of any kind in their whole state. Would the chia seeds still thicken the jam if they were ground, say, in a coffee grinder?

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Yes, it should still work. You may have to use some more chia seeds to be sure. I grind chia seeds in my smoothies all the time and they still thicken. Let me know how you go.

Waheyyyyy! What a fabuloso recipe!  I tried it with strawberries and then with raspberries and the whole lot got yum-scrummed. Will be trying blueberries next!
I used frozen berries both times and they worked really well - the whole chunks had that gloriously gloopy, squidgy quality they have in ‘normal’ jam! ;)

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LOVE it. SO glad you are enjoying this recipe. It is such a winner! Try apricot. YUM!

shaman and the chef - Sep 22, 2013 at 02:18pm #

FYI I used a lot less dates and added some drops of liquid stevia and a little extra chia. Still fantastic! I am making frozen pb&j butter cups and also pb&j ice cream (both raw of course). Namaste

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Awesome. Thanks for sharing. It’s great to reduce the natural sugar content even more.

Hi, is it okay if we use peaches? Would the amount of dates and chia seeds be reduced? I have a LOT of peaches (peach tree) and need to use them.

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Sorry for my late response to this. Yes! Peach jam is delicious! You may have to tweak the sweetener depending on your fruit. I would keep the dates and the chia the same. You can always add more, and the jam will still taste fabulous and thicken.

do you have to use a vitamix- I don’t have one

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