Recipe: No-Sugar Chia Berry Spread

This berry jam-like spread is super easy. The chia seeds thicken this tasty spread without using sugar and gives it a healthy twist. 

Words: Kristina Jensen

When you don’t use sugar, a spread doesn’t keep long. I’ve found it tends to start fermenting. If you use frozen berries, you’ll need an extra half cup (2.5 cups) as they seem to decrease in size after thawing.

There might be quite a bit of liquid once they’ve defrosted – add this in too. This recipe can be made raw, or cooked.

Makes: approximately 2 cups
Time: 10-20 minutes


2 cups fresh berries
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp lemon juice
Optional: 3 tbsp sugar

METHOD: raw, no sugar

Mash berries with a fork to a consistency you like. Place them into a wide-mouthed jam jar. Add the chia seeds and lemon juice, then stir with a fork.

Place in the fridge and allow to ‘set’. The chia seeds will swell up and absorb the liquid, thickening the spread at the same time.

METHOD: cooked, sugar optional

Add the berries, chia seeds, lemon juice, and sugar (if you’re using it) to a pot. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to dissolve the sugar and get the fruit piping hot.

Wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly. Sterilise the jars in the oven (100°C for 15 minutes), and the lids in boiling water (for 10 minutes). Carefully ladle the spread into the jars and screw on the lids.

Keep in the fridge. Once opened, consume within a week. Larger batches can be frozen.

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NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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