Raw Vegan Blackberry Jam




Introduction: Raw Vegan Blackberry Jam

Blackberry season has come to a bitter end here in Texas...literally! The few berries left on the brambles are bitter from sitting in the scorching Texas heat. The season was lucrative and I am passing on the wealth with this and many more blackberry recipes to come. 

I wanted to save the fruits of my berry picking labor for next season and will share canning instructions as well. If you want to maintain the "raw" integrity of this jam DO NOT follow the canning instructions and simply store in the fridge for up to one week.

Being I am a canning novice, to ensure proper procedure I used the info on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website as a  reference.

Check it out: http://nchfp.uga.edu/
or direct link for making jam and jelly here: 

Stevie, YOU inspire me. Thanks for being you. This one is for you pollito azul!

Step 1: Supplies

To make this Instructable which yields 2 jars of jam,  you will need the following:

2 C blackberries
1/4 C chia seeds*
1/4 C agave nectar*
1/4 C filtered water
2 TB lemon juice concentrate

Canning jars 
Jar rings
New lids
Large pot, mixing spoon & bowl
Measuring cup/spoon, tongs and ladle, potato masher,  veggie steamer (optional)
Cooling rack


Although this is a vegan recipe intended to use agave nectar, you can substitute any sweetener of your choice. In one of my trials, I used local raw honey as pictured.

Also, chia was used to thicken and stabilize the jam. I chose chia seeds over the typical pectin for its supreme nutritional value. According to http://www.salbasmart.com/salba-nutrition

Gram for Gram chia seeds provides . . .

325% more fiber than oatmeal
800% more Omega-3 (ALA) than salmon (EPA/DHA)
30% more antioxidants than blueberries (based on ORAC values)
1500% more magnesium than broccoli
200% more potassium than bananas

Step 2: Sanitize Jars and Lids

1. Fill a large pot with water. (Optional: Insert veggie steamer.)
2. Place jars in the water before coming to a boil so they can heat up along with the water to avoid breaking or cracking. 
3. Bring water to a rolling boil and allow 10 mins for sanitizing. 
(If you are at an altitude of 1000 feet or more, add 1 minute of sterilizing time for each 1000 feet of altitude.)
4. Carefully remove with tongs and place inverted onto cooling rack.
5. Add rings and lids and sanitize 5-10 mins. Remove with tongs and place on cooling rack. Turn burner off. 

Step 3: Measure, Mash & Mix It Up

1. Measure 2 C of washed and dried blackberries. Add to bowl.
2. Measure 1/4 C or 4 TB chia seeds. Add 1/4 C water. Mix and allow to thicken.
3. Meanwhile mash blackberries. 
4. Measure remaining ingredients and combine all.

Step 4: Fill & Seal

1. Using a ladle, gradually fill the jars. Be extremely careful to not soil the rims as it can impede the ring from sealing properly.
2. Alternate jars to ensure equal amounts. There should be 1/4 inch space from rim.
3. With clean, dry hands place lids on jars and lightly screw ring on.


4. Add jars upright to pot of water. Add more if necessary to cover tops by at least 1/2 inch.
5. Bring to rolling boil. Depending on your elevation the processing time will vary.

Follow Table 1 found at this link for time reference:


6. Using tongs, remove jars after sufficient processing time and place upright on cooling rack.

Step 5: Let It Chill

Allow the jars to cool a total 12-24 hours before handling. An occasional "pop" can/will be heard which means the jars have properly sealed.

If the vacuum seal is not drawn or "indented" and there is a clicking sound when depressing the seal this denotes the jars did not properly seal. No problemo! All the more reason to skip the shelf and eat it all up!

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    9 years ago on Step 4

    Not to be nit-picky, but doesn't it stop being raw on this step? Still vegan, sure, but not raw as the contents must be breaking the 140* mark.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Even though I like this 'ible a lot for its elegant simplicity and the combination with the chia seeds I have to note that one shouldn't use the word raw lightly.
    Boiling for 15-20 minutes will destroy the majority of enzymes and valuable life in those jars. And that's what eating raw is all about: eating food in a state that is as fresh and alive as possible.

    Also check out the debate about agave syrup: apparently high-fructose sweeteners are not healthy at all as fructose is one of the most problematic sweeteners when it comes separated from the fruit. Supposedly it is safe to consume along with the fibres and enzymes in the fruit, though. As you can tell I have to do more research in this but I thought you might want to as well.
    So, great move with the honey substitute!

    Again, I like this instructible a lot - would just love to see less raw foodists, like myself, come here attracted by the title and then disappointed by the last part.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi antioch... is there a way to make raw foods storable? May be a silly question. But, like you, I prefer to eat the raw, healthy stuff... but also want/need to store some of my jams. Thanks!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Dehydrating and freezing are they only ways. But naturally even they are detrimental to the nutritional value.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Well, I think maybe my answer is to freeze the fruit until I'm ready to make a new batch?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Shouldn't it be over 212? 165 is the level at which Shigella and Salmonella species are killed, but other bacteria an organisms will survive to 212, and some past that, for example botulinum spores. Though those spores require an anaerobic (oxygenless) environment in low salt, low sugar, low acid environments. More people die from botulism from home canning, than from commercial botulism poisoning. This is one area of endeavour where instructions need to be followed to the letter.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Correct, botulism thrives when stuff is heated but not heated enough. Literally, it all 'boils down' to almost everything getting killed and due to the lack of competition botulism has free reign. =)

    Hence the ingenuity of lactofermentation. Home canning without fermentation is bad not only because of the forementioned risks but also because so much good stuff is destroyed in the heating process.

    Check out Sandor Katz, a true legend and incredible resource.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love this diy!

    It's nice and healthy, and you can control the amount of sugar too! :)


    9 years ago

    Hi! My mom and I are gluten sugar soy dairy free and this was perfect for us, we used xylitol instead of agave and it's delicious. Thank you for this ible!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't know you could substitute chia for pectin. Great instructable with lots of info!! Nice work!