After having made this Gluten-Free Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake Tart, I've been putting the jam topping recipe I used on it to good use. My makeshift easy vegan paleo blueberry jam topping for that tart actually made for a really nice jelly spread! I've made similar jam recipes before, but I never used agar agar flakes in them, and while they usually tasted very good, they also sometimes happened to be a little runny for my liking. Agar agar flakes made all the difference here.
I've been enjoying this blueberry jam since and I think it makes a wonderful spread for toast, a topping for tarts and cheesecakes, and a great filling for pie. It can of course be made with any other berry too, so it's a very simple and versatile recipe to have on hand, which is why I decided it deserves a blog post of its own. I've tried it out with strawberries and rhubarb, with raspberries, and with wild blueberries so far. You can also add some ground vanilla bean (or some pure vanilla extract, etc.), cinnamon, and any other spices to the mix if you're feeling adventurous. Can't wait till actual berry season to make wild berry jams and spreads out of it!
Note: the agar agar flakes help the jam to gel up a bit as it cools in the fridge. You can skip it if you'd like and you'll still end up with a very nice jam, but it'll be a bit runny. The lemon juice helps things to gel a little too, so don't skip that.
P.S. You may want to also check out this Vegan Paleo Balsamic Raspberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe.Print
Easy Vegan Paleo Blueberry Jam, Refined Sugar-Free
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 25 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 cups blueberries (I used frozen wild blueberries, but any fresh or frozen berry will do)
- ¼ - ⅓ cup maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp agar agar flakes
- Place all the ingredients except for the agar agar into a small sauce pan. Heat over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to mix everything together. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the liquid has reduced a bit, stirring occasionally to mix all the ingredients together.
- Add in the agar agar flakes and stir until the flakes are dissolved (should just take a minute or two). Remove from heat and transfer into a glass jar or bowl. Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature and then place in the fridge. The mixture will thicken and become more gel-like as it cools in the fridge overnight, though it can be enjoyed while still warm too (though it'll still be a little runny until it has time to set in the fridge).
I wondered about adding citric acid as a preservative? I have a lot of sloes and blackberries to turn into something, preferably without the sugar. I’m going to try to adapt your recipe for those, thanks 🤞🤞😀
Awesome, enjoy it, Em! :)
could I use agar powder? How much?
Also. This doesnt make much...doubled it and still not enough for the bliss ball recipe. Maybe update both?!
Hi Laura. Yes, you can use agar powder. usually 1 tbsp of agar flakes = 1 tsp agar powder. As for the quantity for that specific recipe, you might need to triple or quadruple the batch, since that recipe calls for 1 cup of jam so seems like tripling should be just about right.
Thank you so much for this recipe. I've been looking for one without added refined sugar and came across yours. Just got myself 15lbs of fresh local blueberries and will definitely make this for my family. I'm just wondering if there's a way to make the jar last longer than 2-3 weeks in the fridge, such as by hot-bathing the jars probably? I've never made jams so very excited to try this!
Hi Sue, I'm so sorry to get back to you so late, but better late than never :)
I haven't tried canning this recipe. To be honest, I just wasn't sure how well-preserved a maple syrup based jam would be (since in normal jam it is the sugar that acts as a preservative). However, I do make large batches of maple-based jams all the time and just fill up the jars 2/3 of the way, cool, seal, and freeze. They'll last a looooooong time that way.
Thanks so much, Audrey, for even replying to my message! I will try freezing, sounds easier to make it last longer. Thanks again for the recipes!
No worries, Sue. It is very easy :) Just make sure not to fill the jars all the way (2/3s of the way is good) and cool them off before freezing so they don't explode..
Thanks so much, Audrey. I've just done one batch for blueberries and frozen it away for the winter!
Is the added sugar necessary to make the jam, or can I omit since I am using super sweet blueberries? I'd keep the lemon and agar agar flakes, or is the sugar to balance out the lemon then? Thanks.
Hi Hiroshi. It does help the jam to turn "jammy" in texture as the mixture cooks -- otherwise, you'll just have a berry puree. You could definitely use less though to taste.
Louise G says
Hi Audrey - thank you for this recipe. I'm definitely making it, but w/o the agar agar flakes . Do you think gelatin would work here? I'm going to try it, but just thought I'd ask.
Thank you again.
It depends on your purpose / what consistency you want to achieve with it. If it's just for use within a recipe, you can get by without the agar agar or a substitute. I added the agar to replace pectin (as it's not something I find easily where I am) and help the jam be a little be more like a jelly in texture) for spreading, etc. I don't work with gelatin, but it is very similar to agar so I imagine a bit would work just the same. But too much and you may end up with jello...
Louise G says
Thank you Audrey - will try it today.
Louise G says
Made it, tastes great - will double it for next time as it didn't fill the jar. Used the gelatin and so far so good. Just put in fridge so will have to let you know if it gets too gelatinous! Don't think so the way it tastes now. I only used 1 T of gelatin in your original recipe.
Great -- I'm glad it worked out for you! :)
How long does it keep?
2-3 weeks in the fridge (I've even had it last longer, though usually it runs out much sooner). You can also freeze it in smaller batches and just defrost a jar at a time.
Gaye @CalmHealthySexy says
Thanks for sharing with the Let's Get Real Party. Our berry season has started, and I've been wondering how to make jam without any processed ingredients. I will definitely look into agar agar flakes.
Thanks Gaye. Agar agar flakes seem to be very versatile. I've used them in several recipes now, and I keep finding new uses all the time :). I also like the health benefits of agar agar -- it reduces inflammation, good for liver support, weight loss and digestion, good source of iron and calcium, amongst many other things, so why not include it whenever possible, right? ;)