There are 2 slices of bread on a plate topped with vegan cream cheese and homemade cherry marmalade. On the side, there is a pale hand towel, a cup of coffee and a small bowl with more of the fruit spread.
Sauces, Dips and Condiments

Cherry Marmalade – Raw and Healthy

This cherry marmalade is so easy to make! It requires only 4 ingredients and will be your new favorite healthy spread for quick, but tasty breakfasts. The sweet cherries pair so beautifully with the zesty orange flavor while the chia seeds do all the work to reach that almost jelly like texture that spreads perfectly. Use fresh or frozen cherries!

There are 2 slices of bread on a plate that are spread with vegan cream cheese and cherry marmalade. On the side on the plate, there is a spoon with some of the spread. You can also see a cup of coffee and a pale hand towel on the side of the plate.

I find myself craving tart flavors often in the morning. I’ll make this strawberry and rhubarb oatmeal bowl regularly when the fruits are in season, but was looking for something with a similar flavor profile that I can reach for all year long.

This cherry and orange spread will definitively be perfect to suit that craving. I have seen my dad add large dollops of orange jelly on his toasts in the morning and realized I needed to give the marmalade idea a try.

But store-bought marmalades are so overly sweet and bitter! And making homemade marmalade the classic way takes some time and still requires a large amount of sugar.

So, here is my marmalade version: healthier and smoother in bitterness flavors with a delicious sweet cherry variation.

There are 2 slices of bread topped with cream cheese and a homemade cherry marmalade and you can see a hand holding a spoon that is pouring more of the fruit spread. Also in the background, there is a cup of coffee, a pale hand towel and a small bowl with more of the marmalade.

What you will need to make this cherry marmalade

  • Orange: You will need one large orange for the whole marmalade, which is much less than what you need for a classic marmalade recipe. Choose a Navel orange, if possible, for their extra sweet taste and juicy flesh.
  • Cherries: Sweet and bright red cherries are so delicious in this spread! Use fresh cherries when they are in season or otherwise grab a bag of frozen ones. Their unique sweet taste helps tamper the bitterness from the orange zest and balances the flavors.
  • Chia seeds: No pectin in there! With a little resting time, the chia seeds thicken the mixture into a jam consistency, no cooking required. You will get tons of omega-3 and fiber in bonus.

    I prefer to use chia seeds that are ground first to get a closer texture to jam, but I have made this recipe with whole seeds and it worked very well too.
  • Liquid sweetener: Skip the big load of white sugar that is traditionally used to make marmalade and add a hint of either maple syrup or agave nectar instead. You won’t need much added sweetener since the orange and the cherries are already sweet enough.

Making marmalade is complicated, isn’t it?

Not in this case. This is a fuss free, small batch, quick and healthy marmalade. It might not follow the rules of the making of a classic marmalade, but the flavors of that fruit spread is close enough and so addictive!

To make it, you will simply combine the ingredients using a food processor to a smooth texture and let it set in the fridge overnight if possible.

If in a pinch, you can let it rest only for 2 hours, but I recommend you plan ahead and make it the day before you want to enjoy it. Allowing the jam to rest overnight won’t only make sure it reaches a nice thicker texture, but will also helps develop a stronger flavor.

There is a small white bowl containing a red jelly mixture being mixed with orange zest (you can see a spoon stirring)

The texture of this marmalade is closer to the one of a regular jam when using already ground chia seeds.

To do this, blend a larger batch (about 1 cup) of whole chia seeds into your blender until you reach a flour looking mixture, then store in a air-tight container in the fridge.

What to do with all that ground chia seed? Bake with it! When a recipe ask for an egg, replace it with a chia egg. Works especially well for muffins, pancakes, cakes and cookies.

1 Chia egg = 1 tbsp ground chia seed + 3 tbsp water + resting time of 10 minutes.

How to eat this cherry marmalade

This spread is delicious simply on toasted bread, but you should also try it combined with vegan cream cheese.

Swap the sugary and processed store bought jam for this one when making peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches.

Or, top a simple breakfast oatmeal bowl with this spread to make your meal so much tastier.

There are 2 slices of bread on a plate topped with vegan cream cheese and homemade cherry marmalade. On the side, there is a pale hand towel, a cup of coffee and a small bowl with more of the fruit spread.


I hope you will love this Cherry marmalade recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it was.

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There are 2 slices of bread on a plate that are spread with vegan cream cheese and cherry marmalade. On the side on the plate, there is a spoon with some of the spread. You can also see a cup of coffee and a pale hand towel on the side of the plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Cherry marmalade – Raw and Healthy

This small batch and healthy cherry marmalade is so delicious with its zesty orange flavor and extra sweet cherries. Aside from letting the marmalade set in the fridge, this recipe is very fast to make, but still feels like a special treat.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Minimal fridge resting time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Breakfast, condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy, Low in fat, No granulated sugar, Vegan
Author: plantbasedjess

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 30 fresh or frozen cherries pitted
  • 1 large Navel orange juiced and zested (should give you about 1/2 cup of juice)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds see note
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup or to taste

Instructions

  • Start by preparing the ingredients: Zest the whole orange and set aside. Then juice the orange. Also, pit the cherries if using fresh ones and if using frozen cherries, start by thawing them for a few seconds in the microwave.
  • In the food processor, add 20 pitted cherries (keep the other 10 aside), the orange juice, ground chia seeds and agave nectar. Process until you reach a smooth texture, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the remaining 10 cherries and pulse once or twice, or until they are roughly chopped, but not completely processed.
  • Transfer the cherry mix in a medium bowl. Add the orange zest and mix well.
  • Let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the jam to set. Enjoy cold. Keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

Using already ground chia seeds will allow you to reach a jam texture closer to a regular store-bought consistency. I have used whole chia seeds while testing this recipe and the result was also great although with more texture (tapioca-like).

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2 Comments

  • Andrew

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. I prefer to eat things that aren’t processed and this gives me a great idea for a healthier treat.

    My suggestion has to do with the confusion between two verbs: to grind and to ground. The past of ‘to grind’ is ‘ground’, as in ‘already ground chia seeds’. The past of the verb ‘to ground’, is ‘grounded’, as in ‘he came home at 4 am drunk and his dad grounded him for a month.

    Best regards,
    Andrew

    • plantbasedjess

      Thanks so much for your comment Andrew! The mistake has been corrected. This is one of the challenges from blogging in my second language!

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