A child spreads wild blueberry jam on toast as part of a Canada unit study after reading Wild Berries by Julie Flett.

Cooking with Kids: Wild Blueberry Jam

With just 3 simple ingredients, it’s incredibly easy to make your own wild blueberry jam at home. Best of all, Julie Flett’s recipe from her book Wild Berries is all natural.

During our Canada unit study, we read a lot of picture books. I’m grateful our library had so many books written by Canadian authors available for us to borrow.

Children's books for a unit study on Canada
Shown above is just a small selection of some of the books we read during our study of Canada.

My children were particularly drawn to several books written and/or illustrated by Julie Flett, a Cree–Métis author and illustrator who writes about the life and cultures of indigenous Canadians.

Imagine our delight, then, when we were reading her book Wild Berries and stumbled across a simple recipe for Wild Blueberry Jam!

A child records Swampy Cree words in her learning journal using the book Wild Berries, written by author and illustrated Julie Flett.
Using several of Julie Flett’s books, my third grade daughter decided to record a list of Swampy Cree words in her learning journal throughout our study of Canada.

Unlike many other jams, the ingredient list in Julie Flett’s recipe is all natural. It calls for maple syrup rather than sugar and does not require commercial fruit pectin.

Instead, the recipe relies on the blueberries’ natural pectin to thicken the jam. This means it may not be as thick as you’re used to. Our family didn’t mind its thinner consistency though, and my kids actually liked that it was a bit easier to spread on toast than any store-bought jam we’ve had in the past.

Wild blueberry jam ingredients are ready to be mixed. Image shows an illustration from Julie Flett's book, Wild Berries.

The recipe does, however, call for wild blueberries. If you do not live in an area where wild blueberries naturally grow, no worries. You should be able to easily purchase them from the frozen fruit section in your local supermarket.

Wild Blueberry Jam

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. This means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Wild Blueberry Jam

You can find the recipe for Wild Blueberry Jam in Julie Flett’s book, Wild Berries. Be sure to check out some of the other books she’s illustrated, including A Day with Yayah, On the Trapline, and The Girl and the Wolf.

Check it out >

Tools you’ll need for the wild blueberry jam

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons or Beakers

Just a few ingredients

  • Wild blueberries
  • Maple syrup
  • Lemon juice
  • Wild mint (optional)

Tips

  • When cooking with children, I find it helpful to have them pre-measure all ingredients before beginning to prepare the recipe. If you plan on doubling or halving the recipe like we’ve done, this is also a great way to incorporate some hands-on, practical math in your home!
  • If you’re using frozen blueberries in this recipe, be sure to allow time for them to completely thaw.
  • Since the jam needs to cool completely, you may want to prepare it the night before. Both my kids preferred the jam after it had been refrigerated overnight.

How to Make Wild Blueberry Jam

Step 1: Measure all the ingredients before preparing the recipe. We ended up splitting the wild blueberry jam recipe in half and omitted the wild mint. It was a great way for my oldest daughter (8) to practice dividing fractions.

A child pre-measures maple syrup when making wild blueberry jam.
A child measures lemon juice while making wild blueberry jam.

Step 2: After measuring, mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Child begins to mix ingredients to make Wild Blueberry Jam following the recipe found in Julie Flett's book Wild Berries.

A child adds maple syrup to make wild blueberry jam. Julie Flett's recipe contains no sugar and no artificial pectin, making it an easy recipe to cook with kids using simple, all natural ingredients.

Step 3: Transfer all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Step 4: Once the jam is boiling, turn down to a simmer.

Step 5: Simmer for at least 20-30 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Step 6: Once the wild blueberry jam is cool, place into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Wild blueberry jam in a glass jar

We spread our wild blueberry jam on toast and enjoyed it alongside a cup of tea for a mid-afternoon snack. Then my kids asked for it again for breakfast the next few mornings, so the recipe is definitely a keeper in our home! They even suggested serving it alongside our pancakes which we’ll probably try sometime soon.

I really appreciate this recipe for wild blueberry jam includes ingredients we typically always have on hand, minus the mint. We may try to grow our own mint this year; then we’ll be able to perform a taste test and see which version of the wild blueberry jam we prefer.

Although this wild blueberry jam recipe is not as sweet as what you may be used to if you usually eat store-bought jellies and jams, neither of my kids minded. It was just a simple observation they made while they were licking blueberry jam off their fingers and smacking their lips. 😉

If you’ve made this recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please share your experiences below!

Check out more resources for Canada:

The Global Explorers Club

Canada