Berry Chia Jam
By now, you probably already know why chia seeds are awesome. For one, these tiny, pinhead-size seeds are rich in omega-3s — and they’re incredibly high in fiber, to boot.They’re so high in fiber, in fact, that they can absorb approximately 10 times their size and weight in water.
These little super-soakers develop a gelatinous coating after they’ve taken in all that liquid, which lends itself to all kinds of interesting food uses. Puddings, smoothies, and — yep — a super-easy, healthy “jam” made with just berries, a little natural sweetener, and chia seeds. And that’s it!
So today, I thought I’d show you exactly how you can make your own chia seed jam.
Traditional jam relies on pectin to gel, and if you’ve made it before, you know that it can be a fussy beast. The right balance must be struck between the fruit (and the amount of natural pectin it may already have in it), sugar, added pectin, and acid in order to create the perfect consistency. It can take a lot of time boiling and stirring and fussing and ultimately possibly cursing over a stove. Not that I know anything about that.
But chia seed jam? It’s a piece of cake. And the result is a fruit spread with a similar texture as its predecessor, but it’s one that, to me, tastes more of the fresh, bright fruit it’s made of. Better yet, you can leave the sugar out entirely if you wish. Or if your jam needs to be a touch sweeter, pure maple syrup or some honey will do you just fine. Oh, and there’s also the nutritional boost that those super seeds provide.
- 3 cups of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries
- 1/4 cup pure coconut or agave nectar - more or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Clean and process your fruit, removing stems/seeds as needed.
- Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the fruit and sweetener (start with a little; you can always add more later).
- Heat fruit, stirring occasionally, until it begins to liquify, 5-15 minutes depending on your fruit. Allow the fruit to come to a boil, and let it continue to boil until it begins to break down and form a saucy consistency, about five minutes. If nccessary, carefully mash fruit with a fork or masher until it reaches the consistency you'd like.
- Taste your jam and see if you want to add more sweetener. Add a tablespoon at a time until you hit the right sweet note for your tastes.
- Stir in the chia seeds and let cook for another minute. Stir again, remove from heat, and let sit until thick, about 10 minutes. If the jam seems a little thin, add another teaspoon or two of chia seeds, stir, and let sit for another 10 minutes, but keep in mind that he jam will continue to thicken as it cools.
- To store, place in an airtight jam jar or other container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Can also be frozen for up to two months.