Easy Summer Jam

Intimidated by canning? Still want to savor fresh summer fruits all year long?

chia jam

 

Well you may be surprised at how easy it is to make Jam with any fruit…….The secret is Chia.

Yep the same seeds that we used to see being sold on TV that was grown into funny shapes are finally getting the respect they deserve. If anything is a superfood, it’s chia seeds. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, rich in fiber and protein, and — most important for our jam-making purposes — they turn any liquid into a thick gel. That’s right — chia seeds will absorb several times their mass in liquid, creating a jelly-like substance in the process. So when making fruit jam the chia seeds do all the work.

chia seeds

Is it like Regular Jam?

Not exactly. It’s a bit looser and more sauce-like. And while it does thicken in the fridge, it will never thicken to quite the same consistency of regular jam. But don’t worry, you can still spread it on toast, spoon it over yogurt, or stir it into oatmeal.

chia jam on toast

Added benefit

Chia jam is — or at least can be — much less sweet than regular jam. Since we’re not relying on sugar to help set the jam, we can add as much or as little sweetener as we want. Honey, agave, maple syrup, or regular sugar can also all be used.

And it’s all so much easier than you think..

Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups

What You Need

Ingredients
2 cups chopped fruit
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons honey, agave, maple syrup, or sugar, to taste
2 tablespoons chia seeds, plus more if needed

Equipment
Measuring cups and spoons
Spatula
Saucepan
Potato masher, optional
Glass jars or other storage containers, for the finished jam

Directions

1. Prepare the fruit as needed: Remove stems, pits, seeds, and skin, as needed. Chop large fruits into small pieces. Berries can be left whole.

2. Cook the fruit until it starts to break down: Transfer the fruit to a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until the fruit breaks down and becomes syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes. Mash the fruit with the back of a spatula or a potato masher, leaving it as smooth or as lumpy as you like.

3. Stir in the honey and lemon juice: Off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of the honey and lemon juice. Taste and add more honey or lemon juice to taste.

4. Stir in the chia seeds.

5. Let stand 5 minutes, until thickened: This won’t quite reach the firm consistency of regular jam, but it will noticeably thicken. If you’d like a thicker consistency, especially with very juicy fruits, stir in more chia seeds 1 teaspoon at a time.

6. Transfer to a jar or other storage container: Once the jam has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about 2 weeks. The jam will thicken further and become more set once completely chilled. The jam can also be frozen for up to 3 months; thaw in the fridge before using.

Recipe Notes

No-cook chia jam: Mash the fruit with a fork until pulpy and juicy, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. You can also combine all the ingredients in a blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until the jam is completely smooth. Uncooked chia jam tends to be a bit looser and more sauce-like than the stovetop version; add extra chia seeds if you’d like a thicker consistency.

Getting rid of visible chia seeds: If you’d prefer not to have visible chia seeds in your finished jam, puree the jam in a blender or with an immersion blender. If you’d like to keep a somewhat chunky texture, blend just a portion of the jam with the chia seeds, then stir it back in with the rest of the jam.

recipe from: thekitchn.com

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