February 15, 2017

Mixed Berry Chia Seed Jam


My very first cookbook was a gift from my cousins (Kat and Diana!), and like all good, classic (and British) cookbooks, there was a section about canning and making jams at the back. I remember how surprised I was then as I read through the recipes and methods - making jams seemed like a pain, with the sterilization of jars and candy thermometers and blah blah blah...not to mention that the recipes all called for copious amounts of sugar.

My lazy alternative? Chia seed jam, which calls for frozen berries (organic is best, because pesticide levels for berries is high, and getting frozen ones is more economical), little effort, and chia seeds, which I'm struggling to use up during school breaks. The chia seeds drink up the liquid from the berries and serve as a thickener, something that sugar would normally help with. I personally don't think that this recipe needs added sugar, but if you do want to balance the tartness of the berries, feel free to add a sweetener of your choice to taste.

Recipe: Mixed Berry Chia Seed Jam

2 cups of frozen mixed berries (I had a bag of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)
splash of water

4 tablespoons of chia seeds
a clean, dry mason jar
(opt) fine mesh sieve

Add the frozen berries and a splash of water to a small saucepan. Heat the saucepan on medium until the berries have released their juices and have softened. If the saucepan heats up too quickly and the berries begin to burn, add a bit more water.

Let the mixture cool for a few minutes before adding it to a blender and blending until smooth. Run the berry juice through a fine mesh sieve into the mason jar (I recommend doing this; though the seeds add some nice texture, it can be a bit too much. You can sift half and mix with the other half with seeds, too.).

Mix in the chia seeds, and stir thoroughly. Let the jam cool at room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator - the jam will likely have set by then!

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