Traditionally made jam needs lots of sugar, boiling, simmering and pectin to help it set. My chia jam recipe is far easier. All you need is fruit, sweetener and chia seeds and you can whip up a quick jam in less than 10 minutes. Not only is it far simpler to make than regular jam, but it is actually remarkable healthy! Chia seeds are incredibly nutritious – think fibre, protein, minerals and omega 3s – and they naturally want to become a jelly-like substance. As they absorb liquid, they swell up and create a little jelly bubble around themselves. If you prefer a smoother jam then just blend it up in a smoothie maker or with an immersion blender before putting it in jars.
The only downside of making chia jam rather than traditional jam is that it doesn’t last as long. But you can freeze it in portions or just make smaller batches and use them up within a week. As it’s so simple and quick to make, it’s really no bother to make lots of little batches as you need them. This also provides opportunity for playing around with seasonal fruit and fun flavour combinations. Today I made raspberry, pear and ginger chia jam. My favourite is probably a classic cherry chia jam…especially on almond butter toast. What combos will you try? Let me know in the comments.
- about 2 mugs of fruit of your choice (I went for 3 ripe pears and a mug of frozen raspberries)
- the juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- maple syrup to taste (or sweetener of your choice)
- optional added flavours (I went for some freshly grated ginger but leave plain or match your added flavour to your fruit eg apple and cinnamon, rhubarb and vanilla, plum and star anise, raspberry and rose petals…)
Prep your chosen fruit (rinse, peel and core or deseed/stone if needed) and put it in a pot. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice and if you like, some natural flavourings like ginger, vanilla, rose, cinnamon…
Put the pot on the highest heat and bring the fruit to a rapid boil then turn down and simmer for 5 minutes or so until mushy. If your fruit is quite dry (eg apples) you may want to add a splash of water. Stir well with a wooden spoon as you go.
Mash the fruit to your desired consistency, take the pot off the heat.
Sweeten with maple syrup or another sweetener to your taste and add the chia seeds.
Stir well then allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid.
Pour the hot mixture into a jar, put the lid on and once it’s cool keep it in the fridge and eat within a week.
It’s brilliant on toast or dolloped onto porridge or yogurt for breakfast. You can sandwich a sponge cake with it or make jam tarts. Enjoy!