The art of canning is definitely something to keep practicing. Having food available despite there being power or water is always important as is enjoying the freshest fruits and vegetables at peak season. However, there is a quick, easy and wholesome way to enjoy jam now and anytime throughout the year without any canning needed - chia seeds.
Any fresh or frozen fruit can be combined with your favourite sweetener (honey, maple syrup, stevia, etc), fresh lemon juice, a dash of Himalayan sea salt, and ground or whole chia seeds. The chia will soak up the juices and provide the gel that we are used to from the pectin added to traditional jams.
Chia is also packed with fibre, omega 3 fats, antioxidants, calcium and protein – a real power house food! This jam is also much lower in added sugars than a traditional jam and tastes great using an unrefined sweetener. The color is also very vibrant because it hasn’t been heated (all the nutrients are still there too!). You can use fresh or frozen fruit allowing you to make it as you need it or make a large batch and freeze it for later use.
Enjoy Grandma’s jam recipe, but give this one a try too!
For each small jar of jam (1/2 pint):
2 cups berries (or try it with your favourite fruit), frozen or fresh (frozen works even better)
1 TBSP ground or whole chia seeds (white or black, it doesn’t matter)
1 TBSP of liquid honey (unpasteurized is best) or maple syrup, depending on the sweetness of the fruit
half of a lemon, squeezed
teeny tiny pinch of Himalayan sea salt (full of minerals with a delicate taste)
Put all of the ingredients into your jar and combine well with a fork. Let it sit at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes. Give it a good stir to distribute chia seeds and taste for sweetness. You are done! Enjoy on toast, with cheese, as a topping for dessert, as a flavouring for plain yogurt or straight from the spoon! This recipe is just a guide so make it your own.
If you have left overs, they can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or the jam freezes perfectly for months. If you are going to freeze in glass jars, ensure that each jar is only 3/4 full to leave room for expansion.
Recipe and post by Amy Buckman.