I’ve recently been experimenting with Chia seeds. I kept reading about them on other people’s blogs until I just had to try some. If you’ve never heard about them and want to check it out – you can read about them on wikipedia. Basically, they’re full of omega 3 fatty acids (ALA), as well as fiber and protein. What’s awesome about them, is that they have this amazing ability to soak up water and form a gel. You can mix chia seeds in just about any liquid and get “chia gel”. I’ve done this with apple juice and vanilla almond milk. It’s a great, nutritious snack that will fill you up. On Tuesday evening, I made jam with chia seeds. A little background on me, I’m a serious jam fanatic. My mom and I like to make jam when we get fresh fruit, and in the past month I would say she made about 50 jars of peach jam. The only downside to jam, is that it has a TON of sugar. So anyone with diabetes or PCOS, or anyone who is just in general picky about what they eat, might not be able to enjoy jam as freely as I do (i eat so much jam….). Anyways, but with this method of making jam, you create a delicious, no sugar added, healthy product that can be enjoyed by just about anyone. Here’s the recipe:
About 3 cups blueberries or another fruit (I used frozen blueberries because every year my mom buys like 20 pounds of fresh blueberries and freezes them all, but fresh would definitely work. I can’t wait to try this using frozen blackberries….)
4 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp chia seeds
about 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1. Put fruit and agave in a large (deep) pot and bring to a boil. Turn down and let simmer for about 5 minutes. While it’s simmering, use a potato masher to mash up the fruit to a consistency of your liking.
2. Add in the chia seeds and stir well. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the chia seeds from sticking together (especially in the beginning), and also to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
You can see it’s still really liquidy at this point. Have faith though….chia seeds to the rescue….
3. Once the jam is thick enough, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
You can see how much it’s thickened up!
For a complete jam experience, keep the jam in adorable mason jars (I have a serious love of mason jars too, which I’m now realizing probably stems from my love of jam…..wow, crazy. never realized that before). The jam should be kept in the fridge and eaten fairly quickly (probably within a week or two but I’m not positive because i still have half a jar left). I found this to make enough to fill two 8 oz jars.
AMAZING!!! Let me know if you try this with another fruit!