Monday, May 6, 2013

Recipe: Strawberry/Blackberry Chia Seed Jam (Or How to Dye Your Wooden Spoon in 15 Minutes)

Pinterest is one of the coolest inventions of this century. I find the most interesting things while browsing--things I never would have thought of otherwise! A more recent discovery was Chia seed jam. Now, historically, I have not been a jam person. "I'll take a PB&J, please, hold the J." It's usually very sweet, contains no recognizable fruit, and has a strange consistency (I get freaked out by things that hold their shape when they come out of their container). BUT, this recipe had Chia seeds in it, and if you don't know, they have this strange property where when they're exposed to water, they swell and form a gelatinous outer layer. This makes them incredibly cool (in a science experiment-y kind of way) aaaaaand perfect for instant jam!

Now, as far as I know, you shouldn't try to can this recipe. It's more of a freezer-jam-style recipe (although I haven't frozen it yet, so I don't know how well that would work). Contact your local Extension Agent before you try canning this to make sure it's safe.

I stuck pretty close to the original recipe, but then again, that's easy to do when there's only four ingredients! And it's hard to mess up when there's only four ingredients!  And there's no worry about the perfect sugar/pectin ratio.  I'm pretty sure this jam will set every time.  Every. Time.  (Can I get a Hallelujah?)  Oh yes, aaaaaaaand it tastes like REAL FRUIT!  (Hallelujah!)

Strawberry/Blackberry Chia Seed Jam

By the Spares

Adapted from Magical Blueberry Vanilla Chia Seed Jam by Oh She Glows

16 oz. Fresh Strawberries, chopped in 1/4" pieces
12 oz. Fresh Blackberries
1/4 to 1/3 c. Sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries)
2 T. Chia Seeds

Combine fruit and sugar in a medium pot on medium heat.  Smash berries with a wooden spoon and cook until juice comes to a low boil.

Stir in Chia seeds and simmer for 15 minutes, until jam is thick.

1. Store in an airtight container.  Lasts 1 week in the fridge.
2. I like to enjoy this on buttered toast or stirred into plain Greek yogurt! (Hallelujah!)
3. I found a big bag of Chia seeds at my local organic food supply store.