I make a conscious effort every day to eat as healthy as possible and to make healthy food choices for my children. Ironically, I’m also quite aware of the “bad” food choices I make (I mean, I can’t make EVERYTHING from scratch!).
Well, after what I recently discovered, I decided it was time to at least make my jam from scratch…
One of those “bad” choices that I was making was jam…sugar-free jam no less! I’ve been using sugar-free jam for the longest time (obviously because I’m trying to limit our sugar intake) only to find out that it’s yet another food on the GMO hit-list!
That’s when the recipe wheels started turning…I’ve used chia seeds in many smoothie recipes in the past and have noticed that they do mimic jam with their chunky consistency. The first time I made this jam I soaked the seeds (which by the way are SO healthy for you and so easy to find!) in water until plump and doubled in size then mixed in the pureed berries…
Then I realized I could just mix it all together and let it sit until thickened (One less step off the preparation list!). This was the result:
This specific variation was my third go at the recipe…the first time I made it with fresh blackberries and the second with mixed frozen summer berries. All three variations are equally delicious!!
(Yields about 1 cup)
1 cup fresh organic blueberries (or frozen, thawed berries)
3 tbs. chia seeds
1/2 cup distilled water
2-3 tbs. liquid sweetener of choice (agave, honey, maple syrup
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
NOTE: If using frozen berries you will need to reduce the amount of water in the recipe because the frozen berries retain water, which you can add to the jam. Start with a 1/4 cup of distilled water, allow to set in the fridge for an hour or so then add more water (1-2 tbs. at a time) until the chia seeds have softened completely.
NOTE: If using fresh berries, remove any residue by soaking them in a vinegar and water solution (1 part vinegar: 3 parts water) for 5-7 minutes then rinse thoroughly with warm water.
Blend berries in a small food processor until very smooth. If you prefer a chunkier jam, simply pulse them until you get the desired consistency.
Transfer the blueberry puree to a small bowl, add the chia seeds, water, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of sweetener.
Mix until combined. Taste and adjust sweetener if desired.
Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap (or store in an air-tight container) and let sit in the fridge overnight or for at least 4-5 hours until the chia seeds have doubled in size and are fully softened.
*You will know the chia seeds are fully softened because they should be plump and soft and sort of “pop” in your mouth rather than have a crunchy bite to them.
It might take some getting used to this jam as it oozes “health”, meaning it’s neither super-sweet nor fake-tasting, which many of us, including myself, have grown accustomed to!