Have you seen posts about chia jam? It kind of seems too good to be true–how can a super food as impressive as chia seeds also be the perfect thickener for jam?!
It’s 2019 and a great time to be alive. You no longer need loads of sugar to thicken jams and jellies! Plus, it’s SO EASY! And it uses frozen fruit, which is available year-round.
Chia seeds are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids (with 5,060 mg per serving). They are high in protein, fiber, and calcium, along with manganese, magnesium, and others (click here for source). The fiber in them that creates their gel-like texture when soaked is soluble fiber which helps lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). All that fiber not only prevents blood sugar spikes when eating, but also helps you feel full on fewer calories.
You might wonder if chia seeds need to be ground up in order for their nutrients to be absorbed. According to an article by Harvard, the surface of chia seeds is delicate and opens with moisture, so they are digested well in their whole form, with no need to grind them. This is unlike flax seeds, which have a harder shell and give better nutrition when ground up.
You can use your favorite berries for this jam, or a mix. I use a bag of organic mixed frozen berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries) from Costco that we always have on hand anyway for smoothies and oatmeal. Berries in particular have a lot of pesticide residue on them, so if at all possible, try to buy organic frozen berries. You can try mixing in mashed mango, peaches, pineapple, kiwi–whatever you like! Chia seeds absorb the juice of any fruit.
It is delicious on pancakes, toast, stirred into oatmeal or yogurt, on a PB&J, or on cornbread (recipe coming next week!).
Just berries and chia seeds makes for the healthiest jam ever! Spread it on toast, pancakes, cornbread, sandwiches, etc.
- 3 cups frozen berries
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- maple syrup, honey, orange or lemon juice (optional)
Put the frozen berries in a large bowl. Let them thaw completely, either by microwaving them for about 3-5 minutes, or letting them sit on the counter for about 3 hours.
You can add a few tablespoons of honey or maple syrup, if desired, to make it perfectly sweet to your taste. A tablespoon of lemon juice , orange juice, or orange juice concentrate adds some depth of flavor, too.
Mash the berries with the back of a large spoon, a potato masher, or a fork. Stir in the chia seeds. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or until thick and the chia seeds are completely gelled and soft, not crunchy.
Keeps in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.