Say Hello to the easiest jam in the creation of all jams.
Here's the thing you guys (and something tells me I'm not alone on this), I've always wanted to make my own homemade jams, but always felt so discouraged by the canning process. The mess, the tools, the storage, the stockpiling, the WORK, it was just too much for my life. Plus, we just don't eat enough jam each day to justify the process.
(Plus, Trader Joe's sells the best Raspberry Preserves EVER)
But all this changed the day I learned about chia jam.
Ummmm, yeah, chia jam changes everything.
This beautiful ruby red goodness takes less than 25 minutes to make and all you need is a food processor (or potato masher) and a small sauce pot. NO canning equipment and only 3 ingredients.
So easy! My fa fa faaa favorite!
And, this sweet berry goodness stays fresh in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks. Since we don't eat tons and tons of jam, that leaves us the perfect amount of time to have our jam and eat it too, without any waste! You could probably freeze leftovers and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator, but I have not tried this personally, so I can't confirm that thawed jam will taste the same.
Desired sweetness and texture is completely up to you. I used very ripe, very sweet strawberries and preferred to limit the added sugar since, 1). my husband hates lots of added sweetness, 2). Octavian would be eating it and, 3). I wanted to experiment and see if we even needed lots of extra sugar. I ended up adding 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and that was all it needed. That's right, even my sweet tooth had no objections and Octavian gobbled it up!
In general, I prefer my jam to be less chunky; so I used a food processor to pulse the strawberries (plus I was feeling lazy), but a potato masher would also do the trick. Then all you need is 15-20 minutes of stove time and you're done.
No, seriously, that's it. The easiest, right?
OOOH! And fresh! This stuff tastes soo fresh, but DUH! Probably because it is fresh.
Now, if this is your first time adventuring over to the land of chia jam (hi! welcome!), let me explain one thing: chia jam will have a different consistency than traditional jams made with pectin and sugar. Chia jam, like this strawberry chia jam, will be a bit looser and sauce-like, and definitely less jelly-like. The jam will continue to thicken over time and you can always add additional chia seeds if you really want a thicker sauce. And despite its saucier consistency, it is still amazing smeared on your favorite breads and muffins or mixed in with yogurt and oatmeal (and ice cream).
In other words, make it. Unless you hate fruit or really easy recipes.
In other news...
I had a whole bunch of other stuff written, but a glorious rain storm cut the power and my draft didn't save, soooo, here I am. Meanwhile, my husband is trying to vacuum while our toddler hits the vacuum cleaner with his broom and the puppy is viciously attacking it from every angle.
I should probably help.
Trust me, I would rather be eating the jam (with ice cream).
Easy Strawberry Chia Jam
Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 15-20 minutes / Total Time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: approximately 1 cup
16 ounces strawberries, hulled and chopped
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (depending on desired sweetness)
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
water (only if needed)
Place chopped strawberries in a large food processor and pulse 3-4 times, or until berries reach desired texture (more or less chunky).
Heat the strawberries and maple syrup in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly bring to a low boil, cooking for approximately 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the chia seeds and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove jam from the heat, allowing it to cool and continue to thicken.
Delicious served warm or cold. Keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.