Late spring -- early summer means berries, berries everywhere. And one of my favorite ways to use blackberries is in this fast and easy blackberry chia jam.
There's nothing like fresh, homemade jam to showcase your finds from the farmer's market, garden, or even grocery store, and it's ridiculously easy to make.
If you want to make homemade jam in a traditional way, with pectin to gel it, I highly recommend a low-sugar pectin like Pomona's. It allows you to get a nice gel without lots of sugar. I use it to make my Peach Jam with Lavender and Honey and my Sugar-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.
But there's also chia jam. It's a simple 2- ingredient jam that's not only super simple and convenient but also super healthy. In fact, you can say it turns jam into a healthy food.
If you aren't familiar with the tiny Chia seed, it's a great source of fiber and healthy omega-3 fat - and it's a quick and handy way to thicken liquids.
Mix those little seeds into any liquid, including fruit juice, and they kind of dissolve a bit, swell and absorb some of the liquid, and turn into jelly. I know, it sounds totally like a lab experiment, but trust me.
This jam is so simple, and it requires only two ingredients, unless you want to get a little bit fancy, then you can add a few more.
Or unless your fruit is tart-sour, then you should maybe think about adding a little sweetener. But if your fruit is sour, it's probably winter, so just use frozen fruit. It'll be sweeter.
Just take your berries (or whatever fruit you have in abundance), place them in a saucepan, boil, reduce the heat, simmer for about 10 minutes, mash them, and add some chia seeds. Really.
We're jamming'. Don't add any sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave, regular old sugar) until after you taste the cooked berries. You might or might not need any more sweetness.
Feel free to be creative and add several types of fruit. Or a few drops of almond or vanilla extract. Or some fresh herbs while you simmer your jam. Lavender is always lovely. Or thyme. What do you like? Keep this in little jars in the refrigerator, or give one to a friend for a sweet gift.
Blackberry Chia Jam
- 12 ounces blackberries about 2 cups
- 1 tablespoons chia seeds
- optional: 2-3 tablespoons of any sweetener honey, maple syrup, sugar, agave or stevia to taste
- Rinse berries and remove any that are over-ripe. Place them in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. No additional water is needed, unless the berries don't give off much juice.
- Reduce heat to low, cover pot and let berries simmer for about 10 minutes or until softened.
- Remove from heat and mash berries with a fork. If a smoother jam is desired, puree them in a food processor and strain off any solids.
- Taste berries and add sweetener if necessary.
- Add chia seeds. Stir to combine well and let fruit cool for about 15 minutes.
- Spoon thickened jam into jars, and store for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.