We’ve been making our own jam for awhile now. It’s not your usual jam, but instead it’s made from chia seeds. I give Olivia chia seeds soaked in water or almond milk for breakfast every morning, so I knew it would set with a jelly like consistency. And it’s often used as a binder and egg replacer in vegan recipes. So it made sense to work as a jam.
Why it’s good for you –
Chia seeds were a prized food to the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for strength, and the tiny seeds were valued for their energy-boosting properties.
GOOD FATS. Their high concentration of the plant-based omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is one of their major claims to fame. Chia seeds contain up to 40 percent oil, with 60 percent comprised of omega 3’s.
DIGESTIBLE. Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.
BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION. Apparently chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.
FIBRE. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is about one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.
PHYTOCHEMICALS. Chia seeds contain a number of phytochemicals including myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol, known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties, and caffeic acid.
I’ve been known to eat this jam from the jar with a spoon while watching TV at night ;) We also enjoy it:
- in smoothies – a tablespoon adds some flavour and healthy goodness
- on pancakes (check out these gluten free ones)
- in porridge bowls
- on a thick slice of sourdough toast
- as a dessert – it makes a great tart filling
250g frozen raspberries (defrosted), or fresh berries
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
In a large bowl mash your berries. I used a potato masher but you could also throw them in the blender. I like my jam a little chunky so I don’t over mash. Stir in the coconut sugar with a metal spoon. Add the lemon juice and then stir through the chia seeds. Make sure it’s all combined before pouring the mixture into an air tight jar. Store the jam in the fridge. It’ll be ready in about 1-2 hours, you’ll know because the chia seeds will have expanded to thicken the mixture. It’ll last about 3 weeks in the fridge.
You could use any berry but I haven’t tried anything other than raspberries yet. You could do mixed berries, blueberry, blackberries etc. You could also add some orange peel, or maybe some vanilla essence. Maybe even some mint! I love that it’s so versatile – you can add anything you want, so have fun experimenting!