Ten-minute chia jam

With fresh berries and cherries in Swiss grocery stores, this week I wanted to get  jammin’. This easy-to-make jam is made directly on the stove top with fresh fruit, chia seeds, medjool dates and a bit of lemon juice. There’s no processed sugar, gelatine or pectin in this recipe. Why have more ingredients when you get great results with less?

In this recipe, the chia seeds and dates do all the work. They give your jam a naturally sweet taste and gelatinous texture. And, you can’t even taste the dates, only the fresh fruit. Be sure to use fruit that is ripe and sweet.

Chia seed jam is a refrigerator jam that’s meant to be made in small batches. It isn’t suitable for hot water bath canning. The chia seeds change the acidity of the jam, making it a low acid preserve and susceptible to pathogens that cannot be destroyed in a hot water bath. You can learn more here.

However, if you want to store some, you can freeze the jam directly in thick glass jars for up to three months, as long as you leave a 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) free space below the top of the container and you let it thaw in the fridge before using it.

I love this simple sugarless jam and making it is a breeze. So go ahead, have fun and enjoy a little fresh fruit jammin’!

Ten-minute chia jam

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit (e.g.: berries, cherries, apricots)
  • 3 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon (tbsp) pure lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps chia seeds
  • Option: 1-2 tbsps of maple syrup or honey

Procedure

Soften the pitted dates in hot water for a few minutes. Discard water and chop the dates in small pieces.

Rinse the fresh fruit in a strainer. Larger fruit may need to be chopped in chunks.

In a saucepan on stove top add the fruit with the dates. Simmer on medium-low for 8-10 minutes whilst stirring and banging with a wooden spoon until the fruit has broken down and you obtain a desired consistency. You can also use a potato masher.

Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and chia seeds. Stir and taste for sweetness. If you prefer a sweeter jam, then add one or two tablespoons of maple syrup or honey. If you prefer a chunkier jam, then add a handful of chopped fresh fruit.

Let the jam cool for 5 minutes. The chia seeds will gelatinize and thicken the jam.

Immediately stir and transfer into clean glass jars with a seal. Once the jam jars reach room temperature, put in the fridge where the jam will continue to chill, thicken and set. Can be stored for 7-10 days in fridge. (Some people have kept it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Monitor for freshness after one week).

You can also freeze the jam in glass jars for up to 3 months; thaw in the fridge before using.

Jams made with chia seeds are not suitable for hot water bath canning ; until research confirms otherwise.

I love Jammin’. I hope you like jammin’ too!  🙂

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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