Monday, May 5, 2014

Blackberry Chia Seed Jam

I haven't made much jam in my life but the recipes I've seen floating around using chia seeds as a thickener have really interested me.  After buying double the amount of blackberries I actually needed for dessert and fruit salad on Easter, I decided to try a batch.  It was good - I didn't make mine particularly sweet and you can adjust that easily according to your taste.  This jam is a great addition to plain greek yogurt - swirl it together and add a little granola!  We also ate it on toast and in PB&J sandwiches.

You could make this with frozen blackberries as well, but if you do you might not need the water.  After the fact, I also thought that  if you're using fresh, you could macerate the berries with a little sugar first (or just add the water and blackberries like the recipe below).

Blackberry Chia Seed Jam
makes about 1.5 cups of jam

12 oz blackberries
2 T water
2-3 T agave nectar (or maple syrup or sugar)
2 T chia seeds
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium sized saucepan, bring the blackberries and water to a low boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until the berries soften, about 5 minutes.  Lightly mash the blackberries with a potato masher or fork (I like to leave some berries in chunks for texture).

Stir in your sweetener (agave, maple syrup or sugar - quantity will depend on how sweet you like it and how sweet your berries are).  Stir in the chia seeds and cook the jam on low until it thickens, about 5-7 minutes.  Make sure you stir it during this part so it doesn't stick to the pot.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Let it cool to room temperature and put in a glass jar or other air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

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