20 Jul Chia Jam
I love chia seeds; you probably know that already, but I really really love them. Chia is such a versatile little seed, perfect as a substitute for thickeners and eggs in vegan baking. They add protein and calcium to the recipe, and a nice dose of fibre too. I tried making chia jam a couple of months ago, after buying a few stalks of rhubarb and having no idea what to do with them. I decided to make a filling of sorts, and I’d fill whatever took my fancy once the filling was made. I used ginger and maple syrup in the recipe too. Looking into that big pot of rhubarby goodness reminded me of the jam my granny used to make from the rhubarb in her garden: A slice of homemade scone bread, 2 tbsp of butter and a piled-high dollop of jam with milky tea. Mmmmm so good. I loved her jam. And her butter. And her bread.
Staring into my pot of rhubarby-limbo-filling brought me back to my childhood, and I figured I’d go ahead and make jam that my granny would balk at, sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar, and thickened with chia seeds instead of gelatine. Into the pot I added 1/4 cup of chia seeds and let it sit, the chia seeds soaking up all the moisture and swelling with pride at my culinary skills.
This is the jam smeared onto a thin buckwheat cracker. Again, my granny would balk at the sight of it! Buck what? ‘Twas far from buckwheat I was rared! It was really tasty, if absolutely nothing like the jam of my childhood. It was missing the fluffy bread underneath and the salty-fatty uniqueness of real Irish butter. We never stop appreciating the tastes we grew up with, but once we know what is involved, ethically and nutritionally, in a snack like that, it’s hard to ever want to eat the stuff again. I would just have to do with pining.
Then today, I woke up with an urge to try it again, this time with berries. You guys, I’m so glad I did. And so glad I did what I did – I smeared it on top of almond butter. The salty fatty goodness of almond butter as a base for the sweet, tart, awesomeness of the raspberries was divine. So here is the recipe for you to try. Please note I made only 2-3 tbsp’s worth. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, so I started small. Just feel free to double, triple, or duodecuple (that’s 12x) the recipe.
Raspberry Chia Jam
1/2 cup raspberries (I used frozen and thawed them, which adds to the water content
1/2 tsp xylitol (optional – I really don’t think it’s needed but was experimenting with the sweetness)
Smash raspberries in a bowl with a fork, add in chia and xylitol, stir and let sit for up to half an hour to allow chia seeds to absorb all the moisture
Yields 2-3 tbsp
This is such a cost effective way of making jam. I usually buy the St Dalfour fruit-sweetened one, but end up throwing out half the jar after it’s gone mouldy because I don’t use a lot of jam in my life. But I do love making my own as my menu demands. What’s that Carla, you want jam today? Whip yourself up a batch, have a shower, brew some tea, and your own homemade jam will be ready to go when you’re ready!