Chia Seed Berry Jam

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If you’re looking for a sugar-free fruit spread made with chia seed, check out these links.  If you’re looking for something considerably more “jammy” (sweeter and less health-conscious) keep on reading. My version is still simple and healthy; I use three ingredients and way less sugar than my favourite freezer jam recipe. Also, did I mention it will take you longer to read this post and do an internet search on chia than make the jam?

For those of you like me, who are now wondering why anyone would mess with something as good as regular ol’ jam, consider the following:

  1. It’s less work. This one is worth a lot in my books–I thought regular freezer jam was easy but chia freezer jam tops anything else I’ve tried.
  2. It’s packed with nutrients. The chia seeds, used to thicken the jam, are loaded with calcium, dietary fibre and fatty acids. Also, this is a raw jam so all the goodness in the berries doesn’t get processed to death.
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I blended everything in my food processer but you could use something as simple as a potato masher.

Raspberry Chia Jam

1 cup berries

1 tbsp chia seed (I used whole seed but milled might work even better)

2 or 3 tbsp sugar (I started at one tbsp. but added more when I was finished. There is nothing exact about this method–you can add a touch of lemon juice if it needs more kick.)

Blend ingredients and pour into jars. Let mixture sit for about 6 hours before freezing or refrigerating.

*Most chia jam recipes call for honey/maple syrup instead of sugar. I didn’t want a “healthy” tasting product so I stayed with refined sugar.

**The chia seeds are tasteless but have a bit of a texture. Raspberry jam already tastes seedy so I didn’t notice it too much. I tried the same recipe with strawberry jam to pinpoint the effect–the chia seeds aren’t crunchy, or as noticeable as raspberry seeds, but you’ might still detect them.

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Fresh raspberry jam with chia seed.

*****

Summers are an easy way to mark time, aren’t they? You probably remember the summer you learned how to drive, the summer you left home, or the summer of your first romance… Once you become a parent, summertime serves as a measuring stick for your children’s growth; one year they’re waking throughout the night to nurse, the next, they’re pooping out sand, then you’re kicking them out of bed at 11am, and soon after, you’re summers are spent attending graduations and weddings.

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Belén’s tree; her name is “Whisper”.

Life with kids can seem so slow it’s hard to imagine being anywhere else than the stage you’re in, but looking at your family with “summer vision” is like putting your life on speed–it’s scary and thrilling at the same time. Yesterday, for example, I realized I can drive a full hour, with both daughters in the back seat, and hear nothing but their page-turning. In just a couple years, I’ve gone from telling them “mommy’s mouth needs a break”, to long stretches of silence while I tease out conversation.

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Belén dressing one of Whisper’s wounds with an ointment of grass clippings.

Fortunately, all of these changes make my life easier and I’m happy to embrace them; we’re more mobile, I have helpers who actually help, and my daughters are becoming good companions. Of course we all know life leaps onward, and that change is inevitable and healthy.  All the same, knowing how much these summers count and that each one is different from the last, is enough to quicken the pace of my momma heart.

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still playing with stuffies…

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As the previous photo shows, we’re all getting along a little better than when I posted this. Although we’re not always quite this jovial, it’s amazing what a little bribery incentive can do to make things easier–just don’t hire me on the police force.

*****

The weeds in my garden also quicken my pace. They’re exploding, but so is everything else. When I consider dusting off my hoe after seeing the giant thistles, it takes me 3 seconds to get distracted by picking beans, or pinching off basil or calendula, that I forget I even own a hoe.

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parsnips, baby’s breath, roma tomatoes, corn flower,and nasturtiums

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sunflowers, tomatoes, green beans, sage, and jalapeno peppers

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calendula (edible and medicinal) and purple teepee beans

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Does anyone else throw their beans into the freezer without blanching? I did it last year and they turned out just as crisp, if not better than the other beans I froze. This year, I’m freezing all my beans with much less fuss.

You won’t see my measly strawberries, timid blueberries, or stunted potato plants on the pictures above. They are a few of my garden failures. Oh, and let’s not forget about my woody, tasteless carrots that just barely germinated… but they wouldn’t make very pretty pictures, now, would they?

What’s exploding, or failing in your gardens these days?

Enjoy the rest of your week,

Tricia

PS. I’d love to hear about your chia jam experiences…

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5 thoughts on “Chia Seed Berry Jam

  1. Tricia, your garden looks beautiful! I’m going to try freezing my beans raw this year. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but blanching them always seems to turn mine too soft.

    Your girls are sure growing up – I still remember them at the ‘waking up at night’ stage. 🙂

  2. The jam looks wonderful….can you bring some to PA? We had guests tonight for supper and they brought chia bread. It was good/very spicy.
    Looking forward to seeing you in just 3 days!

  3. Tricia,how true it is that we can mark our lives by summers… Much more than any other season of the year (unless you’re a farmer, then you mark it by harvests!) – I can still remember the summer when I was 14, the summer when I moved away from home, the summer my first daughter was born, just like yesterday! I look at your family with such relief, first that other families hAv ether moments just like ours, but also for the sense of family you’ve created, the importance of togetherness, and the fact that this two girls of mine will yes be independent one day! Oh my the thought of a quiet car ride is exciting, but even more so is the thought of them reading!!! I am inspired by your posts both as a writer and as a person, thank you. Now I’m off to make raspberry jam!

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