Life changing moments are few and far between. Hence, when even a small thing moves you, it must be embraced. And as of last week? I'm embracing Blueberry Chia Jam.
Can jam actually be life changing you ask?? In this case... yes. You see, for some 35+ years I've eaten my beloved PBJ with apricot jam multiple times a week. This luscious combo has stood the test of time and has become something I truly crave. Until, this happened.
A visit to a local organic U-Pick Blueberry Farm (Fairfield Farms - Pauma Valley) found me with some 20 pounds of fresh, perfectly ripe, pop in your mouth blueberries. Our successful (and most heavenly) Blueberry Maple Syrup had my daughter eating the syrup with a spoon and musing how the syrup would taste perfectly fabulous on a PBJ. Hmmm... why not turn the syrup into jam?
With the well known health benefits of the antioxidant-rich, deeply hued berries, my goal with this jam became keeping the fabulous taste without filling my jam with granulated sugars or boxed pectin powders. An easy answer brought rich maple syrup (containing polyphenols, zinc and maganese) as a sweetener and protein-packed, calcium-filled chia seed to thicken.
Simmering the ingredients for a mere 20 minutes, the berries softened, then popped and the chia swelled into a fabulously thick jam. Aromas of summer wafted through our kitchen as we jarred our jam to chill.
The next day I took a chance. Forgoing my usual store bought apricot jam, I slathered almond butter and the fresh blueberry chia version on top of my freshly baked, warm pita and after one bite, my life has been forever changed.
Bursting with a rich blueberry flavor, this jam doesn't bring the cloying sweetness of store-bought versions, but instead the satisfying flavors of real fruit. The maple syrup sweetens gently while giving the jam a rich layer of depth, and the chia brings a lovely texture along with its multiple health benefits. I'm sorry apricot, it's been a wonderful 35 years, but there's a new jam in town. Blueberry Chia is here to stay.
Blueberry Chia Jam
With bright blueberry flavors and a wonderful luscious texture, this jam is brilliant on the traditional PBJ (or ABJ - almond), but would also be a lovely topping to waffles or even ice cream. With comments of "You totally need to sell this stuff!", I declare this jam a true winner.
4 cups fresh, preferably organic, blueberries
1/4 cup real maple syrup, preferably the richer Grade B
1/4 cup chia seed
pinch of salt (optional)
Place blueberries and maple syrup into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the berries soften and begin to pop.
Add the chia seeds and pinch of salt if desired, and reduce heat slightly. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes thick - 15-20 minutes. (For even thicker jam give it another 5 minutes or so... keep a close eye though as jam reduces so as not to burn. Reduce heat to low if necessary).
Remove from heat and spoon into jars. Allow to cool, then cover and place in the fridge to chill. Jam will remain fresh a week or two... but ours didn't make it past 5 days before we needed a new batch. #heavenly