Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Strawberry Blueberry Mango Chia Jam... Homemade and Pectin Free!

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Strawberry Blueberry Mango Chia Jam

I'm hereby proclaiming 2015 my "year of the chia seed".  That tiny little seed is finding its way into all sorts of my recipes from smoothies to pancakes, but one of my favorite uses is in jam.

A good homemade jam brings the farmer's market to your table, but I've always struggled with the huge amounts of sugar and the use of pectin in many homemade and commercial versions.  I'm not sure why the pectin bothers me so much, heck, it's in apples, right?   But for some reason, pouring that powder from a box into my beautiful freshly chopped strawberries is a no go for me.

Chia Seed
Hence, we've switched to chia for our gelling needs, and I have beautiful jam (though not as "set" as a pectin gelled jam) with only fresh ingredients.  Adding seasonal fruits (or in winter frozen varieties) we can save nature's goodness in a bottle and bring amazing nutritional benefits to a simple PBJ.

Did you know chia brings 70% more protein than soybeans, 25% more fiber than flaxseed, more calcium than milk and more potassium than a banana?

Soaked in liquid, chia seeds (filled with soluble fiber) swell up to 10 times their weight and form a gel-like outer layer which, in the digestive system, actually slows down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar and in turn helps stabilize blood sugar.  In addition, the seeds high soluble fiber content also helps to control cholesterol levels.  And in addition again, the gelled seeds work to "gel" our jam!

So today we bring our latest jam featuring some of the best local California strawberries of the season.  Plump, juicy and sweet, these berries mixed beautifully with farmer's market blueberries and a handful of chopped mango (we actually used frozen from Trader Joes).  Simple, sweet and good for you, feel free to slather this jam without any of the guilt from store bought, sugar-laden varieties.  Enjoy this spring in a bottle!

Strawberry Blueberry Mango Chia Jam


Strawberry Blueberry Mango Chia Jam
Simple, sweet and filled with nutrition, this jam works on everything from the simple pbj to a topping for oatmeal or pancakes to a lovely complement to freshly baked scones.  Enjoy!

3 1/2 cups strawberries, chopped (organic if possible)
1 cup fresh blueberries (organic if possible)
1/2 cup chopped mango, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbs chia seed
pinch of salt (optional)

Place strawberries, blueberries, mango and maple syrup into a medium pot over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium - medium/low.  Stirring occasionally, allow to simmer until fruits are very soft, about 20 minutes.  Remover from heat.

For very chunky jam, mash with the back of a fork.  Alternatively, pulse a few times in a food processor for smoother jam.  Return to the pot after blending and add the chia and pinch of salt.  Stir to combine, and allow to cool.

Place jam in clean, sealable jars and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.


Strawberry Blueberry Mango Chia Jam

13 comments:

  1. I didn't know chia seeds had gelling properties; have only had them in cereal.

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    1. I LOVE the gelling properties.... use them all the time in jams, but also add them to acai bowls and smoothies.

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  2. I love these chia jams of yours, Kim. :-) I've made grape and cherry so far, and they were both great. :-)

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  3. I make strawberry chia jam all the time, but the addition of grape and cherry look great!

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  4. I keep meaning to try chia jam!

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  5. I keep a batch of "chia eggs" in the fridge for baking, but I've been meaning to try making jam with them, too. This makes me hungry for summer!!

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  6. I am not a fan of the high sugar content required for pectin to set the jam. Yuck! I love the idea of chia seeds. I've done my jam with modified food starch before and really like that - but it's time to bust out the chia and try jam this way. :)

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  7. I'm not a fan of adding liquid or powdered pectin to my jams, and I'm trying to cut sugar from our diets. Love the idea of adding chia seeds and love this combination. Perfection.

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  8. This looks so delicious, can't wait to try it. I love the addition of chia seeds and not to mention the combination of fruits.

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  9. My daughter has been urging me to cook with chia seeds and I bought some but haven't gotten around to doing anything with them. This is going to be my first foray into using those little buggers! She'll be so proud:)

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  10. I am a complete chia addict, so I get it! I have to drink "my daily chia" or I get grumpy. ;) This jam sounds fantastic.

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