Oh chia seeds, how do I love thee...
We are just coming into major fruit picking season here in the SE of England. Specifically raspberries, blueberries, cherries and plums in August with blackberries, sloe berries to follow shortly....I could go on.
Jam making was something I loved as a child and some of my most cherished memories include eating just made warm blackberry jam on fresh bread. BUT, anyone that has ever made jam will know it is typically made with fresh sugar. Firstly, to sweeten as some berries can be rather tart, secondly to gel the fruit together into the jammy consistency and lastly the sugar acts as a preservative giving most jams a long shelf life.
I found some great recipes for jam which didn't include a whole heap of refined sugar (normally pectin sugar is used in traditional jam making) and best of all they include chia seeds which act in place of the pectin to bind the fruit together giving you jam.
Chia seeds are often spoken about as a superfood. And they are rather super. Full of protein and fibre, they are also high in magnesium (a mineral many people are often found to be deficient in) plus they are a source of ALA omega 3.
Chop the fruit and add to a pan. Cook on a medium heat until the fruit starts to break down, add a little water if necessary. Mash the fruit, then add the honey. Allow to cool before adding the chia seeds. Stir in thoroughly and then add to sterilised jars and refrigerate allowing the jam to set. This should keep in the fridge for 5-7 days. Delicious on crumpets....