If you’ve been picking blackberries this year and have run out of ideas of how to use them, then maybe chia jam is the answer.
Chia jam is a quickly made version of jam - lightly cooked fruit, made with only minimal sugar and thickened with chia seeds, so it is high in fibre and other good things like omega 3s.
You can use almost any fruit to make chia jam, but personally I like to use it for fruits that already contain seeds - any of the berries like raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, alone or in combination with other berries or other fruits - like plum and blueberry, fig and blackberry… `I have tried using peaches but honestly didn’t find the texture and colour as appealing as red fruits.
You can use fresh or frozen berries to make chia jam. You don’t even need to defrost them - put them straight in the saucepan along with the sweetener and off you go!
Choose the liquid sweetener that you prefer - honey, maple syrup or coconut syrup. Add it to taste as you make the jam.
You can use chia jam the way you use any regular jam - with bread, crepes, yogurt etc. The main difference is that you make it in small quantities as it does not keep for more than a week or two (and is always stored in the fridge). But that same fact makes it perfect to use up a punnet of extra berries that might be about to go off, or to finish the contents of the fruit bowl before you go shopping. And at this time of the year you might have a little bowl of blackberries you collected on your walk at the weekend….
Plum and blackberry chia jam
✳️ 1 cup plums, stoned and cut into pieces
✳️ 1 cup blackberries
✳️ Sweetener to taste - I usually start with 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup to start with
✳️ 2 tablespoons chia seeds (white or black)
✳️ squeeze of lemon juice
- Put the rinsed fruits, fresh or still frozen, into a pan with the sweetener and a tablespoon of water.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a few minutes until the fruit is releasing its juices and breaking down.
- Add the chia seeds and stir. Remove from the heat. The seeds will take 10-15 mins to swell up and thicken the jam, so it might still be quite runny at this point.
- Add the lemon juice, check to see whether any more sweetener is required, and give a final stir.
- Pour in to a lidded jar and store in the fridge once cold. It will thicken more as it cools.
- Eat within 10 days.