Allison from Seek Satiation is back with another delicious recipe! Leave her some love below! Hope you guys enjoy. xoCandace
As a child, odd textures in food turned me off. Namely, I recall having a very strong reaction to the texture of any type of fruit spreads. Needless to say, I was not a kid that loved PB&J sandwiches. Those individual packs of grape jelly at my hometown's local diner creeped me out with their gelatinous jiggle. The bottles of name brand strawberry and raspberry jams in my parents' refrigerator turned me off due to the seeds within it. Marmalade? Oh NO. Forget about it! Even as a woman in her early 30s that has expanded her views on many formally-hated food textures, the idea of chunks of fruit and rind in my food still gives me a visceral reaction.
I've learned to embrace the texture of jam as I have gotten older, though I'll still keep jelly and marmalade where they belong: out of my kitchen. (Ha!) As with so many processed foods in the grocery store, there is often a healthier alternative we can create in our own homes, jam included. The tedium - in my opinion - that comes with the precise science of canning homemade jams intimidates me, so I praise whoever concocted the concept of chia-based jam! Due to the seeds' ability to absorb multiple times their weight in water while forming a gel pod around them, this jam naturally thickens without added effort. Just mix, stir, and stick it in the fridge. Plus, you can control the amount and type of sweetener you add. Looking up that aforementioned name brand strawberry jam that used to haunt me from within my parents' fridge, I learned that one tablespoon of that jam has 12 grams of sugar! Three of its five ingredients are high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and sugar, not to mention the natural sugar from the strawberries adds into that. I'll just stick to just a little bit of added honey, thank you very much!
This jam is a sweet yet tart vibrant burst of summer! I wouldn't be surprised if you made it all season long! With the level of relative ease it takes to concoct it, frankly, you'll want to make it over and over again.
Cherry Chia Jam
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 - 3 tablespoons honey, to taste (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/8 cup cold water
- Substitute sweetener of choice if avoiding honey to keep jam vegan-friendly; be aware that I have only tested this recipe with honey and cannot guarantee results otherwise!
- I have not tested this recipe with frozen cherries, but feel free to give that a try if that is your best option.
- The amount of chia seeds added may seem deceptively small, but add only two tablespoons. While developing this recipe, I added three tablespoons to my first batch - I have rhubarb chia jam recipe in which I use three - but it made the first batch of cherry jam a little dry, sticky, and not as easy to spread; the cherries have a lower water content than the rhubarb, so the extra chia seeds in the first batch of the cherry jam sucked up too much water. (Yeah, science!) So, again, stick to just two!
1.) Add chopped cherries and lime juice to a medium-sized saucepan, and turn heat to medium-high heat. Allow cherries to start breaking down and cook for about 15 minutes. Stir in honey until thoroughly combined. Use a potato masher or the back of a fork to break down chunks of fruit to desired consistency.
2.) Remove jam from heat and stir in chia seeds and water until thoroughly combined. Allow to sit for 10 - 15 minutes, then add to an airtight glass jar. Place in refrigerator and allow to thicken for at least three hours before using; the longer it sits, the more the chia seeds have a chance to gel. Jam will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 7 days.
ALTERNATE VERSION: If you prefer not to have chunks of cherries in the jam, after Step #1, instead of mashing with a fork or potato masher, allow cherry mixture to cool for 10 minutes, then add them to a blender to purée. Afterwards, add mixture back to saucepan and continue with the directions in Step #2.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you down in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on instagram for more drool-worthy content.