I have always considered jam making to be proper hardcore. My eyes start to glaze over when I see instructions about pectin, buying weird 'jam sugar' and something called the 'wrinkle' test. Enter chia seeds! They take all the work out of jam.
If you haven't heard about chia seeds they are an ancient seed native to South America where they have been hailed for centuries for their wide and varied nutritional properties including being:
- high in fatty omega acids
- high in protein
- high in fibre
- rich in manganese and calcium.
When mixed with water they form a gelatinous coating and so are a perfect thickening agent in this jam. In other words no messing around with a sugar thermometer! Find them in good supermarkets or in the health food store.
Adapted from cookieandkate.com
Makes 1 large jar of jam
500g fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons of honey or agave nectar (I like agave because it has no taste)
3 tablespoons of chia seeds
2 tsp almond extract
1. Put the blueberries in a saucepan over a medium low heat until the fruit begins to soften. If using fresh blueberries add a tablespoon of water. Mash slightly with a fork when they start to breakdown and the add the honey/agave nectar.
2. When the fruit has sotened completely add the chia seeds and stir well.
3. Simmer over a medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes until the jam has thickened considerably. It will thicken more when it cools.
4. Add the almond extract and stir well.
5. Put into a sterilised jar. Jam will keep for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
Swirl into natural yoghurt or porridge
Spread on toast