Chia seeds are amazing little things. They are loaded with nutrients such as calcium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, potassium, antioxidants and omega 3. The plant is related to the mint family and grows natively in South America, the word ‘chia’ actually translates from the Mayan word for ‘strength’.
As the seeds are packed with fibre they have the ability to absorb over 10x their weight in water, creating a gel like sustance around themselves in the process. It’s this gel consistency that makes them so good for making no-sugar jam as you don’t need the sugar to thicken it.
This recipe will make about one jar of jam. As it doesn’t have the sugar content as a preservative it’s best to make this in small batches to use within a week. It can be whipped up in the time it takes to make a cup of tea so even the most time starved can have freshly made sugar free jam for breakfast that same day
400g mixed summer berries, fresh or frozen
4 tbsp chia seeds
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp of honey, xylitol or other natural swetener (or to taste)
Put the berries in a pan over a medium heat and simmer until just starting to break down. Add the chia seeds and simmer for about another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice and preffered sweetener, stir well and leave to cool, it will thicken as the seeds absorb the berry juices (the pectin in the lemon also helps to set the jam).
Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week. You can also use in yogurt, porridge and smoothies.