One of my fondest childhood memories is picking blackberries. Every year in late August just before school started back we would head off for a day of blackberry picking armed with a picnic and our pots and pans. Thanks to the fact that I was the youngest and vertically challenged my job was minding the blackberries while my mom and sister were charged with the task of picking the juicy fruits. I must admit that the only one the blackberries needed minding from was me! I might have been small but my healthy appetite for blackberries made serious in roads into our haul. After a long day’s work picking or in my case eating we would return home with our day’s bounty. We ate them until our mouths turned purple, put them into apple crumbles and made pots of jam. Our jam was never very jammy but regardless we slathered it on slices of brown bread and it was the best thing we had ever eaten. Blackberry is still my favorite flavor jam probably for the sense of nostalgia it brings. Unfortunately back then we had no idea that chia would be the solution to our runny jam. This chia jam is so simple to make, free from refined sugar and jam packed (excuse the pun) with plump and juicy blackberries with a hint of vanilla.
Chia seeds are a veritable superfood that offer a wide spectrum of nutrients from fibre to calcium. Chia seeds are a wonderfully rich source of fibre. The consumption of high fibre foods has been linked to an increase in satiety which may aid weight loss. In addition fibre may aid blood sugar level control as well as reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Chia seeds are also a great plant based source of omega 3 fatty acids which help maintain a healthy heart and brain. Calcium and iron are just two of the many other minerals that chia seeds offer. Calcium ensures good bone strength whil iron help the body’s red blood cells transport oxygen.
- 1 + ½ cups blackberries
- 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 + ½ tsp chia seeds
- Rinse and dry the berries and place them in a pot.
- Add in the maple syrup or honey as well as the vanilla.
- Bring to a gently boil and reduce the heat.
- Allow the berries to gently boil for 5-7 minutes by which time the berries should be slightly dissolved.
- Add in the chia seeds and continue to heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Taste and add more sweetener if desired.
- Mash the berries with a potato to masher or a fork if you desire a smoother jam.
- The jam should have a slightly thick consistency that should coat the back of the spoon.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes during which time it will thicken up.