Since my childhood, I’ve had a non-committal relationship with jam. I always preferred the smooth transparency and easy spreadability of jelly. Jam, with it’s chunky, nebulous, spread-resistant constitution, placed a very distant second to my beloved jelly. As an adult, my tolerance for jam had significantly increased as my aversion to chunky textures disappeared. Until recently, what stood between us was that most store bought jams have way too much sugar and even if I wanted to make my own, I had no more space for equipment, storage or unitasking ingredients like pectin. So I just went without. And then it happened. A friend of mine shared a recipe for a pectin-free, sugar-free Refrigerator Jam.
“Shut yo mouth!” you say.
Right?! I would, but then you wouldn’t get the recipe. Back to the story.
Once my head stopped spinning like the wheels of a slot machine and I realized that everything I had ever known to be true, wasn’t… OK. Well, more like everything I had known about jam wasn’t true. Anyway, once I realized that, I was able to make my own loose interpretation with stuff I already had on hand. And it was da bomb!
Now, I thoroughly revel in my new ability to make “jam” and I hope that you will too. Feel free to make your own loose interpretation of my recipe and use whatever jam-ish fruit you have on hand. (You may want to include at least 2-3 strawberries for their natural pectin.)
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe, jam, slot machines or anything else loosely related to this post.
As always, THRIVE in Livity!
Mixed Berry and Chia Seed Refrigerator Jam
What you’ll need:
2 Cups mixed berries ( blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)*
2 TBS chia seeds
1TBS lemon juice
1 tsp raw honey (that was enough for me, but add to your taste)
What to do:
- Place berries in a saucepan over low-medium heat and simmer until they soften (about 10 min). * If using fresh berries, add ⅛ C water to the pot. If using frozen berries, add 2 TBS of water.
2. Once berries have softened and they have released some juice, remove from heat and pour ½ C of juice from the saucepan into a container with the chia seeds (measuring cup works great). Stir the seeds into the liquid and let them sit for 10 min.
3. Using a fork, mash the berries up until there are no big chunks left, unless you like big chunks in your jam. Stir in the honey and lemon juice while still warm.
4. After 10 min, add the soaked chia seeds to the berry mixture. Let cool at least 15 min before placing in the refrigerator.
Makes approximately 16 oz.
**Note- The chia seeds may still be a bit crunchy at first. They will retain some texture, but will soften up more as they sit in the jam. There should be a noticeable difference once the jam has set for a couple of hours.