I love the autumn for its plentiful offerings. It has to be said that there’s nothing like the satisfaction you get when you’ve had to work for your meal, and certainly foraging provides that deep fulfilment, maybe an instinct left over from our hunter-gatherer past. I went blackberrying in the country park near where we live and managed to bring home a couple of tubs full and an excellent array of nettle stings and bramble scratches but hey, it was worth it! Some went straight in the freezer, some in a crumble and some into this amazing chia jam.
If you’ve ever made jam in the traditional way, the boiling for hours and is ‘it going to set or not’ malarkey, then don’t worry this is nothing like it. This jam is quick and easy and good in so many ways. The rich dark blue-purple colour of blackberries is due to their very high anthocyanin content, an extremely powerful antioxidant beneficial in fighting off cancers. Unlike a shop bought jam, this is nowhere near as high in sugar, and even my son, who hates normal jam because it’s too sweet, absolutely loves this blackberry chia jam. I used coconut sugar as the sweetener in for my jam as I love its subtle sweetness, its fibre content means it has a lower glycemic index compared to refined sugar or agave nectar and as it’s less processed it retains its vitamins and minerals content.
Chia seeds are an amazing little seed, making their way into the mainstream more and more these days. They are a quality protein meaning that they provide us with all the essential amino acids, and are also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, fibre, magnesium, iron and calcium. There sure is a lot of good stuff packed into those tiny seeds!
Recipe: Blackberry Chia Jam
250g backberries 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or sweetener of your choice) 2-3 tbsp chia seeds 100ml water
Place the blackberries, water and coconut sugar in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 min then add the chia seeds and turn the heat off. Let chia seeds soak up the liquid (add more water if it becomes to thick) while the jam cools.
Once it has cooled down transfer into a clean jar. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I love it on toasted gluten-free bread, my favourite being the buckwheat and sunflower seed bread I get from Judges organic bakery in Hastings. Also nice with some coconut or plain yoghurt as a healthy dessert.