By now, you probably know what all of the fuss is about when it comes to chia seeds. They are super healthy, for starters. You can expect a nice dose of fiber and some omega-3's in these tiny little seeds. Chia seeds multiply in size substantially when soaked in water. One of the benefits of that is chia seeds keep you feeling full and satisfied. Another benefit is that chia seeds, in their gelatinous form, can lend itself to do many things in the kitchen.
A common use is to make "chia eggs". That is especially helpful for vegans or someone who can't tolerate eggs. Of course you have all heard of the ever popular chia pudding. Man, I love that stuff! Chia seeds are great in smoothies as they add a nice nutritional benefit. They also create a nice, thicker consistency depending on the amount you use which adds a little more satisfaction and substance.
Another popular use for chia seeds is to make jam. Unlike making traditional jam, chia seed jam couldn't be easier. All you need is to pick your variety of fruit, some chia seeds, and maybe a little sweetener depending on the fruit you use. Honey or maple syrup make fantastic options for a little sweetness. In this case, I'm showing you how to make fig chia jam. For me personally, figs have a delightfully mild, sweet taste on their own, so I prefer not to add additional sweeteners. But that is totally your call. As a general rule of thumb, you will need 2 cups of fruit and 2 Tbs of chia seeds. You will cook down your fruit over low heat until softened, mash the fruit, and then add the chia seeds. Since figs have an edible, thick skin, using an immersion blender is the way to go instead of mashing. But let's say you are using raspberries. Well, those are delicate enough to just mash after cooking down a bit. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you choose a fruit with a high water content, you will need to add some extra chia seeds to thicken it up properly. Start with maybe an extra teaspoon and see how the consistency changes. You can always add more if needed, but you will want to wait a few minutes to see if it's thick enough for your taste.
Enjoy this jam on toast, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, with fruit, and the list goes on. Store it in your refrigerator in an air tight container.
2 cups fresh figs, chopped
2 Tbs chia seeds
Maple syrup or honey (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice (only if using a fruit that oxidizes)
1. Place chopped figs into a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the fruit has cooked down.
2. Remove from heat. Use your immersion blender to further break down the figs. You can also use your blender on low speed or food processor. Just don't over blend it. You still want it to have a thicker consistency.
3. Stir in the chia seeds and pour the jam into a container with a lid. Place it in your refrigerator for about one hour to thicken up. Enjoy whenever you desire. Remember, you can use whatever fruit you wish and follow this same recipe. If it's a fruit that oxidizes, you may want to add a splash of lemon juice. You can completely omit the maple syrup or adjust it as necessary according to the type of fruit used. I find the figs have a natural, mildly sweet flavor so I omit the maple syrup. But if I was using a fruit with a tart taste, I would add some.