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. 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. For thicker skinned fruit, like figs for example, 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.
Peaches have been delightful and sweet this season, so I thought they would make a fabulous chia jam! I have to say, the peaches did not disappoint! And, it also didn't last long as we seemingly topped just about everything with it! 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 peaches, skinned, sliced, pits removed
2 Tbs maple syrup (sweetener of choice, or no sweetener)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs chia seeds
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the peaches, sweetener, vanilla, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
2. Heat for 5-10 minutes. When the fruit is just tender, remove from heat. Use an immersion blender or masher (or fork) to break down the fruit to your desired consistency. I still like a little chunkiness to it so I don't over process the mixture.
3. Then, stir in 2 Tbs of chia seeds. I prefer to use the white chia seeds for this recipe so they don't take away from the beautiful coloring of the peaches.
4. Place the jam in your refrigerator and give it at least one hour to thicken up. Enjoy putting this jam on your oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, toast, ice cream, etc.