|New concept: jam that tastes like the fruit it originally was!|
Gustatorily speaking, this jam is superior because it tastes like the fruit it originally was. It has none of that sugar burn that can mask the taste of fresh stone fruits in jams.
Nutritionally speaking, this jam is the tops. The original water content of the fruit is retained (and thus, so is its caloric value). The fruit is not cooked, so vitamins are retained. Chia seeds are nutritional powerhouses.
Economically speaking, I think it's a deal. Chia seeds are on the pricey side, but if you would have used pectin, that cost is gone, and you really don't use that many chia seeds for the jam. Also, it is much faster than other jams, so you have more time. Because you don't cook the peaches down, it makes more per pound of peaches. But then again, you will eat more because it is better than most jams. But then again, if you are eating more of this stuff there is the chance that you will be at the doctor's less. But then again, maybe you will live longer, and that will increase your cost of living. (Clearly I am no economist.)
Visually speaking, you have to overcome the fact that the chia seeds look like bugs. Our first batch had only peaches, and the bugs were especially noticeable. Owl threw in blueberries in the second batch, and that helped immensely. In the end, we went with it and called it "Bug Jam." The owl-cats smiled and ate it.
Historically speaking, this is a rare treat. Michael Pollan says that you shouldn't eat anything your grandmother would not have recognized as food. Well, sorry, Mr. Pollan, but I'm guessing Grandma would have tossed out "Bug Jam." What's more, Grandma had to put a whole lot of sugar in her jam as an anti-bacterial agent. So that's one food rule that should sometimes get tossed.
Blogatorially speaking, we are not original. Everyone out there has a recipe for this stuff (for good reason). Lemon juice may be added to help retain color or for brightness. Some people use fewer chia seeds.
Peach Blueberry Chia Seed Jam (a.k.a. Bug Jam)
A flexible recipe, depending on how much you have. See step 2 for guidelines on amounts.
Blueberries (frozen fine)
Sweetener (maple syrup, agave syrup, honey, sugar--or stevia if you go for that sort of thing, but add less)
0. Wash fruit. Peel peaches (or not--I'm guessing it would be fine with peels if you trust your peaches)
1. Blend up peaches and blueberries.
2. For every 1 cup of blended fruit, add
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds*
- up to 1 tablespoon of sweetener of choice, to taste
3. Refrigerate for an hour to let it thicken.
4. Slather on toast. Eat. Rave. Repeat.
5. Storing: Everything I've seen says this will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator. I am going to freeze some and see how it goes. I don't want to can it, but some have.
*CHIA SEED UPDATE 9/20/13: I made another batch with very ripe peaches. That meant they were more watery. After the hour refrigeration time, I had to add more chia seeds. I checked it again an hour later and it was perfect. Just know that the amount of chia seeds may need to be adjusted depending on the fruit you have. I probably ended up at 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds per cup of fruit.