Raspberry Chia Jam

I couldn't help it. Yup, I jumped on the chia seed bandwagon.

For the past six months or so, I've really wanted to try out chia seeds for myself after all the hype. I'd seen recipes everywhere describing the versatility of chia seeds, the miraculous way they multiply in size and transform into a gel-like pudding when soaked/mixed in liquid and finally, their many health benefits (read this article). However, I take all health claims with caution and wasn't willing to pick up a large bag of chia seeds only to find out I didn't like them...

That's when a good friend of mine came to the rescue! Over a conversation at dinner, we happened to come to the topic of chia seeds. After explaining my dilemma, she mentioned that she had recently bought chia seeds and would gladly give me some to try.

She gave me around two tablespoons (a single serving) and I soaked them in milk and honey overnight and then topped them with greek yogurt, chopped granny smith apple and maple glazed walnuts. It was such a great change to the overnight oats I ate almost everyday for breakfast in college (don't get me wrong, I love my overnight oats!).

After the first try, I wouldn't say I was hooked, but was definitely ready to pick up my own bag and experiment!
The first thing I did was make a batch of this delicious, fresh, healthy and pure raspberry jam. Look at that vibrant red color! The great thing about making jam with chia seeds is that it's not only healthier than regular jam (no added weird ingredients in this version!), but it also means no having to deal with pectin and the like.

Any fruit can be subbed in for the raspberries, be it another berry, peaches, anything really! That said, I think berries do work the best (and are also the natural choice for jam), as the berry seeds combine well with the chia seeds to make a perfectly-textured jam! Also, do remember that the main ingredient is the fruit itself, so make sure to use ripe, good-quality fruit for this jam!
500g raspberries (or any other berry or fruit)
3-4 tbsp chia seeds (adjust depending on how thick you like your jam)
4 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place the berries in a saucepan and heat on medium heat until berries have almost broken down. Mix around or mash with a fork, but do leave some larger chunks for texture.
At this point, add in the honey and chia seeds and keep heating for another 5-7 minutes. Once it looks like the jam has thickened quite a bit, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Let the jam come to room temperature, then put it into jars and refrigerate.
The jam is best after resting for a day so that the flavor has time to shine and the chia seeds have lots of time to blow up and thicken the jam.
Spread on toast, scones, use in a pb&j, mix into yogurt, be creative!
Store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. It probably won't last much longer because it's au-natural, but I doubt you'll have trouble finishing it off!

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