Cherries are one of my favorite fruits during the warm summer months and I can’t actually remember a summer without cherries. They’re delicious on the run, but also in (raw) cakes they are irresistible. Not long ago I received a beautiful little gift, homemade cherry jam with a sweet paper note. Too good to be true! Or actually not, because thanks to the wonderful chia seed this cherry chia Seed jam is very easy to make.
Now that I know how easy it is to make my own jam, it’s such a pity that I have not made it before! I thought it would take hours to cook and simmer the fruit and that it would require loads of sugar, but it’s actually very easy to make and so good for you. There is no refined sugar needed as cherries (and any other fruit) are already sweet, but you can totally control the amount of (natural) sugar and other ingredients to create the jam you like. Chia seeds contain protein, fiber and omega-3’s, and when you combine them with the antioxidants and nutrients in the fruit you’re getting an extra healthy combination.
You can make this chia seed jam with just about any fruit, but berries or pitted stone fruits like cherries, apricots and nectarines work best.
I’ve been enjoying this jam on my new version of my banana bread. To make this banana bread you can follow the recipe here. It’s perfect for a mid-morning snack after a smoothie or just as a snack at any time of the day.
I pitted the cherries with just a simple little knife and it didn’t take too long. Of course if you have a cherry pitter you can use that method instead. The rest of this recipe is just easy peasy, because the chia seeds will actually do a lot of the work since they have the ability to turn into a yelly structure. All they need is 10 minutes of rest.
This recipe is really flexible: you can just leave out the sweetener all together if your fruit is extra sweet (ripe). Frozen fruit works too, you don’t even need to defrost it.
Just remember the basic formula of about 2 cups of fruit to 2 tablespoons chia seeds and you’ll be able to create any flavor of jam that you like.
- 2 cups of fresh cherries, pitted (frozen work too)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (more or less to taste)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Place the prepared fruit, lemon juice and maple syrup is a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Simmer for 15 minutes until it bubbles and breaks down; use a potato masher or fork to mash the fruit to your desired consistency.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chia seeds until all well combined.
- Let sit at least 15 minutes to allow the chia seeds to gelatinize.
- This jam is best stored for a few hours in the fridge.
- It will keep in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator up to one week.
- *You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water but I normally don’t; the fruit will release a lot of it’s own juice. If you like a really smooth jam you can puree the mixture in a blender or just use the potato masher.
photos by the green creator (c) (copyright)