This has got to be the fastest and freshest jam making process I've ever experienced. No cooking, fresh, refreshing and healthier too! I must say tho, the texture isn't quite as gooey and sticky as regular jams but you know that's all a bunch of sugar and pectin.
This doesn't rely on too much sugar nor pectin. It uses something that's popular in the health circles these days.... Chia seeds....botanic name: Salvia Hispanica.
Remember those days where you have all sorts of funny clay animal figures which you kept watering and eventually sprouted and gave them "hair"? Yup....those. Chia pets, they were called.
Now we ingest them instead of pasting them on figurines...the seeds, not the clay things. Nope...you won't get a hairy chest nor is it an alternative solution to hair loss. What you will get is some long list of health benefits. Go look it up, will ya. I'm talking jam here.
Immersed in liquid, the seeds turn into a gelatinous goop. Apparently, they absorb 10 times their weight in water!
My sis-in-law posted a link on her Facebook wall about this. The recipe called for fresh berries. Berries of any sort is expensive here and since this was an experiment, I wasn't gonna waste it if it doesn't work out. So, I'd decided to use up some canned peaches left over from a wannabe peach cheesecake....that's another story.
Amazingly, it worked. Why I doubted it in the first place, I don't know. Maybe I'd just doubted myself...my ability to get it right...I have this knack for screwing up the simplest of process.
And of course I can't keep it simple. I'd added some spices to liven things up.
An experimental jam.
About 1 cup canned peaches, drained
1tbs chia seeds
Sugar to taste, or honey (I used sugar so as not to alter the peach flavours too much)
1 star anise
1 stick cinnamon
Put the peaches and sugar in a food processor or blender.
Buzz til you get a texture that you like.
Stir in the chia seeds.
Place spices at the bottom of a jam jar and pour fruit purée over.
(You can use a spice infused syrup for a stronger flavour)
Seal and leave overnight for the seeds to absorb the liquid.
Note: since making this, I've discovered that this is a great way to make chutneys and mint jelly as well. Unfortunately, this doesn't keep too long since it's non cooked.
Why not experiment for yourself and do let me know what you've made and how it worked out for you.