WE BE JAMMIN'

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You don’t have to be a supercool musician to have a jam session, folks. You just need some fresh berries! …Yup… that was a jam pun. That happened. And I’m #sorrynotsorry because I love dad jokes and evidently, making jam too.

I had this nostalgic moment the other day of going berry picking when I was little and how my mom would spend the rest of the day slaving over a hot stove making homemade jam with the fruits of our labor.  In reality, it was probably only about an hour but still, whose got that kinda time to spend on jam? (I appreciate you, mama!) Thanks to the recent chia seed fad taking over LA and many other health-savvy cities, I just earned you don’t have to! Chia seeds soak up water, thus speeding up the reducing and thickening process of jamming, bringing it all down to a mere 5-10 minutes.

Of course, you can go to a supermarket down the road and pick up whatever berries you fancy but it’s summer, aka prime berry time so why not support a local farm and pick some yourself?  It’s a really lovely way to spend a couple hours outdoors and there’s something very zen about the monotonous picking process.  When you’re focused on finding the good ones and filling your basket, you zone out from all the who am I, what am I doing, impending doom anxieties of every day life.  It’s peaceful and totally fun to channel your inner kid with nostalgic activities like this with your partner or pals so I urge you to get your berries off the bush this summer.

However your berries are acquired, no judgement and I assure you, they will work perfectly for one of these healthy and speedy homemade jam recipes.

INGREDIENTS

Raspberry Jam and Blueberry Jam (Also works with blackberries!)

Approximately 2 cups of berries

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon organic honey (Substitute: agave nectar)

1/2 tablespoon organic brown sugar (Substitute: coconut sugar)

**Add additional honey or brown sugar in small increments depending on berry tartness and your personal taste**

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry Jam

Approximately 2 cups of de-stemmed, smushed up strawberries

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

**Add additional honey or brown sugar in small increments depending on berry tartness and your personal taste**

Zest and juice from 1-2 lemons depending on size

COOK

Due to the size and density of strawberries, it’s best to smush them up with a fork or potato masher pre-pot.  Smaller berries smush easily once heated up in the pot for a few minutes so pre- or mid-pot smushing is entirely up to your heart’s desire. 

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Place your berries into a pot or saucepan and add honey, brown sugar and vanilla extract for raspberries and/or blueberries and lemon zest and juice for strawberries.  Stir frequently on medium-low heat for a few minutes.  Taste your concoction and add additional honey and/or brown sugar as needed. Reduce heat to low and add chia seeds, stirring continuously until they completely disappear into your fruity goodness. Remove from heat and let sit for 20-30 minutes so chia seeds have some cooling down time to work their magic before refrigerated. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before eating so jam thickens to a spreadable consistency.  

P.S. Since I made multiple jams at once and had leftovers, I mixed them all in a fourth jar for a mystery mixed berry jam and it tasted more like a magical mixed berry jam…just saying.

Now, you’ve got about 7-10 days to consume this preservative-free jam so get munching!