Cranberry Chia Jam

A lower sugar, fiber filled jam that also boasts an assortment of antioxidants to brighten up your morning toast, oatmeal, yogurt, or even a cheese board. 

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I'm on a totally cranberry kick over here after my Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. It's funny, I've never really cooked with cranberries much and it feels like I've discovered a whole new fruit to add to my repertoire. This week, I bring you cranberry chia jam. Have you ever tried to make jam? No? Me neither. It felt intimidating, but it turns out it's super easy. And now I want to make all flavors of jam!  

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I'm loving the tart flavor of the cranberries with just enough sweetener to take the edge off but not so much that it's a sugar bomb in your mouth like most store-bought jams. The addition of the chia seeds not only provides a nice thick texture (thin, watery jams have no place in my kitchen), but also add a bit of fiber and omega-3's to your meal. So far I've eaten this jam on toast with peanut butter (like an adult PB&J?), in overnight oats (yes I'm still on that kick), stirred in yogurt, on hot oatmeal, and straight out of the jar (don't judge). I imagine it would complement a soft, creamy cheese like brie or a goats milk cheese like chevre nicely, so I suggest adding it to your next cheese plate too.

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Have guests in town for the holidays? When you pull homemade jam out of the fridge for breakfast, they will surely be impressed. (They don't need to know how easy it was; it can be our little secret.) 

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Also, if you're in need of a last minute gift for a teacher or coworker or a hostess gift to bring to a holiday party, this could be your answer. All you need is a little gold string and a hand-written tag and it feels so personal.  You're welcome. 

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I haven't taken the plunge into canning, but if you are into canning, I recommend doubling or tripling this recipe and canning some for later. Trust me, you're going to want it. 

 

Cranberry Chia Jam

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Makes about 8 ounces

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 10 ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Juice and zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds 

Place cranberries, orange juice and zest, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat to medium-low and simmer, covered,  until cranberries begin to pop and are soft enough blend\, about 6-8 minutes. If too thick, add a little water.

Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender or let cool a little and transfer to a blender or food processor and blend/pulse until desired texture. Stir in chia seeds and transfer to an airtight container. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.