The berry season crept up on me this year and literally exploded on me this week. I haven’t seen such an amazing crop of berries from my property in the 6+ years I’ve been here. I honestly didn’t even know there were so many different varieties growing here in the first place! I’ve found about 6 different types so far, some that I’m not sure of the name. I’ve been taking out books from the library every year trying to identify everything that grows here but it’s hard. I know there are black, purple and red raspberries, wild blackberries and some other funky raspberries that I cannot find in any book…among other mysteries.
Anyway, I decided to make a raw chia jam with my foraged berries. Yes, I’ve been on a major chia seed kick lately stemming from the faux rolo candies I made last week which were coated in chocolate and then sprinkled with chia seeds. I love the crunchiness of them! They remind me of those tiny, ball shaped, rainbow sprinkles but healthy of course. I usually have spoonfuls of almond butter with cacao nibs but lately I’ve switched to almond butter with chia seeds. Is there anything that doesn’t go well with almond butter? It’s the best.
Chia seeds act as pectin when you use them here for a jam. They give a jelly-like texture and it’s really addicting! I’ve been eating it by the spoonful (along with everything else I eat by the spoon)…
12 oz (about 1 1/2 cups) fresh berries; blackberries, raspberries and strawberries work the best
3 T maple syrup
1/2 t orange or lemon zest
1/2 t vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3 T chia seeds
Blend your berries until smooth.
Add the rest of your ingredients and blend just to mix, for 15-20 seconds.
Pour into a jar and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.