Chia seed preserve? Why not give it a try? Here’s a rhubarb strawberry preserve made with chia seed.
In preparation for a presentation on the latest in jam making using different pectin varieties for the Manitoba Association of Home Economists Annual Conference I thought I’d try replacing pectin and sugar with chia seeds and honey. I love tasty experiments!
My test recipe My Jam -Rhubarb/Strawberry Jam with Chia comes from a friend and fellow blogger, Rebecca Hadfield. Rebecca describes this jam as “really more like a compote than a jammy-jam….and it is really, really good spooned over vanilla ice cream, hidden under vanilla yogurt or custard, or stirred into your morning oatmeal.”
I love her combination of rhubarb, strawberry and vanilla – NICE! Because I wanted to test the recipe without sugar and because I have serious problems following any recipe, I made a few changes. Here’s my version:
What Does it Taste Like?
It tastes fruity. The strawberry and rhubarb flavor shine through with enough sweetness from the honey to cut through any tartness from the rhubarb. Of course you can add more or less honey or other sweeteners if you prefer. The chia seeds are well camouflaged by the strawberry seeds (achenes) – it’s hard to tell them apart both visually and taste wise. You’d see them more when using other fruit, and while you may sense their texture slightly, they don’t add any flavor.
This preserve is delicious on toast, crepes, yogurt or oatmeal. The consistency is like a stiff stewed rhubarb or compote as Rebecca said. The chia seeds are great at holding in the water, so there is no liquid separating from the mix, which is exactly what we want.
How to Store Chia Seed Preserves
Small batches like this can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
For longer storage, keep chia seed preserves in the freezer.
This preserve is not suitable for hot water bath canning. There doesn’t seem to be enough research on this to be certain, but here are two potential reasons why.
- Chia seed is a low acid ingredient, by adding it to your preserve, you may make your preserve a low acid preserve and susceptible to pathogens (eg.Clostridium Botulinum) that can not be destroyed in a hot water bath.
- Chia seeds absorb water (much like starch or flour) thereby increasing the viscosity, changing the acidity and water activity of the jam and making it unsafe to can like other jams. The same reason why flour or starch (with the exception of Clear Jel) should not be added to preserves.
All that being said, it’s a tasty, no sugar alternative to jams and jellies and definitely worth a try!
What do you think, will you make a batch? Or, will you try:
Getty Stewart is an engaging speaker and writer providing tasty recipes, time-saving tips, and helpful kitchen ideas to make home cooking easy and enjoyable. She is a Professional Home Economist, author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, mom and veggie gardener.