Beet Berry Chia Jam
A quick and easy jam of beets and berries using chia seeds with no added preservatives.
- 1 cup Grated Raw Beet
- 1 cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tbsp Chia seeds
- 2 tbsp Coconut sugar (or white)
- 1/4 cup Water
Heat a small pot over medium heat with water
Immediately add berries and beets to pot and turn heat to low, stir occasionally as the pot simmers for about 5-7 minutes until mixture softens
One the mixture is soft to the point where the berries no longer hold structure (you can't see a whole berry), add the coconut sugar and continue to stir
If a smooth and less 'rustic' jam is desired, use a handheld blender to blend in the pot, or add to a food processors and pulse for about 30 seconds until smooth
Add in chia seeds and stir for about 30 seconds, then let sit for about 5 minutes until jam is firm
Pour mixture into desired container and let cool for about 30 minutes. Seal and store in the fridge up to 2 weeks.
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In my imagination, making homemade jams and jellies has long been the pastime of French housewives and peoples grandmother’s who have bountiful fruit and berry harvests in their quaint rural gardens. Jam has never been something that particularly appealed to me or that I was anxious to experiment with. This beet berry creation was somewhat of a haphazard creation.
Since the popularization of chia seeds, I have become increasingly curious of the gelatinous coating they develop when exposed to liquids, and after experimenting a fair amount with the ever-popular chia puddings, I figured there was opportunity for further exploration! Who needs pectin when you’ve got chia seeds
Having done a social studies project in eighth grade on Miep Gies (notable aid to Anne Frank and her family), I was briefly introduced to ‘pectin’ which was the key ingredient in the homemade jam-making kits that the Frank family’s business sold.
Needless to say eighth grade me was not so much inspired to make jam after this research but rather was confused at how complicated it sounded since Miep’s job was to field all the customer complaints when their jam-making didn’t go to plan. This was her full-time job so I’m pretty sure there must have been a lot of confused aspiring jam-makers out there.
Turned off by the seemingly complicated world of pectin and jams, I turned in my project and didn’t wonder about making jam until many moons later.
This jam comes together in about ten minutes and is made with beets, blueberries, and raspberries. If you have other berries on hand definitely use those, this was what I had in the fridge and are also favorites of mine. Keep in mind that some berries are sweeter than others so you may have to alter the amount of coconut sugar depending on how sweet you like your jam.
This is perfect on a slice of toast with a cup of tea or coffee as a mid-morning snack, or is equally as satisfying combined with equal parts peanut butter for a healthier take on the classic PB+J. It’s a great way to sneak veggies into what’s usually a sugar-based spread. Beets do have a fair amount of natural sugar, but it’s certainly a healthier alternative to many of the products available at the supermarket with huge quantities of added sugar.
For real though, many popular jams and jellies contain about 13 grams of sugar per tablespoon. Assuming you put about two tablespoons on your toast or PB+J, that’s 26g of sugar. To compare, a can of coke has 39g, so two pieces of toast would be more sugar than a can of coke. Trying to eat healthy is trickier than it seems!
Some of the sugar in jam is of course naturally occurring in the fruit but more often than not popular jams are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and other forms of sugar which leads to that insulin spike, sugar high and subsequent sugar crash we all have felt at least once.
It’s definitely enlightening to take a glance at the ingredients or nutritional facts on seemingly healthy items like fruit jams and jellies as more often than not extra sugars are snuck in there to make them extra sweet.
That being said, the beets in this jam definitely have an earthy flavor, and if you are not a beet fan because of that potent geosmin taste of freshly plowed earth, you maaaaay want to adjust the ratios of beets to berries in this recipe.
Even if you make just a berry jam, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by being able to control the amount of sugar in the jam and also you can experiment with your favorite fruits to see which combine into a tastier flavor! Not to mention all the added fiber and omega-3 fatty acid benefits you’ll be getting from those chia seeds!