With all the fresh cranberries around at the moment it seemed like the perfect opportunity to create a healthy jam recipe with them. Often jam can be filled with loads of refined sugar and sickly sweet, so I set about to create a jam where the natural flavours of the fruit could truly shine.
I used both cranberries and raspberries for a contrast in flavour and texture and sweetened it with just a touch of pure maple syrup. If you love tart flavours, you’ll love this jam. Fresh cranberries are very tart compared to the flavour of them when dried. For some they may be a little too tart on their own, so the maple syrup cuts through the sourness and leaves you with a well balanced jam.
If you have a sweeter tooth than me, just add a little bit more maple syrup until it’s perfect for you. I’ve been eating this on top of porridge all week and it’s just delicious.
It’s so simple to make and only takes about fifteen minutes. The star ingredient in the jam that brings it all together and helps it to bind is chia seeds. When combined with liquid, chia seeds become gelatinous, absorbing the liquid and making the jam thick.
All you need to do is simmer the fruits in a small amount of water for around ten minutes. Once the fruits have softened and broken down, you take it off the heat and stir in the chia seeds. You’ll need to stir every five minutes or so for about fifteen minutes until the jam is thick and of the correct consistency.
I try to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables for various reasons but one of those reasons is because you get the best most ripe quality produce. It also encourages you to try different ingredients and get more creative in the kitchen. Until I moved to the UK I’d never really seen cranberries in the store or even eaten them. It’s fun to play with new ingredients and discover different recipes.
Cranberries and chia seeds both have a range of different health benefits, so as well as being a delicious condiment, it’s good for you as well. Chia seeds are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and full of protein and fibre. Cranberries have long been used to treat a range of ailments one of which is digestive issues.
This jam needs to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and it will last for no longer than week.
This jam recipe is very versatile as you can use any fruit you desire. Some of my other favourite ones are blueberry and blackberry.
- 1.5 cups fresh cranberries
- ½ cup raspberries, frozen or fresh
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
1. Place the cranberries in a small saucepan with the water. You may need a little more water depending on the size of your pot. Use enough water that the cranberries are just covered.
2. Place on a low heat and simmer for approximately ten minutes or until the cranberries are beginning to break down. At this stage you may hear the cranberries popping as the outer skin breaks apart.
3. Add the raspberries and cook for another 5 minutes. If the mixture has become dry, add a small amount of water to allow the fruits to stew.
4. Take off the heat and add the chia seeds. Stir well and leave for around 15 minutes. Stir the mixture every 5 minutes or so.
5. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.