Gingered Pear-Plum Chia Seed Jam
Is it summer or is it fall? This time of year, even Mother Nature doesn’t seem sure. Around here, it’s been blazing-hot during the day but downright frigid at night. Which, I suppose, happens every year, if we’re going to get technical about it. But it’s still an adjustment after the lazy crazy days of summer. And I am not ready – AT ALL – for full-on cold weather.
But my fall readiness – or lack thereof – was not supposed to be my point here. What is my point? This jam is my point! Gingered Pear-Plum Chia Seed Jam is perfect for this strange little time of limbo between summer and fall.
Summer = plums. Fall = pears. And together, they are glorious, so I guess I can get on board this moody weather train and embrace the chill that’s pervaded the fronts and backs of our otherwise hot days. Especially if I get to eat this jam at the same time.
It started with some overly ripe pears and yet another pound of plums in our weekly CSA box.
A little ginger, some maple syrup, a buncha chia seeds, and voila!
Okay, so let’s talk a bit about chia seed jam, shall we? Have you gone there yet? I have, and do, and I’m not sure I’ll go back. These crazy nutrient-rich gems soak up to 10 times their weight in liquid, so they are perfect for things like healthy puddings and jams. No need for added pectin, no need for granulated sugar. This jam recipe relies heavily on the sweetness of the fruit itself (the juiciest ripe pears help there), and then a little all-natural sweetener like pure maple syrup or honey. And not even that much.
I did the math, and if each jar of jam has 15 servings, each serving only has about a half a teaspoon of maple syrup. For real!
This recipe makes enough for two sizable jars – one for your fridge, one for your freezer, say. If you want to preserve a bunch of summer-slash-fall bounty, just double, triple, quadruple, hundredize (?!) the recipe for gobs of healthy freezer jam to remind you of the summer/fall limbo time – and how blissful it actually really was – all winter long. (Note that I would not recommend canning this jam traditionally, such as hot water bath canning, because I don’t know enough about how chia seeds affect the pH level of the jam, which is crucial for safe canning.)
Oh, and if you’re new to chia seeds, you should be able to find them in most well-stocked grocery stores. I’ve found the best prices at Trader Joe’s, but when I’m not feeling a trip to the grocery store, I just order these chia seeds off of Amazon and they’re in my hot little hands before I know it.
More chia seed jam goodness
How to Make Chia Seed Jam, a tutorial on Oh My Veggies :: Sugar-Free Apple Pie Chia Seed Jam + Raspberry Chia Oat Crumble Squares over at Oh She Glows :: Blackberry Chia Seed Jam at Two Peas and Their Pod :: Gorgeousness! Blueberry Rosemary Chia Seed Jam from Tasty Yummies.
Gingered Pear-Plum Chia Seed Jam
Summer plums, fall pears, and a nice little spicy hit of ginger. This healthier jam is naturally sweetened with a small amount of pure maple syrup (or honey) and thickened with superpowered chia seeds. Perfect for the freezer - if you can stop eating it long enough to tuck some away!
- 1 pound ripe Bartlett pears, seeds and stem removed and diced
- 1 pound ripe plums, halved, pits removed, diced
- 1 pinky-sized piece ginger, peeled (about 1 tablespoon diced)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup* (or more to taste)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
Set a medium-large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pears, plums, ginger, and 1/3 cup maple syrup. Heat until boiling and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fruit has cooked down and liquified, 25-30 minutes. Carefully mash any remaining chunks of fruit with a potato masher or fork. Taste and add additional syrup, if desired, until the jam reaches the sweetness level that you prefer. Stir in chia seeds and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and let cool enough to pour into lidded jars. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for 2-3 months.
*Honey, agave syrup, or granulated sugar can be used, too.