I don't eat preserves, jams, and jellies very often. But when I do, I always make my own, so I can control the quality of the ingredients and the level of sugar! I was at my friend Kris's house last year, and she was making home made apricot jam with a bucket load of fresh apricots her neighbours had dropped around from off of their trees. Kris is an amazing cook and has a real flare for flavours. Her home made apricot jam was delicious. But, as I was sitting at her kitchen bench watching her put cups and cups of refined sugar into the pot, I had to coat-check my liver and colon, and grab hold of my heart! I just about died! There is so much sugar in jam.
So, I set about experimenting with all kinds of fresh fruits to create a quick easy sugar free raw vegan jam I could make in my trusty blender. You can make 5 minute jams and jellies in your blender that are healthy! The secret ingredient in this jam is my beloved chia seeds. For those of you who have not used chia seeds -- get acqauinted. These little beads of joy will become your new best friend.
When mixed with liquids, chia seeds are gelatinous in texture, and help to make things thicken and set. So they are great for use in puddings and desserts, and as a substitute for butter in baked goods. Not only are chia seeds functional, they are the richest plant source of omega 3 fatty acids, and are loaded with antioxidants, protein, fibre, and essential nutrients like calcium. Chia seeds are popular in the dieting world, as water chia puddings contain no calories and help to stave food cravings. Furthermore, the soluble and insoluble fibre has been known to help balance blood sugar levels.
But the biggest selling point of this jam is the taste! You will never believe this is sugar free. It is important to mention that this jam is also free of pectin. I know quite a lot of people who are allergic to pectin. So, this jam has been a life saver for them! Trust me, this fruity spread is absolutely delicious, and tastes pretty darn close to the real thing, without all of the cooking time! It is so quick and easy, you will wonder why you ever made conventional jam! Better still, you are getting all of the benefits of the live enzymes and natural flavour of the fresh fruit.
My favourite flavour is raspberry. But I have made jam in my blender with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, apricots, figs, and all kinds of other fruits. The sky is the limit. Just remember, that the key to making this look like conventional jam is putting the fruit in at the end, and keeping the blender on low and pulsing. If you blend on high you will get a pudding!
I love whipping this up when I have guests staying, or invite people over for brunch. I always make some crepes, muffins and toast, and blend up a variety of different flavoured jams. When people ask where I got the spreads from, I love responding, "Oh, I blended those up this morning in 5 minutes!" After jaws hit the floor, this is normally followed with a quick lesson, and several phone calls in the coming weeks from friends sharing their blends, "I just made blueberry jam and it was amazing!" I have friends all over town making their own "5 minute jams".
Find your perfect "5 minute blend" and please share it here with everyone. I would love to hear what flavours you make.