Saturday, May 4, 2013

20-Minute, 5-Ingredient Magical Paleo Strawberry Jam (Paleo / Vegan)

Have you ever made jam before? Probably. It seems like everyone in the whole entire world is canning except me. In fact, I'm STILL not canning because I'm pretty sure that I'd mess it up and poison my entire family accidentally. But, I did make jam today and it took me about 20 minutes, during which I ate dinner. It kind of left me wondering what on Earth is supposed to be so hard about jam. Probably that canning stuff, which does seem pretty intimidating. But, there really is nothing hard about making the jam itself, that's for sure. Especially with my new secret weapon: chia seeds!

Apparently, chia seeds are trendy. They are full of everything awesome in the entire world, and they are dirt cheap at Trader Joe's, too. The Internet tells me that they will cure almost anything that ails me. But, more interestingly, they will make something thicken... you know, like jam. If you heat fruit and add chia seeds, and cook them together, somehow it all magically thickens into something that looks and tastes like... jam. It's kind of a miracle, really.

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty pioneer righteous or something over here, what with my ancient Mayan (or Aztec. Or something.) chia seeds and my amazing homemade jam. Never mind that my grandmother had an entire small ROOM in her house full of canned goods that she canned herself. Never mind that half of the free world (and the non-free world, for that matter) has been canning things forever. Today, I managed to make jam, and it was so easy that I'll probably even do it again!

Now, as written below, what you'll end up with is a tart jam. I will probably double the maple syrup next time because, well, I prefer a sweeter jam. But, this will ultimately boil down to the type of fruit you use, how sweet the berries are, and your own personal taste. So, tinker a bit, and do what works for you. I mean... jam! That's paleo! That you can make in 20 minutes, while you're eating dinner! Awesome.

20-Minute, 5-Ingredient Magical Paleo Strawberry Jam (Paleo / Vegan)
(courtesy of Evolving Dish)

3 cups frozen strawberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

1. In a saucepan, combine the strawberries and the maple syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chia seeds and continue simmering for 15 more minutes, breaking down the berries and stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from heat and pulse once or twice in a blender, if desired. I still had a few small chunks of berries and two quick pulses made it nice and smooth. Add the vanilla and sea salt, stir, and then pour into a jar. Cool in the fridge.

P.S. My son also says that this makes an amazing ice cream topping!

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