Time to write has been very limited in the school holidays but time does seem to be flying by, she will be back to school for year 1 too soon and I will miss these relaxed, fun-filled, summer days.
I know I've posted before about Chia seed jam but with so many Apples being picked from our trees and our Blackberries finally starting to ripen I thought I'd try a completely sugar-free version, no sugar, nothing, not even a non-refined sugar. I expect the purists would argue that this is a jam so I'm calling this a Preserve.
Preserves, Conserves, Jams made without sugar will need to be refrigerated and eaten within a week or so, no problem here!
Using fruit to make a fruit spread like this is so simple and easy to put together in very little time. The fruit amounts I have used here worked well and the balance of flavours made it tangy but with a sweetness too from the Blackberries. I used a mix of cooking apples and eating Apples, we have one Apple tree that produces a sweeter Apple than the other three.
The addition of Chia seeds will thicken up the Preserve as well as providing a healthy dose of omega 3, fibre, anti-oxidants and protein. Once added to the cooked Apples and Blackberries, the Chia seeds will absorb some of the liquid and it will take on a thicker jam-like consistency.
Apple and Blackberry Chia Seed Preserve
500g Apples, after peeling and coring
Water, about an inch in your pan
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Chia seeds
Peel, core and chop Apples into manageable pieces, I still use my Apple Peeler, a very retro and very necessary piece of equipment that saves me time and elbow grease, it does it all in one go!
Put the Apples into a large pan with around and inch or so of water and cook on a gentle heat until the Apples have broken down and become a thick purée. Add the washed Blackberries into the pan and continue to cook again until they are soft.
At this point the Blackberries don't need to be completely broken down unless you'd prefer a smoother fruit spread.
Add the Vanilla extract and stir in. Turn the heat off, add the Chia seeds and stir in until well combined. Allow the Preserve to thicken up as the Chia seeds swell and the flavours meld until cool. Transfer into a clean, sterilised (I pop mine into the oven) jar and keep refrigerated.
I'm off to have some on buttered rye bread as writing about it has made my mouth water!
Blackberries: Vitamins A, C, K, magnesium and potassium. Rich in anti-oxidants, this fact sheet from Berry Health Benefits is a very good, informative read.