What do you get when you combine locally grown strawberries and cherries, a hint of lemon, pure maple syrup AND the fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acid and micronutrient superfood also known as Chia Seeds?… BAM! the absolute perfect go-to morning spread! Guaranteed… OH! and did I mention this jam is super-healthy, low in added sugar and vegan! The best part of it all is that you can swap out the strawberries & cherries and use absolutely any fresh or frozen fruit your hearts desire, making this spread enjoyable to everyone! ALL YEAR ROUND.
Summer has finally arrived here in Ontario (YAY!) and that means freshly picked fruit & veggies are being scooped up at local markets and grocery stores daily. “Pick your Own” farms are also at there peak, allowing people to pull in and well…. you guess! Pick there own fruit of course! Which is an experience I have still yet to do on my own however, in the next few weeks I hope to quit procrastinating and get to it. Strawberries and dark tart cherries are both two of my top favourite fruits of choice so with that said, I wanted to create a simple, healthy spread that I could deeply sink my teeth into and enjoy on what has become my new latest obsession… the mother of all breads… Sourdough.
I’m not talking about the “wanna-be” fake versions of sourdough found at most super-markets. I’m talking about the real authentic, 3 ingredient, fermented kind. The one found in an old-school rustic bakery, using only the finest stone milled flour + water + salt combination, slowly left to ferment for several hours and then baked by a talented, educated, passionate, flour-covered baker who isn’t afraid of telling you all about how its made.
De la terre bakery (3451 King St, Lincoln, ON) specializes in organic artisan breads and pastries made in-house and also features coffee and tea & espresso-based drinks.
Chef Jan Campbell-Luxton, owner and proprietor, has worked in professional kitchens in Canada and internationally since 1996. He trained at the Stratford Chefs School, then stayed on for several years there as a teacher. de la terre is deeply committed to foregrounding locally produced foods and their producers, as well as encouraging consumer support of organic and sustainable agricultural practices. In this spirit, they use biodegradable and compostable take-out containers, cutlery, and napkins. They purchase there flour and produce from small independent farmers wherever possible. Such as Tom Neufeld, of Spring Creek Milling in Campen ON providing flour for some of there breads. Tom uses a stone mill, once powered by water, to grind his grains.
I am a big believer in supporting local, so when I first called and reached out to this quant little bakery I was immediately inspired by the patience, the knowledge and the hard work & dedication the employee’s put into making every single loaf of REAL sourdough! If you don’t know very much about all of the benefits of real sourdough bread here are a few different links you can click on and read before heading over to get some of your own! http://www.breadmatters.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=34 and http://cookusinterruptus.com/blog/?p=4245
Trying extremely hard not to eat an entire loaf on my way home I got in the door and immediately began putting together my jam recipe. So for this batch of Chia Seed jam, I started with 1 & 1/2 cups of both locally grown dark cherries & strawberries – washed, hulled & chopped (if you want to avoid bigger chunks, chop them into smaller pieces) If using raspberries or blueberries, you don’t even have to chop at all!
In a saucepot, heat the fruit until they just start to bubble and get syrupy. Once soft, use a masher and mash them until mixture is jammy, leaving a few little bits chunky for extra texture (if you like). You then will add your sweetener of choice. Honey/lemon/and pure maple syrup are all great choices being as they are free of refined sugar and are all natural sweetners! Amounts will vary depending on how sweet you’d like the jam. If you’d prefer no extra sweetner that’s absolutely fine too!
At this point, you can taste your jam and make any necessary adjustments, until it tastes just right….
Finally, take the mixture off of the heat, transfer it to a medium-large size mason jar and add in the chia seeds. Screw on the lid and give her a good shake! That’s right, shake what your momma gave ya!! Now, allow the mixture to set for at least 20 mins… ticktock….. Enjoy immediately! (on your fresh sourdough bread slices) OR for those of you crazy people who can wait, pack away in the fridge to use throughout the week.
(vegan) (gluten-free) (dairy-free)