This recipe is a part of the Canadian Food Experience Project, a movement spearheaded by the most charming Valerie, aka A Canadian Foodie. As we (participants) share our collective stories through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity – coming from the Berry Capital of Canada, I had to share something that showcases berries in all their natural beauty!
Homemade jam in 5 minutes! I kid you not. In fact, this jam doesn’t even take a whole 5 minutes to make, I exaggerated. I am so excited about this jam, I can’t even express myself accurately.
I live in Abbotsford, British Columbia also known as the Berry Capital of Canada, home to an annual Berry Beat Festival and countless berry farms bursting with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Many of these mostly family-operated farms have expanded to include playgrounds, fresh berry restaurants, and petting farms. I haven’t ventured into the u-pick areas yet with my three little ones, but this year my 5-year-old reaallllly wanted to pick her own, so I’m sure the day will come.
Coming home with flats of the most gorgeous fresh berries, we always set into them on the car ride home and eat as many as we possibly can fresh. But fresh berries don’t have the longest shelf life, so I always freeze a bunch for smoothies but am also always looking for other ways to use the berries that highlights their perfect fresh flavour.
I must confess, I’ve never really liked jam so it’s never been one of the options. In the 7 years we’ve been married, I think I’ve bought jam twice, and once was for filling Empire Cookies, so it doesn’t really count as jam use. Isn’t it funny how the grocery purchaser determines exactly what everyone in the house eats? I’m pretty sure Carl likes jam, and ate it before we were married, but that went out the window with breakfast sausage and pizza pockets the day he married me :)
But this jam is a whole different story. It’s not loaded with sugar, and there’s no canning involved. This can hardly be called jam, aside from the fact that it’s a fruit spread with the texture of jam. This is really just fresh berries, in all their stunning natural beauty. The colour is gorgeous, the taste is pure freshness, and the texture is perfect for spreading or topping. You can spread this on toast, bagels, or pancakes, or you can use it as a berry sauce on angel food cake or pound cake. It’s especially awesome on scones, plain or dressed up with chocolate and raspberries.
And like I said, it takes FIVE MINUTES to make (plus some time to set in the fridge), and it uses only 3 ingredients. It’s gluten free, dairy free, virtually sugar free, and oh so good. I like the pure tartness of raspberries – if they make your cheeks pucker, you could certainly add more honey, or use a sweeter, milder berry like strawberries or blueberries to replace all or some of the fruit.
If you haven’t already bought chia seeds to make my favourite Lemon Chia Seed Muffins, I really hope this super simple fresh jam will change your mind and convince you to add them to your cart. They have amazing gelling capacity – 1 Tbsp makes this mixture set up into a perfect consistency.
So, happy weekend, friends! I hope where you live is cooler than where I live, because here it is silly hot. Good thing this takes only 5 minutes to make, and no oven or stove required – that’s my kind of canning. Enjoy!
Update: Several people have asked about the shelf life and freezability of this jam. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, about as long as fresh, unwashed berries would keep. For freezing, let set overnight in the fridge before freezing, and leave some extra space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion as it freezes. I haven’t tried this with frozen, thawed berries but I think it would work exactly the same.
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1-2 tsp honey
- Combine ingredients in blender or food processor and process until combined and berries are fairly smooth. Transfer to small container and refrigerate until set (6+ hours).