Not really. It’s Joy Bauer’s Cherry-Chia Jam!
For our 30-day ‘No-Added-Sugar’ Challenge, jams and jellies are all OUT because they’re loaded with sugar. Bummer. Neither Andrew nor I are big PB&J eaters (not because they aren’t delicious, they’re just not the healthiest choices and we tend to gravitate to leftovers for lunches), but I do like jam on bread or atop oatmeal, etc.
However, when I saw this recipe come across Facebook, I knew I had to try it. I actually have a friend who joined in the challenge who was really going to miss his daily PB&J sandwich, so I was hoping this would be a winner.
The result was a fresh, fruity gel that was perfect on a slice of toasted Ezekiel bread this morning, and I think it would be even better with some nut butter! My chia seeds didn’t change their texture very much (I expected them to swell and become translucent, like chia puddings), but they achieved the gel-like consistency the jam needed.
For this batch, I used mostly frozen cherries with a few frozen strawberry and blueberry stragglers and fresh pineapple. I was able to mash it all pretty well, so I didn’t remove any chunks of pineapple like Joy instructs in the recipe. I can imagine this jam with other fruits, like strawberries or apricots. It was so easy to make, I may start adding this into the rotation as we finish off the jams and jellies we already have at home.
Also, while searching for Joy’s link, I came across this site with a VERY similar recipe. Jessica and Stacie are Registered Dietitians and expound on the health benefits of chia seeds in their post. Be sure to check out their site!
*Note: This is one of those items that flirts with the line between no sugar and ‘added sugar’ since it’s high in NATURAL sugar–basically the very sweet pineapple is contributing natural sugar to the flavor. My no-added-sugar banana bread is also guilty of this, although it’s not very sweet. On the one hand, sugar is sugar is sugar; on the other, it’s natural sugar and doesn’t tend to be as sweet, so it helps to decrease a person’s dependence on sugar.