Peaches are hands-down one of my favorite fruits. Nothing screams summer quite like sweet peach nectar rolling down your chin, or tasting those fruity chunks in creamy ice cream, freshly churned. Then there’s peach pie or Granny’s crispy peach tarts… my mouth is watering thinking of all of the possibilities for this sweet and fuzzy fruit. Our family took a short trip a few weekends ago and while we were away, we stopped at one of our state’s larger farmer’s markets. The bounty of fresh local vegetables and fruits was incredible, and several stands already had yellow and white peaches out for sampling! We decided on some fresh yellow peaches (and a new blueberry bush) and devoured most of them during our trip.
I kept a few back for making homemade jam because it’s so difficult to find jam or jelly at the store that isn’t loaded with sugar; even a lot of the recipes for jams and jellies that have been passed down to me over the years have a ton of sugar in them. Now, I’m not against sugar, clearly, but since it shows up in so many other foods, and because fruit is naturally sweet, I wanted to make some homemade peach jam that would be lightly sweetened, yet still be a winner for the little gardeners. Enter the chia jam.
Chia seeds aren’t anything new. In fact, I distinctly remember hearing the Chia Pet commercials as a kid… ch, ch, ch, chia! Little did i know that those grass-growing, terra cotta pots held a nutritional powerhouse inside them. Not only are chia seeds great for you to eat and not just grow, they work as a natural thickener, so no pectin needed for this jam. And since I sweetened this jam with honey, it pleases my more natural tastes, and it has that earthly sweetness only honey can bring. I will say though, you want to use ripe fruit. Your peaches should be soft and juicy; this makes them easier to mash or blend, and the fruit itself is sweeter when it’s more ripe. So let’s get busy making this jam!
What you’ll need:
2-3 ripe peaches
1-2 Tbsp honey (or more if you’re a real sweetie!)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
vanilla extract (optional)
Put it All Together:
- Peel peaches and roughly chop.
- Place chopped peaches, chia seeds, and honey in a small pot over medium heat.
- Cook for several minutes, mashing the peaches as they warm (I find this helps with thickening). Add water one tablespoon at a time if your mixture seems too dry. You can also add a splash of vanilla extract here for a fragrant note to your jam.
- Place warm peach mixture into blender and pulse several times until you reach your desired consistency. I like a very smooth jam, so I blended for 30 seconds or so, but if you prefer a chunkier jam, simply pulse once or twice.
- Divide jam into two jelly jars and allow to cool. Once cooled, the jam should be thickened and ready to spread on toast, bread, yogurt… the possibilities are endless!
And since this recipe makes two jelly jars full, you can always gift the other to a friend or neighbor. If you’re a baker, throw in a loaf of bread and you’ll probably make a new best friend. This jam will keep in the fridge for a week or two, but hopefully it won’t last nearly that long at your house.
I’d love to know what your favorite jams and jellies are, and if you’ve ever tried making them at home. I hope you’re having a fabulous day; Happy Gardening!