About 5 years ago a friend taught me how to can. It wasn’t long before I had an entire kitchen cabinet filled with Ball jars and other canning essentials. My interest in home preserving has kind of waned since my initial excitement, so now I put those jars to use storing dry ingredients in the pantry and leftovers in the fridge. They also are perfect for transporting lunch to the office.
Last weekend I overbought grapes at the market. Jam crossed my mind, but I wasn’t crazy about spending an afternoon boiling and sealing jars for a small yield. Instead I used chia seeds to make a quick jam that gelled in no time. I loved the texture and how sweet this concord grape chia jam turned out, but the best part was that it only needed a little agave and no sugar.
Concord Grape Chia Jam
4 cups concord grapes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave or honey
1/4 cup chia seeds
Slip the grapes out of their skins and separate the flesh from the skins. Puree the grape skins in a food processor for 2-3 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any leftover grape skin.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the grape flesh until it releases some juice and starts to break down, about 5-7 minutes. Strain the flesh through a fine mesh sieve using a wooden spoon to push it through while removing the seeds.
Return the strained grape skins and flesh to the large saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, agave and chia seeds. Cool to room temperature before transferring to a jar or other airtight storage container. The jam will be thicken more once it is fully chilled.
Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.