One of the exciting aspects of the Allergic to Salad curriculum is that it empowers young children to embrace cooking skills that many adults view as advanced. We make butter from scratch, ferment our own sauerkraut, and teach children how easy it can be to preserve the bounty of summer in the form of jam or preserves, such as this plum-chia jam.
This quick plum chia jam is an easy, low-sugar way to preserve one of our favorite underrated fruits—the plum. Plums are a clingstone drupe, meaning that the flesh of the fruit clings to the hard kernel at the center. Drupe is just another name for stone fruit. Clingstones typically have a sweeter, juicier flesh so they are ideal for boiling down into jam even though the pit adheres to the fruit making them more difficult to process. Our students learn how to cut around the center, chopping the fruit into smaller chunks.
These tasty fruits are also high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Beta Carotene. They promote healthy eyesight, and ease digestion. If you want this plum-chia jam to last over winter, you can heat and seal the cans, but it is so delicious it may not last that long! If you’re feeling fancy, throw in a little fresh grated ginger or another spice of your choice to complement the honied flavor.
ITALIAN PLUM CHIA JAM
Makes 1-1 ½ cups
24 oz Italian plums, pitted and chopped
2-4 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or agave (I used honey)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
- In a medium saucepan, combine the fruit and 2 tablespoons honey. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to liquefy (about 5 to 10 minutes for berries, longer for firmer fruits). Once the fruit is liquidy, bring it to a gentle boil and let cook until it breaks down and becomes saucy, about 5 minutes. Mash lightly to reach your desired consistency.
- Taste the jam for sweetness. If you desire more, stir in additional honey a few teaspoons at a time, until you reach the desired taste. Stir in any optional mix-ins.
- Stir in the chia seeds and let cook one minute. Remove the pan from the heat, stir once more, and let sit for 10 minutes. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools. (If it seems very thin, add 1 to 2 additional teaspoons of chia seeds, stir, then let sit 10 additional minutes.)
- Transfer the chia jam to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.