Last weekend, I hit the fields to go blueberry picking. Let me make a note to myself that picking your own berries saves so much money. I look forward to summer berries (especially blueberries) all year-round that I'm willing to pay $4-5 for local berries at the farmer's market. When I picked my own, I got a pint for $1.80! I returned two days later with roomies to help pick, and we got just over 5 pounds of berries for $13. We also stocked up on a couple pints of raspberries. Although we made a good dent in the berries this week, we obviously weren't going to eat all of them. So, what did I do?
First, I froze a ton in order to savor them during the winter. I rinsed them, shook up the water to prevent freezer burn, and layered them in a single layer on a baking sheet. I slipped the baking sheet in the freezer overnight, then bagged the berries up the next morning. Simple and easy.
I saved some more to make Blueberry Chia Jam. Condiments are some of the easiest products to make at home. Salad dressings, mayo, jam, and more only require a few simple ingredients. By making them yourself, you're able to keep it simple and natural, and skip the preservatives and extra added sugars.
I didn't can this jam with a boiling water bath, which is important if you want to keep it safe from food-borne bacteria by sterilizing it. If you know how to can, you can definitely try it that way, though! Instead, I made small batches and have stored most of the jars in my freezer for longer storage.
Blueberry Chia Jam
- 3 cups blueberries
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Start by rinsing your blueberries. Pick through them to check if any still have stems on them.
Heat blueberries and maple syrup in a pan on medium-low heat. When the berries begin to soften, mash them with a fork or other utensil.
Add the chia seeds, and let cook down for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour the jam into clean jars. It will keep for about 1 week in the fridge and a few months in the freezer.