Archive for Canning and Preserving

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

Okay, so… I get it. You’re maybe not Mr or Ms Suzy Homemaker. Maybe the best you can do is to make things out of packages. That’s cool.

But let’s say you really want to impress someone. Maybe you’re going to a friend’s house and you want to bring a hostess gift, or maybe you’ve got people coming over for brunch.

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

What you need is the world’s easiest, laziest, most klutz-proof strawberry rhubarb jam recipe.

Jam is a tricky business. There is fruit, sure. But there’s also this magical substance called pectin (what even is that, right?), sugar, and often lemon juice, which are all cooked down together in a giant, simmering vat. And that’s just the cooking part. Then you have to put it into jars and preserve it, and if you don’t do that right, will you kill everyone who eats it?

Yeah, jam can be complicated. But this one is not.

It’s not, thanks to the miracle of the chia seed.

Chia has been quite the thing for the last few years. And yes, in case you were wondering, they are the same seeds you used to grow on your Chia Pet (“Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!”). They are beloved by vegetarians and paleos alike because they are gluten-free and high in protein. You’ll often find them in smoothies and puddings, which can be eaten either at breakfast or for dessert.

Because of their magical properties to suck up immense amounts of moisture and turn it into a kind of gel, chia is amazing for thickening stuff. Like jam. In this case.

Just 5 ingredients, real simple, very satisfying results.

Simple Jam Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

  • 1/2 cup washed and chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup washed and chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Method:

Store finished jam in the refrigerator!

Green Tomato and Apple Chutney

As sad as I am to see Summer go, when it comes to food and cooking, Fall may be my favourite season.

You see, now is the time when when we start to think about soups, stews. Slow cooking, long braising. Pumpkins, squashes and gourds. Apples and pie. And warming spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and star anise.warming spices

These are all things that I love, that bring me comfort, make me feel loved. They are the food equivalent of my favourite hoodie, or a pair of fuzzy slippers.

I had a few green tomatoes left after my Fried Green Tomato experiment, so I started to wonder what I’d do with them. Turns out, they have tons more applications. Pickles, soup, jam and pie are all possibilities. But then I hit upon a chutney recipe, and I was sold.

green tomato and apple chutney

If you’ve not made chutney before, it’s simply a kind of savory jam that’s often served as a condiment with meat or cheese. The recipe includes some kind of vinegar, and some kind of sugar, so it creates that piquant sour/sweet push/pull on your tongue. They are usually chunkier than jams, too, so they often have some nice texture to them.

The other nice thing about a recipe like this is how adaptable it is. You don’t have to worry about being too precise with your measuring. My kinda recipe!

I served mine on a slice of baguette, topped with brie and a dollop of the chutney. It would also be amazing with pork–I’m looking forward to that pairing next.

green tomato and apple chutney 2

Green Tomato and Apple Chutney

(adapted from David Lebovitz)

Ingredients:

  •  2 large green (unripened) tomatoes, chopped into 1/2″ dice
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1/2-1 whole onion, chopped fine
  • 1″ of fresh garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods, bashed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 whole cloves

Method:

  1. Place the tomatoes, apples, garlic, vinegar, sugar, raisins, and mustard seeds all in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Wrap the spices in a cheesecloth and tie well, or place them in a tea ball. Drop the spices into the chutney, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the chutney to cook slowly down until it is the thickness of jam, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from the heat. Remove the spices. Allow to cool, and store in the refrigerator, or you can can according to these directions.

 

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