I first came across the combination of blueberries and lime from a very simple dessert in “Les Halles” cookbook by Anthony Bourdain. I have made that recipe so many times … it is so simple, easy, and delicious with a surprising combination that is outstanding. I was smitten. When local blueberries are in season, I always make it again, many times more.
There is a bumper crop of blueberries this year in the Fraser Valley, one of the prime agricultural areas just outside of Metro Vancouver. There are many u pick places that offer the opportunity to pick them yourself, which is easy and fun. It is a great family activity where kids (and adults) can try to fill their buckets and pails without eating them all.
Having lots of blueberries around is never a bad thing and I wanted to experiment with that flavour combination. I’ve made blueberry chia jam and sauce many times, alone or with lemon, but decided to add the lime zest, lime juice and even a few mint leaves, using the flavours from that dessert. Wow, what a great combination.
To make a healthier jam, I thickened it with chia seeds. Adding chia to your diet has many benefits. It is high in fibre and protein, and has important fatty acids. In addition to the nutritional benefits it has the unique ability to absorb water, making it a natural thickener. In jam, chia takes the place of pectin and sugar. It will not gel the way a traditional jam does but it has a spread-like consistency that works perfectly on toast or wherever you use jam. Generally speaking you want to use 1 tablespoon of chia per 1 cup fruit. Leave it on simmer for 10 minutes or so to thicken. Using chia to thicken also means you only need to add sugar or sweetener for taste. When I make pure blueberry jam with chia, I usually find that the blueberries are sweet enough, but with the addition of the tart lime I added a little sugar to balance the flavor.
Blueberry Lime Chia Jam
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2-3 fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chia
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Add blueberries, mint and lime zest to a small saucepan and heat on low until blueberries start to soften and release their juices. Stir frequently. After about 15 minutes they should be cooked and sauce like. Add sugar and lime juice and cook a little longer. Remove mint leaves. Add chia seeds and continue cooking for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and let sit. The chia will thicken the jam as it cooks and will thicken a little more as it cools down. Store in the fridge.