Cranberry & Orange Chia Jam w/ Cinnamon & Maple

This chia jam is an homage to winter. Slightly tart, gently spiced, perfectly sweet, and bursting with festive flair, all the while delightfully stirring up just the right aromas in the kitchen while it simmers.

I love cranberries and orange together, and when combined with maple and cinnamon, it really takes on a bright and bold flavor that's perfect over pancakes, chia pudding, plain or vanilla yogurt, shortbread cookies, muffins, smoothie bowls, or really any other way you could imagine eating it -- yes with a spoon straight from the jar, I've done that too.

This isn't quite a "cranberry sauce" like you'd find on Thanksgiving day, although I don't see why it couldn't be a new tradition on your holiday table. However, I think of it more as a topping. Something to add a beautiful pop of seasonal flavor, color, and nutrition to an otherwise year-round staple, like the examples above.

I hope you love it!

1 cup Fresh cranberries
1 cup Filtered water
1 cup Freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. Orange zest (grated, or peeled and cut into thin pieces)
1/4 tsp. Ceylon Cinnamon
3-4 Tbs. Real maple (or other liquid sweetener of choice)
2 Tbs Chia seeds

1. Rinse and drain cranberries
2. Add cranberries to a medium sauce pot, and cover with filtered water
3. Summer on low heat (stirring frequently to avoid burning) until the cranberries are soft enough to burst open with the back of a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. 
4. Crush most of the cranberries with your spoon, and stir in the orange juice and zest, cinnamon, and a pinch of pink sea salt. 
5. Simmer on low heat until the mixture reduces by about half, 15 minutes or so, stirring frequently. 
6. Stir in maple and chia seeds, and turn off the heat. Let cool for about 10 minutes on the stove. Don’t worry if there’s excess liquid left, the chia will absorb quite a bit over night.
7. Taste and adjust for sweetness, adding more maple by the tsp, or cinnamon by the 1/4 tsp if needed, and transfer to a jar or container with tightly fitting lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

If the jam doesn’t turn out as thick as you like, stir in extra chia seeds by the tsp until you reach desired consistency. This jam turns regular pancakes, oatmeal, chia pudding, and yogurt into a festive party in your mouth! I hope you try it, and come back to let me know your favorite way to use it.

Purpose of cranberries: Good source of vitamins C and E, which are antioxidants that protect the cardiovascular system from oxidative damage and reduce chronic inflammation.

Purpose of chia seeds: Rich source of fiber, protein, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, manganese and ALA (primary building block for DHA and EPA).

That's all for now,