Jewel tone jams

The best part of being part of a CSA is the constant stream of deliciousness that comes to our front door every Thursday.  The hard part is keeping up with all the fresh and unfortunately perishable produce we get every week.  We got kumquats a few weeks ago and I immediately snacked on a handful. I love their tangy sweet taste, but eating too many kumquats straight gives me a stomachache.  After my first stomachache, they languished in the fridge for a while and I felt guilty every time I looked at them.

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I decided to try to create a kumquat jam so that I could enjoy them in moderation and save myself the stomachache that comes with eating them alone. I wasn’t too worried about having the jam ‘set’; I was shooting for something in-between candied fruit and a jam.  I had so much fun making the kumquat jam that I ended up making strawberry chia seed jam as well.  Using chia seeds basically takes a lot of the science out of jam making, and you don’t have to worry about pectin content. Chia seeds are amazing; they can absorb at least 10 times their weight in liquid and are super-foods however you define it. They are a great source of omega-3s, have lots of fiber, and are rich in minerals.   They are also basically tasteless, so you get all the nutritional value for free.  Win-win!

Kumquat Jam

1 pint of kumquats
1/4 C sugar (more or less to taste)
1/4 C water

-finely slice the kumquats
-add the water and sugar
-bring to boil and allow the fruit to cook for 3-4 minutes
-simmer until the jam has reached the right consistency, about 4 minutes

Strawberry Jam 

1 pound of strawberries
1/4 C sugar
2 T chia seeds

-wash and chop the strawberries
-cook the strawberries and sugar over medium heat until the fruit starts to break down, about 4 minutes
-add the chia seeds and cook for another minute
-remove from heat and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, until set

*inspired by Oh my veggies

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