Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cranberry Vanilla Chia Jam

Certain foods have become associated with the holiday season, but in reality there is no reason we shouldn't eat them all year.  Cranberries, for instance.  How often do you see a cranberry dish in summer?

With the super health benefits of these brilliantly hued berries, it's unfortunate we don't keep them around all year.  The high nutrient and antioxidant qualities of cranberries launch them to "Super Food" status and brings an array of immunity and disease fighting phytonutrients (along with a healthy dose of fiber).

Mix those berries together with chia and fresh orange and you get even more health benefits.  Maple syrup adds a lovely sweetness to balance the tartness of the berries, vanilla rounds out the flavors with its ethereal flavors and a splash of Grand Marnier is simply for pure pleasure (purely optional, of course...).  All put together, this jam is up there with the best I've ever had.

Extraordinarily tart on their own, cranberries are not to everyone's taste, but the rich maple syrup in this jam had even my ultra-sweet loving Liv asking for more.  Whether slathered on an almond butter sandwich or topping as a dollop on goat cheese on a slice of bread, cranberries are good for more than just sauce on Thanksgiving.

Easier than getting in the car and running the the store, this jam goes together with no pectin and is done from start to finish in about 20 minutes.  So next trip to the store stock up on a few extra bags of cranberries and stash them in the freezer for a summertime cranberry fix.

Cranberry Vanilla Chia Jam with Orange Essence
Sweet with a touch of tartness, this jam fills in for store bought versions for every day use.  Slather on an traditional PBJ or dollop on top of goat cheese for an appetizer, cranberries are here to stay.  Note... Cranberry Vanilla Chia Jam would also make a lovely hostess gift during the holidays!
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1 package cranberries (8 or 10 oz)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 Tbs maple syrup
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
2 Tbs water
2 Tbs chia seeds (we like Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds)
splash Grand Marnier (optional - about 1/2 Tbs)

Place washed cranberries into a medium-sized pot over medium heat and add the orange juice and maple syrup.  Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the cranberries.  Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat a touch so jam doesn't burn, stir often until the berries pop and become tender.  Mash the berries with a fork on the side of the pot and remove from heat.  This all takes 5-10 minutes.  I explained to Liv, remove pot from stove when berries are soft enough to mash with a fork and make a jam-like consistency.

Add the orange zest, water, chia seeds and Grand Marnier if using.  Stir to combine and allow to cool.  When cool place into a sealable jar and store in the refrigerator.  Best used within 7-10 days.

Liv Life Note:  if jam becomes thicker than you desire, simply as a tablespoon or so of water or orange juice to thin

Liv Life Note 2:  This post contain an affiliate link... we appreciate your support when ordering through the links!


  1. How come I've never thought of making cranberry jam? This looks fantastic, Kim. I'm trying to get Frenchie husband to even TASTE cranberry sauce at Christmas but he says, why put jam on turkey? Now this may just change his mind by serving this with goats cheese. Great idea - and ze splash of Grand Marnier? Ho ho ho.

  2. Mmmmm, this looks really tasty Kim. I've never made jam with chia seeds, but I'm intrigued now.


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