A spicy take on a homemade cranberry jam recipe that pops with ginger-y flavor and is filled with protein-rich chia seeds. Vegan, GF and refined-sugar-free!
Spicy Cranberry Jam Recipe
This delicious seasonal cranberry jam recipe is quite flavorful with the addition of fall spices, and full of nutrition thanks to the two ingredient stars: cranberries, of coure, and chia seeds. Both are so easy and nutrient dense.
How Healthy Are Cranberries?
Cranberries are remarkable, providing phytonutrients, those substances that are antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and offer anti-cancer health benefits. Cranberries also soar in Vitamin C so good for skin and immunity, and Vitamin A, great for skin as well as eye sight!
Half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories, so they are low calorie. And overall studies show this tiny red berry lowers risk of urinary tract infections, prevents certain diseases, improves immune function, and decreases blood pressure.
And how about them chia seeds (or Mets, haha). Chia seeds are magical little containers of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.
Combine all these with the powerfully-healthy spices, and you have a nutritionally potent and flavorful jam!
How to I Make Cranberry Jam?
Well first, grab yourself some fresh cranberries! Here in Washington DC, they are only available in the fall, in the produce section, in bags. Typically I use the New England brand “Ocean Spray” because I used to live in Plymouth, Massachusetts, there they have tonnnnnssss of cranberry bogs.. As far as the eye can see…
I often buy those bags all fall, and stuff them into my freezer to carry me over the other cranberry-less seasons. I am not sure I can do that this fall however. We bought a fancy new refrigerator but the freezer area is quite small.. But the doors are fun; they partially open and it’s like a smart phone, haha. So perhaps it was a wise choice afterall…
Anyway, back to jam making. So once you have fresh cranberries on hand, you can begin to make the jam.
Do the prep work, making chia eggs and chopping ginger.
Then bubble the cranberries and water in a pan, pushing down on the cranberries so they pop. Be careful in this step to heat and pulp up the cranberries but do not let them dry out or burn. Add water to help you make a pulp but not enough to make it juice… Then, once you have a pulp, stir in all the other ingredients. You can strain at this point if you don’t want chunks of ginger in your jam. I just eyeballed it, and plucked out the biggest ones for this picture, haha. But normally I leave them for the occasional ginger-y zing.
Refrigerate. Mine lasted about three days and then seemed to separate so I would eat it within two days of making it. How to eat it, you ask?
What Can I Do with Cranberry Jam?
Ah, let me count the ways. Spread it on bread, stir gobs into a smoothie, dip fruit into it.
Oh, and I also layered it into layers of homemade coconut yogurt. Any of these ways will provide you with a fast easy energizing snack or breakfast.
And don’t forget gift potential. This cranberry jam recipe is perfect to give in a Ball jar for a holiday gift!
I almost forgot! You can serve it with my favorite granola as I did here! You’ll be hearing more about my favorite granola, because it’s my favorite😀.
Want to share this recipe on pinterest? Perhaps use this image…
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Spicy Cranberry Chia Jam Recipe
Cranberry Chia Jam (makes about 1 to 1/2 cup jam)
- 2 cup cranberries fresh
- 3 tbsp chia seeds + 8 tbsp water (let sit 10 minutes)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (more or less to taste)
- 2 tsp fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- splash of water to blend
To make the chia jam
- Make chia pudding by mixing the chia seeds and water and set aside for 10 minutes.Peel ginger with the back of a spoon, dice up meat and push into a garlic press to release juices. Then stuff the pulp and juice into a tablespoon to measure out two. If you have any to spare, put it in a jar with water, refrigerate overnight, and you have a morning ginger shot!
- Put fresh cranberries and a few tablespoons of water in a sauce pan, turn heat on medium low and using the back of a spoon or spatula, crush and pop the cranberries as the water sizzles and cranberries warm up. Don't let the pulp dry out, you just want them popped, pulpy and a bit warm. You don't want to cook cranberries; cooking them reduces the levels of vitamin A and C that they are so famous for!
- Turn off the stove, and stir in the chia seed mixture, syrup,ginger, orange juice and water.Stir it all together and if you have to turn on the stove to warm it a bit to help combine the mixture, do so but be careful not to cook or dry it out.
- Taste test at this point. Cranberries are terrifically sour, and with the addition of ginger, you might need more maple syrup - I like don't like things sweet so I may have added too little for your taste. Let this jam cool before building a parfait. You can also store in the refrigeratora few days or so although it is best freshly cooled on the same day it was made.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.