Raspberry Chia Preserve

IMG_0104.JPG Raspberry Chia Preserve

As summer heat lingers at the cusp of autumn my cooking becomes more of a hybrid of two things merging together and todays post is exactly that. A farewell to summer as we welcome in the fall. Did you know that fall was originally an English term for autumn, short for the ‘fall of the leaf’, which was adopted by the Americans and has now pretty much taken up home over there. As I write and ponder its original meaning, it is rather whimsical. The last of the late summer raspberries, which we picked locally at Ladysden Farm over the school holidays have been frozen and stored in small handy bags in the freezer. For much of the past few weeks, they have been blitzed into smoothies and ice lollies but now is the time for something more gentle and autumnal and this nutritious preserve is just the thing. Stirred through warm porridge for breakfast, it provides plenty of punchy energy with the addition of Omega-3 dense chia seeds and a little hint of sweetness for the subtle warding off of early autumn sniffles with a soft hint of honey. Added to a warm creamy bowl of porridge, this tastes like a friendly bear hug on these colder crisp mornings. The method is simple and the preserve can be made in precisely the time that the porridge takes to cook. Now that’s my kind of cooking.

Method:

1 cupful of raspberries (straight from frozen is fine)

1/2 cupful of water

1 tablespoonful of chia seeds

1 tablespoonful of honey (raw is nice)

Add all your ingredients to a small pan and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes. The chia seeds have an incredible mucilage capacity, swelling up to 20 times their dry weight, forming a gel like texture, which ‘sets’ your preserve as it cools.

Mix and match any berries you have to hand, blueberries, blackberries all would be good.

As there is no sugar in your preserve, it will not keep for long, perhaps about 5 days in an airtight jar in the fridge. Stir through natural yogurt for a quick snack or pudding, spread generously over pancakes for a weekend brunch or make an Indian Summer Victoria Sponge with Raspberry Chia Preserve. A sweet and thankful reminder of the harvest.