Truth: this chia marmalade doesn’t really taste like marmalade but Orange Jam just didn’t sound quite right. OK, now I have that off my chest I can tell you more about this gorgeous spring-kissed raw conserve. I haven’t eaten homemade marmalade for years because of the high-sugar content. However, this spring every time I walk past our orange tree it keeps enticing me to make something beyond simply juicing its fruit. So I started playing around with a chia marmalade. Chia seeds can be used to thicken jam and sauces without sugar and I have used it many times to make berry jam so I knew it was possible.
My first attempt followed a traditional marmalade technique. I chopped the oranges, skin and all, added extra orange juice and juice of one lime, plus honey to sweeten. I simmered this on a very low heat for about 30 minutes until soft. It smelled like marmalade but was very VERY bitter without the addition of copious amounts of sugar it wasn’t going to be edible. I was hopeful while it was cooking but sadly it was a no go (for now anyway).
Next I took the raw angle using chia seeds. I removed the delicate orange segments and mixed them with lime juice, honey and white chia seeds. Close but not quite right, the whole chia seeds didn’t work so well with the larger orange pieces compared with berry jam where the chia perfectly mimics the seeds. So out came my favourite little economical kitchen appliance – a coffee grinder – whizz whizz the chia seeds until finely ground then mixed them with lime juice until thick and folded it though the chopped orange. Bingo! The proof is in the photos. Recipe below…
Introducing Feast Local Nelson – Saturday 14th November 2015
Feast Local is a seasonal gathering to celebrate and showcase local food. This is an event I have been dreaming up for over a year and I am so excited to finally share this with you, along with my sister and co-organiser Ana Galloway.
Feast Local will involve a long shared lunch set in the gorgeous rose courtyard at Fairfield House. Guests will be seated at long tables styled with foraged spring florals, and a rustic three-course meal and drinks will be served.
*The event has now taken place and you can read more about it HERE.
1 - 2 tablespoons ground white chia seeds (black chia seeds can also be used but the colour will be a little murky)
juice of one lime or lemon
1 tablespoon raw spring honey
6 local oranges
- Use a coffee grinder to finely grind the chia seeds. Mix 1 tablespoon ground seeds with the lime/lemon juice and honey. Set aside to thicken.
- Finely grate the orange zest of 2 oranges into a bowl. Use a sharp knife to remove the remaining rind and pith of all the oranges and discard. Slice the delicate orange segments from the membrane by carefully cutting like this. Chop the segments into small pieces then place in a bowl. Add the chia paste and mix until combined. If the marmalade is not thick enough add more ground chia seeds - 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency. Check sweetness adding more honey if needed.
- Serve spread on toast - I served it with my current addiction milk kefir cheese - or spoon onto yogurt and sprinkle with granola. Store in the fridge and use within 1 week. It can also be frozen if you have loads of oranges to use up.