Do you ever want to make breakfast porridge or a smoothie bowl but stop short after realizing there is no fresh fruit to top it with?
Even though toppings are not required by any particular food law, it’s one of those things that I have to have. The idea of fermented chia plum jam came up after having a lot of success fermenting fresh plums. I thought it would be nice to have fruit ready and chopped for breakfast even on the days when I leave for work at 5am.
Aside from having to cut plums, this is a very easy ferment. I found that red plums work better than other varieties I tried (black and prune). They retain color better and their texture stays firm and pleasant.
Besides being incredibly nutritious, chia seeds have a neat ability to gel. They are great for thickening this jam, and are naturally gluten and grain free.
By fermenting this jam, we create a number of live lactic bacteria. This bacteria, known as probiotics, are highly beneficial for our health. They help prevent and treat inflammation and improve digestive health.
HOW TO MAKE FERMENTED CHIA PLUM JAM
2 lbs red plums, ripe but firm
1/2 cup raw honey (see note below)
1 tablespoon starter (I’ve used apple brine, kombucha and sauerkraut juice, but you could probably use kefir or whey)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chia seeds, plus extra 2-3 tablespoons for thickening after fermentation is complete
A pinch of cardamom and cloves (optional)
A few sprigs of fresh mint leaves
Chop plums into small pieces, discard the pits. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Transfer the plum mixture to a clean jar (I used a gallon Mason jar, even though it only fills half of it; the jam bubbles a lot so you need a lot of room).
Cover with sprigs of mint.
Leave to ferment in a cool place for 3 days, stir with a spoon a couple of times a day, then transfer to refrigerator. You can remove the mint, if you wish. You will see a lot of activity and increase in size before it settles down. Wait a week or so before eating. I’ve kept it up to two months in the fridge but you can probably store it longer than that. Mix the fermented chia plum jam well before serving.
After some time, the fruit tends to collect at the top with liquid at the bottom. I add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds to thicken it.
This amount of honey makes jam that’s just a touch sweet, with a pleasant tang. If you want it sweeter, increase honey to one cup or even more.
I recommend using red plums, which I think retain the best color and texture during fermentation.
Original article and pictures take www.beetsandbones.com site