Citrus Marmalade – The Chia Experiment
July 24, 2015
My parents have been visiting this week and they arrived with a huge box of oranges and mandarins from a friends house plus avocados. The mandarins are divinely sweet and the kids have been eating so many of them that they both developed a reaction around their lips. With so many to use the obvious thing to make was a batch of marmalade. That also meant that I could send some back to the lovely people who gifted them to us. I had not yet experimented with using chia as a sugar replacement in jam or marmalade so decided to give it a try alongside a regular batch and compare the two.
Do you want to know the verdict?
The chia seed version was very quick and easy to make. The chia seeds act as the gelling agent and thicken the mixture, although in the case of marmalade there is not too much to thicken if you are include all of the peel. I know that some people remove most of it but I tend to just leave it in. I loved that the flavour of this marmalade was not too tart. It is a smooth tasting marmalade, quite lovely and gentle but it does have a grainy texture that comes from the chia seeds. It certainly doesn’t look like regular marmalade but if you can get over that the flavor is lovely. Based on what I have read about using chia seeds in jams it will last stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or may be frozen for a longer shelf life.
The regular sugar based version of this marmalade was divine. It was not tart and the aftertaste was not too sweet. This can probably be attributed to the sweet home grown mandarins. The marmalade took longer to make than the chia seed version as you need to wait until the liquid reaches setting point of 222F. The result was a marmalade the glorious color of liquid gold. Simply looking at this marmalade on a cold winter morning is almost enough to warm you through. It will last a few months when stored in a cool dark location.
I am not sure I can decide which I like the most. If I had to choose I think I would go with the regular version. I love the chia seed version for it’s simplicity and fresh flavor and the regular version for it’s gorgeous well rounded flavor and texture. If you are seeking to reduce your intake of refined sugar give the chia one a try.
Leave out the skin from the ends of the fruit that contain only pith and any large thick pieces. The more fruit included in this recipe the better (as opposed to the peel)
The image below is of my regular Marmalade Recipe.
*Any food that is kept in storage for a period of time must be checked for signs of spoilage prior to eating, ensure that it is discarded if there are any signs of spoilage or if you are unsure of the storage duration.
Have you attempted using chia seeds to make marmalade? If so what were your thoughts?
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