Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Pickled Golden Beets with Coriander

 Ahhh, the oft misunderstood beet -- Once a versatile and hearty root that sustained nations; now most often dumped from a can, hastily sliced and thrown on a limp-looking restaurant salad. Truthfully, I'd never turn up my nose at a beet-topped salad.  I love beets -- whether out of a can, from a jar, or freshly roasted.  I love them for their sweetness, the way they compliment many foods so beautifully, and for the fact that they are inexpensive and easy to prepare.

In addition to the classic garnet, beets can be found in gold, pink, and candy-cane stripe.  This week, I found some locally grown, organic golden beets at my local grocery store.  I popped a pound in my cart, headed home and had them pickled within the hour.

These golden pickled beets get an aromatic kick from whole coriander and fennel seeds.  They're wonderful on top of an arugula salad with goat cheese, in a spicy slaw, or inside a grilled cheese sandwich.  They're so easy to make and can be held, sealed in their jars for up to a year.  Enjoy!

Pickled Golden Beets with Coriander

1 pound golden beets
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
Pinch dried red pepper flakes (optional)

--Prepare beets by washing, then boiling in a large stockpot for 30 minutes (or until beets are fork tender).  Drain in the sink and rinse with cool water.  Skins should come off with a light rubbing under running water.  Slice beets as desired.  I like mine in 1/4" slices.

--Prepare a boiling water bath in your canner or strainer-lined stock pot.  Give 2 1- pint jars and their lids and bands a dip.  Set aside on a clean towel to cool and dry.  

Step 1:  Combine rice vinegar, water salt and spices in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 2:  Arrange beets between the two jars. Give the brine a quick stir to get spices moving, then divide by pouring into each of the jars.  Leave 1/2" head space in each jar.

Step 3:  Tap each jar gently on your work surface to remove any trapped air bubbles.  Wipe rims and apply lids and rings.

Step 4:  Process jars in a boiling water bath for 12 minutes.

Step 5:  Remove jars from canner and let cool.

Step 6:  Store jars in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

If you'd like to make custom fabric jar covers for your canned goods, you can find my tutorial HERE.

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