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Chia Cherry Summer Jam

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Chia Cherry Summer Jam displayed in a mason jar along side raw almond toastWe must be able to first identify them… Rainier’s have a creamy-yellow flesh, which gives the blush of the skin a sunny undertone, kissed by the sun.   The Rainier is a cross between a Bing and a Van — two sweet red varieties.

Harold Fogle, who at the time directed the cherry breeding program at the Washington State University extension station in Prosser, made the cross in 1952.  The variety was released in 1960.  The mother tree still lives on a WSU plot five miles from the station.  (I am sensing a road trip in my future :)

How do they grow? I have come to learn a lot about growing cherries, and there is an art to it.   The odds change daily, even hourly, with every shift in temperature, a gust of wind, or a downpour of rain.
If the wind blows too hard, the cherry bruises from rubbing against another cherry, if it rains more than a day, the cherry bursts its skin.  And not only are we feeding Amie Sue’s belly, but about a quarter to a third of a crop also goes to the birds!

Class over… LETS EAT!

Yesterday, my husband and I took a walk around our property and stood in awe under the canopy of the cherry tree branches.  They are full of life and are producing little red bundles of juicy nutrients!  It was all I could do NOT to fill my belly full cherries and be wheelbarrowed waddle out of the orchard.

It has been amazing to watch the cherry trees go from bare branches to gorgeous flower blossoms, to sweet little edible jewels!  Hold on, let me rummage through my photos, I know I have a picture somewhere.  OK, I found it!

Whether you pick your cherries right from the branch or from a grocery store branch… you want to select ones that are firm, plump, and deep in color.  Avoid bruised or split cherries.  Scars and discolored spots are a sign that the cherry is especially sweet.  Once you get them home, hold them up in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Wash only when ready to eat.  Water can cause them to soften and split, and when this happens, they are more susceptible to mold.

Tips for Pits

Rinse the cherries with cool water, and remove stems.  If you have a lot of cherries, this is a good activity to do with a partner or two.  If you’re alone, don’t be alarmed if you start talking to yourself.  If you start answering yourself, well, then that is another story.  :)  This is a good time to listen to the radio, talk on a headset, watch television, or enjoy the meditative nature of a quiet, repetitive task.

Use a toothpick, an un-bent paper clip, and insert it into the stem end of the cherry.  You should feel it hit the pit. Twist your implement of choice around the pit and pop it out.  It will take you a few cherries to get the feel of it. Set the pit aside and eat the cherry.  WAIT!  I guess if you want to make this recipe, you will need to restrain yourself a bit.  That or buy some extras for “trial and error.”  Yea, yea that’s the ticket… trial and error!

But wait there’s more…. you can use a beer bottle (or similar) and a chopstick…Position cherry upside down on the top of the beer bottle.  Aim for the tiny mark on the bottom left by the flower. Using a chopstick, poke a hole right through the top of the cherry into the bottle. The pit should fall into the bottle, and the cherry remains intact.


Yields 3 cups


  1. Tip: I recommend using organic cherries if at all possible.  They are towards the top of the list in the list of “Dirty Dozen” fruits when it comes to pesticides.
  2. Ground chia seeds – you can grind the seeds in a spice grinder or coffee grinder.  Grind to a fine powder.  If you don’t have a way to grind the chia seeds, you can skip this step.  I did some whole and some ground for texture purposes.
  3. Pit the cherries – if you use a cherry pitter, I do recommend that you double-check each one just to make sure it popped the pit out.  I did 4 cups worth and found 6 cherries with holes in them but still had the pit in there.  Not so pleasant to bite down on.
  4. In the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine all ingredients and pulse together.  You can decide how chunky or smooth that you want your jam.
  5. This is a good time to do a taste test.  The sweetness level is determined by how sweet and ripe the cherries are.  Make adjustments if needed.
  6. Transfer the jam into a medium-sized bowl, cover, and place in the fridge.  As it sits and chills, it will thicken.  (special thanks to our chia seeds!)
  7. Keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.


15 thoughts on “Chia Cherry Summer Jam

  1. Gabby says:

    Yum! I just got me some fresh cherries and would LOVE to make this! I’m thinking about maybe making a bunch and freezing it for later use. Have you tried this?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Gabby,

      I have some in the freezer right now. I want it to stay in there a few weeks and then see how it thaws. I will keep you posted. If I forget, remind me. haha Have a great weekend, amie sue

  2. Chris says:

    This looks delicious! I have some fresh berries in the fridge (no cherries), so I will make it with those berries!!!! How many cups of jam does this recipe make?


  3. Kelly says:

    Hi, Amie Sue!

    Do you eat this on crackers? I’d love it on toast, but I don’t eat that any more. Any ideas?

    Thanks! Your recipes are delicious!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Kelly,
      So far, my husband has been eating on his GF bagels in the morning. I have eaten by the spoonful (haha), on my yogurt, and on crackers. You could use it as a filling with cake (raw or not) mixes, sandwich it between raw peanut butter cookies, layer with peanut butter on crackers like a PBJ, add to your morning porridge of oats, oat groats, buckwheat, and so much more. I hope this gave you few more ideas. :) Have a great day! amie sue

  4. Jana says:

    Ahhh now the cherry recipes are coming along. ;)
    Looks yummy! Lick, lick!

  5. Joey says:

    Have you ever tried freezing things that contain chia? Does the texture change?
    I’m single and even though I cut the recipes in half, sometimes it’s still too much. Plus, make a bunch while fruits are in season . . .

  6. Deborah says:

    Amie-Sue, for a suggestion some times we can not always get Organic fruit but I do have a pretty safe alternative….I buy food grade Bentonite Clay and because of the healing properties of Clay one can fill a sink full of cold water with three heaping tablespoons of clay and immerse all your vegetables and fruits in the clay water for about 20 minutes then rinse and place on drying rack for a half hour place back in your frig or wipe with dry towel and eat.
    Clay has the properties of pulling toxins out of the body and healing the tissues from burns and wounds if it can do this in a matter of minutes can you imagine what it can do with your food…you may want to do a study but it makes my fruit and veggies taste better and keep for weeks longer…been doing this for 4 years now…one can go to http://www.redmondclay.com or http://www.aboutclay.com hope this helps for the city folks and us poor people…Of course try never to buy GMO if at all possible…

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Deborah for sharing that. I will surely look into that. I know that organic fruits and veggies are not always obtainable, so having options like this is great. Blessings, amie sue

  7. Angie says:

    Hi, can this jam be frozen?

    • amie-sue says:

      I would think so Angie. I haven’t frozen it myself since we tend to go through it before it expires. Just make sure to freeze it in a tightly sealed, freezer-safe container. And try to remove as much air as possible when freezing… meaning, have the container be about the exact size needed so you can fill it as close to the rim as possible. This will help reduce ice-crystals from forming, thus effecting the taste. Does this help? Blessings, amie sue

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