STRAWBERRY CHIA JAM

  This quick-and-easy Strawberry Chia Jam intensifies the strawberry flavor while being healthier than most of the jams on the market.  It’s one of those gorgeously-simple foods.  The texture (as written) is a cross between a jam and a sauce, making it super versatile, but it’s easily made firmer by the addition of another Tablespoon of chia seeds.  I chose to make this jam with strawberries because strawberries already have tiny seeds, but you can choose any fruit you like.  The way I made it, it can be spread on toast, spooned over vegan yogurt or cheesecake, drizzled on oatmeal, stirred into lemonade, dolloped on strawberry shortcake, etc.  I froze some  so I could preserve the flavor of Spring.

STRAWBERRY CHIA JAM

Makes enough to fill two 8-ounce jars and then some

INGREDIENTS
3 Cups chopped fruit
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice  (yes, fresh tastes better)
1/3 Cup organic sugar
1 Tablespoon chia seeds  (or 2 if you want it thicker)

DIRECTIONS
Wash and prepare fruit, cutting away any bad parts, leaves and stems.  Leave berries otherwise whole and add them to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, until fruit breaks down and gives off syrupy liquid.  Mash the fruit with a potato masher, or if you don’t have one, the bottom of a canning jar or heavy glass tumbler.  Leave lumps, so it’s rustic and beautiful.  Stir in lemon juice and sugar.  Taste it to make sure it’s to your liking.  Stir in chia seeds.  Let it sit and cool, and try to not to eat it out of the pot.  Use within a week, or freeze.

NOTES:  This recipe is flexible, but these measurements above really hit the spot for us.  If using larger fruit, pit and chop it.  Next time, I’ll add the zest of the lemon.  The health benefits of chia are many–fully digestible and energy-boosting, they were an important food for the Incas centuries ago.  Chia adds antioxidants, fiber, protein, omega-3s and calcium to foods, while not interfering with the flavor of the main ingredient.  While this jam is not sugar-free, the chia seeds make you feel more satiated.  For another chia recipe, try my Chia Fresca.  And if you’re a real health nut, there’s also Chia Breakfast Porridge.  There is also a great Quick Freezer Jam on this site, that uses agar agar as a thickening agent.  Other related recipes include Strawberry Rhubarb Compote.

Chia Breakfast Porridge

Here’s another recipe for the Raw category on this site.  This cereal is full of Super Foods that pack a nutritional punch, it takes less than five minutes to make and it’s very versatile–you can put any goodies you want in it.  This is a single serving, but you can easily double or triple it, and you’re getting calcium, protein with all essential amino acids, fiber, phosphorus for healthy bones and teeth, and a whole lot more.  Chia seed is an ancient and powerful food used centuries ago by the Aztec Indians for endurance running.  The chia seeds will absorb more than ten times their weight in liquid and turn into a pudding-like consistency that may surprise you at first.  So, throw everything in the bowl, go brush your teeth and wash your face, and breakfast is ready.
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Chia Breakfast Porridge

Makes one serving

INGREDIENTS
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
2 Tablespoons raisins  (or other dried fruit or berries)
1 Tablespoon Goji berries
3/4 Cup almond milk
2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds   (or raw nuts of some kind)
1/4 Cup fresh blueberries  (or chopped fresh fruit of your choice)
a pinch of ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
Into a cereal bowl, put chia seeds, dried fruit and Goji berries.
Add almond milk and stir well to wet all the seeds.
Wait 15 minutes for the chia seeds to absorb the plant milk and turn magically into a porridge consistency.
Stir again, and top with raw pumpkin seeds or nuts,  fresh fruit,  and a pinch of cinnamon.

Notes:   The cinnamon (besides being delicious) helps regulate blood sugar levels.  Of course, you can substitute any raw nuts,  dried fruits,  fresh fruits and plant milk you like!  I’m thinking of trying warm oat milk, raw walnuts, raisins, chopped apple,  cinnamon, and a splash of maple syrup.  The possibilities are endless.