Recipe: Healthy Chia Seed & Berry Jam

(Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegan, Cane-sugar free)

The idea of making homemade jam can seem a little daunting for many. Firstly, the obligatory cane sugar and pectin just aren’t staples in everyone’s pantry, and secondly, there is always that fear that you’re going to end up with the ‘jelly meat’ texture loathed in so many cheap commercial variations. So, instead of using pectin to set this health-enhancing jam, Chia seeds are used to naturally (and effectively) bind it!

Chia seeds naturally expand up to 9 times their size when in contact with liquid; hence their great binding properties! On top of that, these seeds are deservedly referred to as one of Nature’s “superfoods” so they’re good for you too! Chia is the richest plant based source of Omega 3, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that protect the body by neutralizing free radicals or unstable oxygen molecules, which can damage the cells and are a major source of disease and ageing.

This recipe is already jammed full of antioxidants and fibre, with the berries providing a further beneficial boost.  Berries are some of the most powerful (and delicious) disease-fighting foods available, whether they’re eaten fresh or frozen. Aside from being high in fibre and antioxidants, raspberries also provide calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C and bone-building vitamin K. Blueberries have similar properties, and after many years of research, there is exciting new evidence that blueberries can even improve memory. One more reason to whip this up and spread onto your toast in the morning!

The jam is ridiculously easy to make and is packed with nutritional goodness… Sweet success.

Ingredients:

3 cups raspberries or blueberries, fresh or frozen (preferably organic)
½ cup honey or agave?(if vegan)
¼ cup of water
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons of Chia seeds

Directions:

1.Place the berries, honey or agave, and water in a pan and cook on medium to medium high heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Stir the mixture often and make sure it is not sticking and burning as a result of all of the moisture being reduced. Add a little more water if as a needed while reducing the berries. It is ready when the berries have broken down, released their liquid and the mixture had become much thicker.

3. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and Chia seeds and stir well. Spoon into jars, seal while hot and refrigerate once cool.

The jam is best kept in the refrigerator and consumed within a couple of weeks or so after making, but it’s so good you won’t have to worry about it being around too long. Spread the love!

 

Article by Renée Leonard-Stainton, Naturopath & Nutritionist

Renée Naturally – www.reneenaturally.com

HealthPost stock a range Chia Seeds, including organic, on our shopping site.