The Basics: Chia Jam
I know as a nutritionist I’m a bit biased in saying that jams and fruit preserves are really just full of refined sugar and lacking the nutrtional value of fruit, but, it’s true. Chia jam is just as delicious, and full of fibre and antioxidants. I'm sure many of you have tried chia jam before. It's very simple to make, keeps well in the fridge, and offers much more of a nutritional value than jam that is just made from fruit.
Why I love it:
Chia seeds are packed with minerals, omega-3 fats and fiber. They are relatively low calorie for the amount of protein and fat they contain, which supply us with an abundance of energy and inflammation fighting properties. In many people with excess inflammation (athletes, anyone suffering from arthritis), omega 3 fats are very important.
Frozen fresh berries are some of the most vitamin rich fruits we can consume. At the end of every summer I always seem to come across bushels of blueberries for such a good price that I have to buy! Last year I bought 10 lbs for $10 and froze most of it! Now all throughout the winter I have the same vitamin-packed fruit for smoothies, oats, and jam.
BASIC CHIA JAM RECIPE
2 cups of frozen berries (I used blueberries)
4 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
In a skillet, warm the berries up on low heat and add lemon juice. After a few minutes the juices will start to burst out of the berries, and the mixture will turn to a chunky puree.
Add the vanilla and chia seeds and continue to stir. The chia will begin to gelatinize and you'll achieve a more consistent puree as you stir.
Creating an adaptogenic/ immune enhancing jam
I like to get a little creative with the basics! I've had elderberry crystals stocked right beside my stove all winter (as you can probably tell because it's in a few of my recipes)! Elderberry, as I've mentioned, has immune enhancing properties and has been successfully studied for reducing the duration of colds and flus.
Some ideas of additions, added just before the heat is turned off:
6-8 scoops of elderberry crystals
3 tsp of ashwagandha
2 tbsp moringa powder