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Friday, 1 August 2014

5 Minute Refrigerator Chia Seed Raspberry Jam


Good morning everyone, today I have something a little different than my usual post for you.  I wanted to share with you guys something I'm quite proud of and my family has been enjoying a fair bit.  I wanted to share with you my first (and certainly not my last) attempt at making JAM!  And not just any jam but a super healthy and easy jam that is literally fool proof and doesn't take all the cooking and jarring and other finicky stuff of traditional homemade jam.  This is 5 MINUTE REFRIGERATOR CHIA SEED RASPBERRY JAM!

Most times when we see things that are called "5 minute" anything our first thoughts are "Pffft, 5 minutes, yeah right!"  But this recipe literally does only take 5 MINUTES to make (and then at least an hour to set in the fridge).

You've probably been hearing a lot lately about chia seeds.  They are very popular now with all the new information we are getting about healthy natural products that pack a nutritional punch.  In case you are not familiar with chia seeds, Chia is a species of flowering plant in the mint family and native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.  Chia is grown commercially for its seed, a food that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.  The seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid when soaked.  Soaking the seeds develops a thicker gel-like coating that gives chia-based beverages and mixtures a more gelatinous-type texture.  Get this!  A one ounce/28 gram serving of chia seeds contains:
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 5 milligrams of sodium
  • 11 grams of dietary fibre
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium
  • 27% phosphorus, and
  • 30% manganese
Those nutrient values are similar to other edible seeds like flax or sesame.

So there's your crash course on chia seeds :)

I got the idea for this recipe a while back one afternoon when I was watching Steven & Chris on CBC.  One of their guests was nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos.  She showed a quick chia seed raspberry jam and talked about all the health benefits of it and it kind of peaked my interests.  Now that was a couple of months ago and I was at the grocery store just the other day and we had ran out of jam so I was going to buy some.  However, I recalled the chia seed jam and thought to myself why don't I make that instead?  I did a quick Google search on my phone to find a recipe to get all the ingredients.  I knew I already had a bag of chia seeds in the pantry because I have been adding them to my smoothies.  Turns out there were so few ingredients needed that I already had them all on hand at home, other than fresh raspberries.

Here is the recipe I found and used:

2 cups raspberries (if using frozen, defrost first) - I used fresh
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons warm water
2-4 tablespoons honey (preferably raw)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Add all ingredients (start with the honey) to a blender or food processor (I used the blender attachment for my Magic Bullet), and pulse until it is the texture you prefer.  I didn't want mine chunky, but you may leave it that way if that's how you like your jam.  Taste and add more honey if you would like a sweeter jam.  I like jam a bit sweeter, especially raspberry as raspberries have a tartness to them (I used all 4 tablespoons of honey in the end but it still wasn't as sweet as the store bought jam, and it was perfect).  Once you have the consistency you like transfer it to a container with a lid (I used one of my Magic Bullet containers) and allow to set in fridge for a minimum of one hour.

This is what my results looked like:



IT IS SOOOOOOOO TASTY!  I love how it tastes like REAL raspberry jam.  That's the one thing about store bought raspberry jam, so many are just so sweet, it takes away from the true raspberry taste.  This reminds me of the raspberry freezer jam I used to make with my grandmother when my parents shipped me and my brother off to my grandparents' acreage for "vacation" when we were younger :).

I'll definitely be making this again and again and will never ever buy raspberry jam from a store again.  I love how it tastes and I love how there's now artificial anything or sweeteners (not even sugar) or preservatives.  And I love the fantastic nutrients that the chia seeds add, especially when my children and husband eat it and love it too!

And as great as it is in traditional use on toast, my actual favourite use for it is on top of...

Haagen-Dazs Gelato is my new obsession!!!!

You have no idea how good this combo is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I make the jam again I will adjust the recipe slightly though, I'll probably put a little bit less water, or add more chia seeds.  It's a bit runnier than store bought jam, which is to be expected as there are no "stabilizers" in it, but I know chia seeds can make things more gelatinous than this jam was.  It wasn't super runny but I'd like to try and make it a bit thicker next time.  I think adding 2 HEAPING tablespoons of chia seeds might do the trick next time.  I used level tablespoons for this batch.

If any of you decide to make your own batch of 5 Minute Refrigerator Chia Seed Raspberry Jam I'd love to hear how you like it and how it turned out.

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