Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
Today I am sharing with you a healthy and yummy Chia jam recipe!
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I am so excited about this recipe because it has permanently solved one of my biggest health concerns: avoiding refined sugars but still enjoy something sweet in the morning. For the sceptics among you, it is not dark magic, I promise!
A little introduction to chia seeds for those who are not familiar with them: they are the seeds from the Salvia Hispanica, which is related to the mint.
They were utilised by the Mayan to give energy (the word Chia itself means "strength") and nowadays it is considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Pros of Chia seeds:
Very high in fibre, which helps to keep you full for longer.
High in Calcium, Magnesium and Boron, which is beneficial for our bones.
When mixed with water they form a gel that aids in digestion
They are well balanced in macronutrients.
Good against hypertension and diabetes
On the other hand, they need to be consumed in moderation and carefully as there also some Cons:
They may cause allergic reactions
Not good if you suffer from low pressure
They increase the inflammatory markers as they also contain lectins
So bearing these guidelines in mind, I have tried to incorporate them into my diet little by little and so far I have not experienced any side effects.
Therefore, I am happy to have found this method to make homemade jam as I have always been a great fan of a sweet breakfast and despite many attempts to convert myself into a savoury morning person, I miserably failed.
My body just needs something sweet to start working and therefore I will listen to it, but using some healthy swaps to prevent insulin spikes will make me hungry way before lunch.
I love jams and marmalades on pancakes or toast and I also like them topped on my greek yoghurt when it's summer but they are often packed with sugars and as a result, not kind on teeth plus not so good for your overall health.
So Chia seeds are the best alternative to make jam.
Bonus: they deliver tons of nutrients with very few calories. Yay!
Pros of chia jam:
easier to prepare
healthier: no refined sugar needed
no canning required
it can be made with any juicy fruit
it is super quick: it is ready in only 10 minutes
Basically, all I do is to prepare a small batch on Sundays that will last for the entire week, stored in a glass jar in the fridge (Chia seeds jams are not safe for canning).
This is how I do it:
Any kind of ripe, juicy fruit: for this one I used 4 apricots. This is the amount for 1 person (my boyfriend is not a sweet-tooth like me) and it will last a whole week but you can double or triple the quantities if you are making it for a bigger family.
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of Chia seeds
A clean glass jar with a lid
1 teaspoon of lemon juice or a slice of a sour green apple (apples contains pectin which will also help to thicken your jam)
Optional: A tbsp of runny honey if you are using tart fruits such as berries.
How to make a healthy jam:
Start cleaning the glass jar properly: I usually wash it with a mix of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar but soapy water is fine too. Rinse it and dry it with a clean towel.
Wash your fruits and cut it into small cubes. I prefer to keep the skin on as it gives it a nicer flavour.
In a saucepan set on the stove on medium heat, add the fruit cubes, a few drops of lemon juice and a teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
Let it simmer for 10 minutes: after that, the fruit should have melted and you can mash it with a fork or a potatoes masher for a smoother texture.
Add 2 teaspoon of chia seeds and stir well. Take out of the fire and let it cool down.
Place the jam in the glass jar with the help of a spoon.
There you have your delicious chia seeds jam!
These are some of the ways I prefer to enjoy it:
Now it is elderberry season and I couldn't miss the chance to pick some from my local park to make a small batch of jam. It is a bit of a pain honestly as it has definitely more steps but it came out very nice, so maybe I am going to keep doing it until the elderberries are around since I am still at home and I have more time available.
Fun fact: in Italian, we call the elder tree "Sambuco" and we make a lovely liqueur with its flowers.
The berries and flowers of elderberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system. They can help tame inflammation, lessen stress, and help protect your heart, too.
Some experts recommend elderberry to help prevent and ease cold and flu symptoms.
The procedure is exactly the same as any other fruit but the cleaning part here is longer.
First, you need to soak them in cold water and bicarbonate soda to remove any dirt or pollution present.
Then, pluck the berries off the stems with a fork. Remember that the stems and seeds of elder contain toxins and need to be removed, therefore after cooking them for a few minutes, they need to be mashed and sieved.
Add some honey and the chia seeds, stir well and then keep it in the fridge.
Thank you so much for reading my post today, I hope you will find this method as revolutionary as I think it is.
Do you have Chia seeds in your pantry and how do you use them in the kitchen?
I would love to know about you, s0 feel free to comment below!
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