Food Lifestyle

Healthier Jam than Store-Bought and It’s Homemade!

Happy Monday, readers! It’s never too late in the week to start eating smarter! Sometimes, it’s not about moderation. It’s about enjoying yourself but in the smartest ways possible. I love starting the week off with a healthy mindset, even if that just means for breakfast!

A Cautionary Tale

Two months ago, I wanted cream cheese and jelly on a bagel. I had a container of vegan cream cheese from Trader Joe’s, a poppyseed bagel (my fave) and a jar of strawberry jelly. What was the problem? The jelly was store-bought. Everything on the shelves at supermarkets and grocery stores have just way too much added sugar. The aforementioned jelly my family likes to eat has 10 grams of sugar per 1 tablespoon serving. Considering we put on at least 2 tablespoons of jelly on our bagels (if we put it on both halves), that’s 20 grams of sugar. The horrifying part of it is that the very first ingredient in this jelly is sugar! So no wonder it’s OVERLY sweet. When I saw that (crazy that I only just realized it then since I’ve been eating that jelly for years and have even made this replacement jam), I decided to not even have the bagel. I waited until my homemade jam was ready to go.

The recipe I’m going to share with you is vegan, dairy-free and refined sugar-free and only 3 ingredients! It’s homemade (chia seed) jam. I’ve made blueberry and strawberry jams. Yum!

**Note: Prepare the jam the night before as the mixture needs to sit overnight!**

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds come in both black and white. They’re packed with plant-based protein, antioxidants, calcium and fiber. Make sure to add these little gems to your meals for omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain and eye health, among many other benefits! I can see the difference in my skin, nails and hair when I have foods that are rich in these fatty acids. (This is why certain types of fish like salmon are great to eat for omega-3s.)

Chia seeds are preferably to be eaten when they have completely absorbed a liquid. When they absorb a liquid, the seeds expand and become gelatinous, making a pudding-like texture which helps us feel full. If you choose to eat chia seeds alone (i.e. sprinkled on top of something), then make sure to drink enough liquids as you enjoy them!

They have a slight nutty flavor to them, but when mixed in with your smoothies or other desserts, to me, they actually taste pretty sweet!

What You’ll Need

For Jam

1 cup berries (preferably fresh (1 kind or mixed))

1/4 cup chia seeds (black or white)

2 tbs sweetener of choice (I use 100% maple syrup)

Tools

potato masher or fork

pot or bowl

mason jar or any recycled jar

How to Make It

1. If your berries are frozen, leave them out to thaw. Otherwise, you can heat them up in a pot until they start to cook down and they release their juices.

2. Whether on the stove or thawed (and soft enough), take a potato masher or fork and mash down the berries until they’re mushy and all the juices are out. This is the liquid that the chia seeds need to absorb.

3. If it was on the stove, let the mixture cool down enough to pour into a jar.

4. Add in the chia seeds.

5. Mix the seeds into the berries until incorporated. You’ll know when to stop when the mixture starts to thicken.

6. Leave in the fridge overnight.

How to Enjoy Them

I shared some posts on Instagram of when I used this chia jam. For instance, the 3rd picture is of when I made vegan crepes and I put some jam on top. In the first 2 pictures, I used the chia jam in this post for Jess Beautician’s Blueberry Jam Breakfast Oaties. The last picture is when I typically use it, which is on a bagel with cream cheese. Mmmmm. The possibilities are endless! I’ll share my favorite chia pudding recipe in a future post!

Let me know if you’ve ever made or tried chia jam and how you enjoy chia seeds if you do!

Thank you so much for reading<3

Until next time,

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