Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are all in season now! These babies (oops, I meant berries!) are all fresh, delicious, and oh-so-nutritious. Berries are fruits, which means they are packed to the brim with satiating fibre, keeping us feeling full and satisfied. All three berries are also Vitamin C powerhouses. We talked a bit about the importance of Vitamin C last week, but did you know that it’s also a powerful antioxidant? Antioxidants protect our body’s cells from damage, whether it be natural damage from aging, or damage from pollutants. Such damage can then lead to diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Overall then, if we consume antioxidants from our diet, we can help prevent disease! And what better way to get those antioxidants in then through delicious strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
Chia seeds are these nifty little guys that soak up liquids like crazy and thicken whatever they’re added to. In this case, they transform a simple berry sauce into a jam-like creation packed with fibre, healthy omega-3 fats, and minerals like iron & calcium.
Overall, chia seed jam is low in added sugars, sky-high in fiber, and an all-round delicious addition to your morning toast, yogurt, or scone. Alternatively, add some as a topping to vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt for a tasty dessert.
Try a mixed berry version, one of the variations, or make up your own!
1 ½ cup mixed berries
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon sugar or sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, agave, or artificial sweeteners are all options!)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1. Place berries in a small saucepan on the stove top, and turn to medium heat.
2. Add the water, then allow to heat for 2 minutes or so.
3. Once the berry & water mixture is simmering, mash gently with a fork or potato masher.
4. You can mash the berries as much/as little as you’d like! Personally, I like my jam on the chunkier side, but if you prefer a smoother texture, mash away!
5. Simmer the mashed berry mixture for another 2 minutes or so.
6. Next, remove from heat and stir in the sugar & chia seeds.
7. Allow the jam mixture to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. This cooling time is also gelling time, and is necessary for the chia seeds to suck up some moisture and turn the berry mixture into a jam.
8. At this point, your jam is ready to eat! Enjoy!
**Storage Tips: This is a quick jam, not a canned/processed jam and therefore not shelf stable. If you have leftovers, transfer them to a Tupperware container or mason jar, and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the jam!
Strawberry-Vanilla Chia Seed Jam
Classic, and simple, this version pairs well with whole wheat toast!
1. Use the standard recipe, but mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract along with the sugar and chia seeds.
Raspberry-Lime Chia Seed Jam
Tangy, and energizing, add a dollop of this jam to your morning bowl of Greek yogurt!
1. Use the standard recipe, but mix in 2 teaspoons lime juice along with the sugar and chia seeds.
Blueberry-Spice Chia Seed Jam
This version features rich, warm flavours. Serve atop a freshly baked whole wheat scone!
1. Use the standard recipe, but mix in ¼ teaspoon nutmeg & 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon along with the sugar and chia seeds.
Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD