Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Raw Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Strawberries are in season and we have been really enjoying them!  I wanted to make some more jam for the boys (they love their PB&J) and decided that this time I was going to try using chia seeds instead of my usual recipe.

Never had chia seeds?  Yeah I do mean those little things that grow lots of grass on you favorite Chia Pet.  They are edible and they are very good for you!

Here is an excerpt from Eating Bird Food, the blog where I found this particular jam recipe.

"As a quick recap, they’re a good source of:
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning that you need to get from food sources because your body cannot produce them itself. Omega 3′s reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. They’re also said to help with weight reduction related to their regulation of blood sugar levels and insulin.
  • Plant-based protein – We all know protein is an essential macronutrient needed for many functions in the body, including muscle building.
  • Antioxidants – Anti-oxidants help rid our body of free radicals, which have been linked to cancer and heart disease.
  • Fiber – Helps with weight loss by keeping you feeling full, prevents constipation and enhances regularity.
  • Magnesium and Potassium – Two minerals needed for good health."

Mr Pear's has been "into" chia seeds for a few months now.  He typically puts a tablespoon or two in a glass of lemonade, I like them in hot green tea.  Either way they have no flavor but lots of great health benefits.  And one other kind of strange characteristic....they turn very gelatinous in liquid.  Perfect for making jam!

Most jams you have to cook, but not this one.  In this raw recipe the chia seeds make the mashed strawberries magically turn into jelly!  And since strawberries have little seeds about the same size of chia seeds, the chias are mostly unnoticable.  My twins definitely haven't complained!

I love that this recipe not only preserves all the nutrients in the raw strawberries but also adds the health benefits of the chias AND it is super super fast to make!  You can have homemade jelly prepared in 10 minutes!  (Though you should let it set up for about an hour after that.)  And it tastes good.  Win!

Click over to the Eating Bird Food blog for the recipe and Enjoy!

PS, doubling the recipe (2 cups of strawberries) makes about a 12oz jar of jam/jelly.....oh and I used the immersion blender but left it fairly chunky....  :)

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