Easy Peasy Chia Seed Jam from anewu.ie
Chia seed jam is my most recent discovery, and I am very happy, I can tell you. I decided to stop eating all forms of sugar/honey/maple syrup etc over 3 years ago. This has had so much positive impacts on my health. However, that meant no jam, until now!
Chia seeds are fast being recognised as a “superfood” and for good reason. They are made up of protein, fat and dietary fibre. Plus there are many minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous. Chia seeds are also high in fibre, so they’re going to keep you regular. And about 20% of the fiber is soluble. The beauty of soluble fiber is that it promotes a healthy digestive system by feeding the good microbes in your gut.
Chia seeds absorb up to 10 times their size in liquid, which means they bulk up and give you a full feeling for longer. Although if you aren’t drinking enough water, this can cause ‘blockages” so make sure you stay well hydrated. The seeds themselves aren’t too dissimilar to poppy seeds, but add liquid and you have a completely different texture, similar to tapioca, especially if you add milk to create a delicious low carb breakfast pudding.(use 1/4 cup chia seeds and 1 cup liquid such as milk, coconut milk or Alpro unsweetened almond milk, and grated apple to sweeten it. I like to add 1 tbs Meridian almond butter to give an extra dimension to this simple but delicious, healthy, gluten free and paleo friendly breakfast). Soak overnight in the fridge, or for a minimum of 1 hour if you are stuck for time. I have used whole seeds in the recipe below, but you can get milled chia seeds too, and they have a smoother consistency.
Chia seeds are also high in omega 3, so if you’re not eating enough fish, they are a great alternative. Chia seeds can also be used as an egg replacement for those allergic to eggs, but I haven’t tried this because I love eggs, Sarah Wilson suggests combining 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water for each egg you’re replacing.
Chia seeds are paleo friendly, gluten free and a powerhouse of nutrition. See this article from Authority Nutrition for more information. Due to their low calorie content (131 calories per 2 tablespoons), high fibre, protein and omega 3 they are a great addition if you are trying to balance blood sugar, prevent Type II Diabetes or lose weight. Chia seeds also contain calcium, important for bone health, and can be a great source for those on dairy free diets (such as myself!).
Chia seeds can be expensive but I have recently found bags in Aldi for €2.99 while Chia Bia do large bags for around €9.99, and have a wide range of products. Chia seed jam is a tasty and easy way of getting chia seeds into your diet, and especially for kids, as the seeds are similar to the seeds in raspberry jam or you can simply sprinkle chia seeds on your porridge, muesli or salads to get the benefits without any cooking! Give them a go, you can really only benefit from them.
Finding the right amount of chia seeds to liquid may take a few tries, but they are very forgiving. If the jam is too runny after 2 hours, then just add some more chia seeds, as they do not need cooking. If it is too hard, just add some water and loosen it out with a fork.
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