Sugar-Free CHIA and BERRY Jam
Last week, as I was having another of my tantrums over breakfast because I am kind of bored with porridge and eggs. But porridge and eggs work better for us as a family with kids going to school. It’s filling and healthy, and the kids love it.
It’s too much a hassle to make a different breakfast for myself on a busy morning! So, I thought of bringing my porridge to life.
This Chia jam makes my oatmeal so much enjoyable to eat. I make it so often yet it never got to the blog. Strangely, I have produced versions of this Chia jam, with whole chia seeds, ground chia, with honey and without honey, cooked and uncooked, with balsamic vinegar and without. It is one of the simplest recipes to make. This chia jam is sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free. It is so tasty and nutritious. It’s a great spread option on crackers or toast too.
Chia seeds are a popular superfood these days. We have all heard about the essential fatty acids, protein and fibre it carries. In this recipe, it works as a gelatinous binder. It’s what holds the fruity liquid together without having to add tonnes of sugar. The reason I grind the chia a little is to help the absorption. The fact that chia is so small, it can pass without being chewed and absorbed.
When I am running out of time, I also put any fresh or frozen berries with the chia in a blender and whiz. No cooking involved. But the uncooked version doesn’t keep long enough in the fridge. You’ll have to use it straight away. Whereas, the cooked version with some balsamic vinegar preserves this jam for up to a week.
I am using a little raw honey in this recipe if you want to skip it you can. I would suggest adding it toward the end though as honey in its natural form is a potent anti-microbial. To obtain, the maximum benefits, it’s best to eat it in an unheated (raw) form.
- 750g of Frozen mixed berries
- 1/3 cup of ground chia seeds (you can add it whole if you prefer)
- 1 table spoon of Balsamic vinegar
- 1 table spoon or more of Raw honey
- Put the mixed berries in a pot and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grind the chia seeds using a coffee grinder. Try not to over grind it. Coarse if fine!
- When the berries are defrosted and releasing the water you can add all the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the honey and cook for a further 5 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning and lumps.
- Turn off the heat and let the Jam to cool completely before adding in the honey. Stir to mix.
- Transfer in an air tight jar and store in the fridge.
- This jam can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
MY THOUGHTs ON USING HONEY
Honey, in Ayurveda, is considered an essential medicine. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda.
In Ayurveda, honey is thought to be appropriate for those trying to lose weight. Their explanation is that a small amount in a warm (not hot) cup of water first thing in the morning stimulates the metabolism for the day.
Now I firmly believe in Ayurvedic practices because of the Ayurvedic influence in Mauritius, that’s where I am from.
What I can’t confirm however is that Ancient system of Ayurveda considers uncooked honey to be nectar and cooked as poison.
Even some article I read about Modern Science confirming that heating or cooking with honey, in fact, damages it. It eliminates many of its effects. The apparent change to heated honey is a loss of enzymes and probiotics.
In summary, as I am often asked this question ”Is honey ok to cook with?” Well, probably not given the quality of evidence. Though in my opinion ”everything in moderation” if you cook or eat honey every day then there could be a problem. If you roast some carrots with honey once in a month, then you’re probably fine!
In my kitchen, though, I have a jar of honey, and it’s raw and well sourced. I will very rarely cook with it, but I do. (maybe once in few months)
I real reason for me to have it in the house is to use it as a cough remedy with a pinch of clove powder.
Sometimes, I will have it as a special treat on toast with butter. It’s the best thing ever!
Did you know that most of the honey available in the shops these days has already been heated? Whether you cook with it at home or not.
Now this is my space, and I can share my knowledge, but I may be wrong. So I would love to hear from you too, what do you think? Comment below to share your opinion with me. Have a Chia day!
Information sourced from The Healthy Home Economist