Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! Blueberry Chia Jam

With a little trepidation, I'm going to try chia seeds again.  If you recall, the last time I indulged in Chia Pudding, I was swooning, but not in a good way. (Earlier Chia experience)   I still don't know if my vertigo was chia-related, so I'm proceeding with caution.  At this moment, blueberry chia jam is bubbling on the stove. I made a teeny-tiny portion...only half of this recipe, just to see if it affects me the way the pudding did, and to see if my husband will like it.  Mark loves jam, so I'll let him eat the "lion's share."  I just want to try it again.

3 c. blueberries
1/4 chia seeds
1/4 c. agave nectar
1/4-1/2 c. apple juice to thin jam while simmering
2 teaspoon of vanilla

I used frozen blueberries.  I've noticed that the berries at Sam's Club are nice and small, while the ones at WalMart are very large.  I prefer the ones from Sam's.  I thawed my berries in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Then I mixed the berries and agave nectar in a saucepan over low/medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the chia seeds to thicken, simmering for 15 more minutes.  As the jam thickens, I added a small amount of apple juice to keep the jam from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Add the vanilla after removing the saucepan from the stove.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Is it the best jam on the planet?  Okay, no.  Is it fruity and sweet?  Yep!  My husband loves jam and is trying not to eat so much of it, but this, he could eat without guilt. He liked it enough to have extra bread after dinner to slather it all over another slice!   If I were to tweak it, I would possibly add a little Stevia, just a little, to move the sweetness level up toward that of a jam.

The possibilities are endless...flavor some plain Greek yogurt, add to a bowl of oatmeal, top your whole grain pancakes, garnish a dish of ice cream... I also plan to try this with other berries.  The nice thing about blueberries is that the chia seeds blend in with the color perfectly. Mmm... A jam chock-full of antioxidants, omega-3s, and fiber...without tons of sugar and preservatives?  Mission accomplished.

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