JAM! I love jam. It even sounds fun, conjuring up visions of Bob Marley and Sebastian from the Little Mermaid…if I ever go missing at the farmer’s market, you’ll likely find me in front of the jam stall with twenty tiny spoons in my hand and a guilty look on my face. The problem, unfortunately, with jam is that, while it’s technically made from fruit (and you can get far with technicalities in this world), there’s not really a whole lot of going for it, health-wise. The fruit is cooked to within an inch of its life, inactivating many heat-sensitive vitamins. And then there’s the sugar – most jams and jellies are packed with the stuff, often containing more than a day’s recommended amount in a single tablespoon. What’s a jam loving girl to do?
Well, make her own, of course! This jam is packed with protein, fiber and good fat, refined sugar free and has a beautiful, faintly exotic flavor, with the sweet raspberries, a freshness from the lemon and just the slightest, delicate hint of rose. And it’s all due to one superstar secret ingredient: chia seeds.
Native to South America, chia seeds were often eaten by warriors before going into battle (in fact, their name comes from the Mayan word for “strength”). They’re a superfood that’s truly worth their reputation: a single 1 ounce serving contains 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of Omega-3s, plus 30% of your RDA magnesium and manganese, and phosphorous, and 18% of your RDA calcium (whew!). Unlike most superfoods, they’re also really cheap (a bag is usually about ten bucks, which, considering you use a tablespoon at a time and they last FOREVER, is awesome). Chia seeds show up in a ton of recipes because of a little magic trick they perform: when submerged in water, they swell up, forming a thick gel-like consistency. This makes them absolutely amazing for your digestive tract, and also amazing for…
JAM! Unlike normal jam, this jam takes less than 20 minutes to make, and only about 5 minutes of that is active time (unless you consider it active time to sit and watch the chia seeds swell. Then, you know – you do you). Yes, it’s lazy jam. Jam for people who would rather curl up with their finished meal and watch The Little Mermaid than stand, sweating, over a hot stove, stirring and canning for hours.
I like this jam layered in breakfast parfaits with either quinoa, oats or buckwheat cooked in nut milk (here, I topped it with a bit of pistachios too, because pistachios always = win). It’s also fab spread on toast, or even on top of vanilla ice cream. You can also say screw it and eat it with a spoon – I won’t tell!Print
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp rose water (see note)
- 1 1/2 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice
- Pinch of sea salt
- In a small saucepan, cook frozen raspberries over low heat for 10 – 15 minutes, or separating, squishing and stirring them with your spoon as they defrost and release their juices. Remove from heat and stir in lemon, vanilla, rose, sweetener and sea salt; stir well. Sprinkle chia seeds over mixture, then stir until they’re mixed well. Let sit for 15 – 20 minutes, or until a gel, jam-like consistency forms. Stir once before serving! Makes 2 servings, and can be stored in the fridge for 4 – 5 days.
Rose water is available online, at many international supermarkets (especially Indian), and also at many liquor stores (it’s often used as a cocktail ingredient). You can also omit it and have a raspberry vanilla jam that tastes amazing!