Easy Strawberry Chia Seed Jam
Recently I have been trying to improve my diet and lifestyle. I’d Like to be more fit, in shape, and healthy in general. I’ve been trying to incorporate healthy foods and snacks into myself and my family's daily routine. While I am trying to be healthier I still have taste buds! So of course I want healthy alternatives to junk food that still taste great...and that I can get a 2 year old and my husband to eat!
This yummy jam is quick and easy to make and oh so good for you!
In case you’re not familiar with chia seeds here is a little background info:
What the heck are chia seeds?
Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. You may have seen chia sprouts growing on the novelty planters called Chia Pets [ch-ch-ch-chia!], but historically, the seeds have been the most important part of the plant. In pre-Columbian times they were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. I've read that one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.
What are the benefits of chia seeds?
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.
Where can I buy Chia seeds?
There are a variety of online retailers that you can purchase chia seeds from, as well as local stores Whole Foods, Earth Fare, and Trader Joes.
And now....The recipe!!
Eat this straight from the container as a snack, as a spread on pancakes, toast, waffles, mixed into oats or yogurt, or just make a good ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwich – the possibilities are endless!
- 1 cup strawberries [Organic, frozen, or fresh]
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 Tablespoon water
- stevia, to taste (or other sweetener, like maple syrup, honey, agave, sugar, etc)
- If using frozen strawberries, let them thaw.
- Mash strawberries with a fork or blend them. Both methods work great, but the blended version is more like jelly and less like jam.
- Mix in chia seeds, water and stevia [or preferred sweetener], if using stevia use 2-3 drops of liquid stevia, but I don’t think it would be necessary with super sweet berries. It just depends on how sweet you want your jam.
- Cover the mixture and place in the fridge to set up for a while, 30-60 minutes is ideal.
That’s it! It’s super simple and so much better for you than the sugar-filled, processed jam you’d buy at the store. The best part is that you can use almost any berry you like – blueberries, blackberries and raspberries would work great.
I definitely recommend trying it, even if you don’t think you like the texture of chia seeds because it tastes just like a regular berry jam that has seeds. If you’re worried about the seedy texture, you can always buy ground chia seeds or grind them before making the recipe.
Have you ever made chia seed jam? What’s your favorite way to eat chia seeds?