Blueberry & Vanilla Chia Jam

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I don’t know where this recipe originated but a lot of people I follow on Instagram have their own versions up of this recipe, and I have been making it for a few months now. I have tried using all sorts of fruits and I have to say that this one I made yesterday is my favourite!

I have never made a classic, sugar-filled jam before but I always imagined it to be a difficult thing to master, so when I saw how easy this recipe looked I figured I really should give it a go. And if you like jam then I urge you to try it out too. It takes 5-10 minutes to make it and is jam-packed (pun completely intended) full of nutrients.

Chia seeds are such an amazing source of protein, omega-3 and dietary fibre. Here are a few other health benefits you may not know about these little beauties –

  • They have 2 times the amount of protein than any other seed or grain
  • They have 5 times the calcium of milk
  • Twice as much potassium as bananas
  • Three times the antioxidant levels of blueberries
  • Three times more iron than spinach

They are also wonderful for maintaining hydration and electrolytes, they give you a burst of energy – the list goes on. It is recommended that adults eat 1 tablespoon of chia seeds a day, so if you’re not getting any chia in your diet then this jam is a fantastic way to introduce them.

I bought a whole lot of frozen blueberries over the weekend as they were on special this week and the bargain was just too good, so I bought up big, meaning everything I eat over the next few weeks will no doubt contain blueberries in some form. So recipe number one is this blueberry chia jam with a bit of added vanilla, just because I adore vanilla so much. Let’s get to it –

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup fruit (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tbps water
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (you could also use rice malt syrup, raw honey or a few drops of stevia extract)
  • a dash of vanilla
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

 

METHOD:

Place fruit into a saucepan with water and your favourite natural sweetener. Cook over a low heat for about 5 mins until it boils and the fruit is soft.

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Remove from heat and mash the fruit. I use a potato masher to start with and then finish with a fork to give me nice, small fruity chunks, but if you prefer a smooth jam then use a stick blender.

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Add the vanilla and chia seeds, stirring through after each addition.

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Pour your jam into a clean glass jar and pop it in the fridge to set. It will be ready as soon as it cools.

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I tend to make mine in the afternoon/evening and I leave it to set overnight so it ready for brekky time. It is such a gorgeous jam to spread on toast, but my hubby swirls a big dollop of it through his yoghurt and tops it with granola (the first recipe on this blog). It is also a great addition to smoothies, and you can be assured it is healthy – plus of course there are no nasty hidden ingredients you don’t know about, so enjoy it to your heart’s content. I sometimes eat it with a spoon straight out of the jar at night time when I just feel like I need something sweet, and it’s enough to get rid of those sugary cravings 😉

xx

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Butter Maple Macadamia Ice-cream

Butter Maple Macadamia Ice-Cream

If there is one thing I really miss on this vegan diet, it’s ice-cream. It’s warming up here in Australia and summertime to me means long, lazy days at the beach with my hubby and kids, enjoying ice-cream by the water. But being new to eating vegan (I only converted just under 3 months ago), I was on the lookout for some tasty ice-cream recipes I could make for myself that were easy – 1. because I have very little time I need it to be fast and yummy, 2. because I don’t own an ice-cream machine, and 3. because I really, really, really want ice-cream!

Being that I am also off sugar and processed foods and I realised that finding a recipe that actually tasted like traditional, creamy, sweet ice-cream was going to be a challenge.

However, one of my beautiful friends, Alicia, posted a link to 29 vegan ice-creams just a few days ago and my spine tingled with excitement. I knew out of 29 recipes there had to be at least 1 that I could eat and enjoy…… and I found it! The recipe originally comes from another blog, The Simple Veganista, but I tweaked it slightly to use up ingredients in my pantry because I didn’t have time to go to the shops. So here is what I came up with.

Ingredients

4 frozen bananas
1/2 cup almond butter (or whatever nut butter you have available)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup tahini
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp raw honey
1 cup macadamias (or your favourite nut)

Slice your frozen bananas and throw them in the food processor with the nut butter, maple syrup, tahini, cinnamon and vanilla. Turn on your processor and while it is running drizzle in the raw honey for it to mix through.

Pour the ice-cream into a freezer safe container (I used an old ice-cream bucket I had in the cupboard) and stir through your macadamias.

You can eat it as is, which is like a soft ice-cream, or pop it in the freezer for a few hours and wait for it harden up. The texture will be just like store-bought ice-cream, and believe me – it is worth the wait!

This should make up roughly 1 litre of ice-cream which supposedly serves 4, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide 😉

I’m sorry I don’t have more photos. I will make this again soon enough and will be sure to take some more so you can be even more tempted to make it. For now, check out the link above the recipe, she is a pro at adding photos before she eats the lot, unlike me.

I hope you love it!!

xx