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

No Added Sugar Granola

I am a big fan of anything with oats in it, and a lot of my favourite food bloggers have their own version of granola which sounds very American, but it’s just like a super yummy muesli with that extra crunch factor.

I always seem to be substituting ingredients in baking recipes and I have found that mashed banana always works well in place of sugar, so I wondered what it would taste like if I made it the base ingredient to granola……. and so began one of my all time favourite recipes which I eat as a cereal with milk, I put it in parfaits, I add it to the top of my smoothies, but mostly I just grab a handful (or six) out of the jar when I stand in front of the pantry looking for something to eat. I adore this stuff and hope you will too.

I’m going to list the recipe exactly as I make it but I urge you to make it your own and add whatever flavours tickle your fancy.

 

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INGREDIENTS:

1 ripe banana

2 cups rolled oats

2tsp cinnamon

1tsp nutmeg

1 1/2 cups of nuts, roughly chopped (I like a mix of almonds, cashews, macadamias and brazil nuts)

1 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup pepitas

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries and apricots work beautifully)

1/4 cup goji berries

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.

  • Mash the banana in the bottom of your mixing bowl, add the oats and mix thoroughly.
  • Sprinkle on your cinnamon and nutmeg and mix through.
  • Pile the mixture on to the baking tray and spread it out evenly, making it as flat as you can so it bakes evenly. Then pop it in the oven for around 10 mins.

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  • Bring the whole tray out of the oven and mix it around gently, bringing the outside edge (where it cooks faster) into the middle and flattening it back out. Make sure you break up any clumps of banana, then mix through the nuts. Place it back in the oven for another 10 mins.

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  • Take the tray out of the oven and mix again, it should be ready but please use your own judgement and alter the time if necessary. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before adding all your other toppings, and mix it through with your hands. Store in an airtight container.

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I find the pouring it into the jar bit a little tricky, but it helps to pick up the baking paper and use it like a channel to guide it into the bottle/container you want to store it in.

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I hope you like this recipe as much as I do, and please comment below with your thoughts or any changes you might make to it for personal preference, I’d love to hear how you go with it 🙂

xx

PS. Please excuse my dodgy photography work, I take all the photos on my iPhone and I try to be as creative as I can, but I hope you get a good idea from them anyway.