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Mixed Berry Chamomile Chia Jam
Makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of Jam
To Powder the Chamomile:
Place your chamomile flowers inside a plastic sandwich back and using your hand, a rolling pin, whatever you have apply pressure to the buds. They pulverize pretty easy and very quickly. You can easily just use your hands. Remove any large stems from the powdered flowers before adding to recipe. You can also just pop the flowers in a electric grinder and just give them a quick whirl as well. Either way is fine. You simply want the flowers to powdered down so they blend well into your jam.
To medium size sauce pan add your mixed berries and water and cook over medium-high heat. Stirring the fruit occasionally, continue to cook the fruit until it breaks down and begins to liquefy. Remove from heat. Use a spoon, fork or potato masher to mash down the fruit to your desired consistency. Add the chamomile, honey and the vanilla extract, stirring to incorporate. Then stir in your chia seeds. The jam will naturally start to thicken and will continue to thicken as it rests and cools. Once the jam is cooled, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
Most chia jams last about 2 weeks in the fridge.
The estimated calorie content per serving of this recipe is about 39 calories per tablespoon. Your results may vary.
Chia Seed Jams
I like to choose foods that offer me significant nutritional value. Though I don't eat much bread, when I do for example, I choose ones that are high in protein, whole grains and low in added sugars if any. I look through this type of filtering lens when I eat most food in general nowadays. Recently, that high nutritional perspective was applied to jam. Having grown up in a family that made their own jams and jellies I've grown accustomed to the amount of sugar that is required in traditionally recipes. Traditional jam and jelly is a science of balancing acids and sugars. If you look in the marketplace today, every jam and jelly is made with sugar. I can attest from making traditional jelly myself, they use a lot of sugar! Most of the calorie content in from the sugar. And, in most recipes there is little else of value in the condiment, nutritionally speaking. Don't get me wrong, it tastes great. I love it, the value is the flavor itself. However, if you're starting to consider cutting back on your sugar intake or just looking at where you can make some simple homemade swaps, chia jams are definitely a nice alternative. They are easy to make and offer some tangible amount of healthy vitamins, minerals and protein. Also, you use very little sweetener or, can omit it entirely!
Chia comes from the Mayan word for strength and it's no wonder. These little seeds hold a powerhouse of nutrients in each serving. That's why they have maintained their place in the superfoods category for so long. Chia seeds are a source of protein as well as minerals.
1 ounce of chia seeds contains 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber!
In each one ounce serving of chia you'll also get calcium, manganese, magnesium, B1, B2, B3, zinc and potassium. Clearly these little guys are nutrient dense. A one ounce serving is the equivalent to 2 tablespoons so, you can be assured that these elements are in every bite you take of the jam recipe we're using here. To benefit from the whole one ounce serving try making an overnight oatmeal with chia or a chia pudding.
I decided to keep the theme of low sugar in the recipe that I made by choosing fruits that had a lower glycemic index. Blueberries though higher in natural sugars are used to balance the acidity of the raspberry and early season strawberries. They also are high in antioxidants. Raspberries and strawberries are both high in vitamin C and potassium.
I also love to add flavor and boost the functional value of foods by adding other herbs and tea. Here I've used whole dried chamomile buds that I crushed by hand to powder for the recipe. The chamomile lends a natural sweetness of its own as well as a pleasant floral quality. Another option here is to use lavender or rose petals. If you substitute the later, remember that a little goes a long way when adding floral ingredients to any recipe.