Have you tried chia seeds yet? I love love love them. In my nutrition practice I almost always encourage my clients to incorporate chia seeds into their diets. Although they are tiny, chia seeds offer a huge punch of nutritional density. They are a highly concentrated source of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Chia seeds are also an outstanding source of dietary fibre and contain calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Eating chia seeds regularly is great way to manage weight and may even help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Recently, one of my clients asked for ideas on how he could use chia seeds. I gave him a bunch of suggestions, such as chocolate chia pudding (google it, make it, you'll love it), adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to his morning smoothies, and I also mentioned that I had been interested in making a strawberry chia jam. We googled a few recipes and came across one that he could easily make at home. Flash forward three weeks, he shows up at my office for our next appointment and tells me that he made chia seed jam. However, he modified the recipe slightly. Because he had so much rhubarb growing in his garden he decided to incorporate some into his jam. He said the results were phenomenal and that his entire family really enjoyed it. At that moment, I made a mental note: "must try chia jam".
This week, the stars aligned and I was given a bunch local strawberries and rhubarb. I did a quick google search for "strawberry rhubarb chia seed jam" and, lo and behold, one of the top search results was Ottawa local Kathy Smart's recipe. For those of you who don't know her, Kathy is the gluten free guru. She's also a nutritionist and cookbook author. From meeting her in person, and following her adventures on social media, I know that she is all about health education, healthy living, and she's extremely well versed at "healthifying" recipes. I knew she wouldn't let me down.
So, I made the jam, and it's pretty darn tasty. Plus, it's a great use of strawberries and rhubarb, both of which are currently in season here in Ontario and readily available at farmers' markets, grocery stores, and in backyards and garden plots near you! In case you were wondering, chia seeds can be found at health food stores, Bulk Barn and most larger grocery stores in the natural food or health food section.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CHIA SEED JAM
Makes 3 cups
2 cups, strawberries, cleaned and sliced
3/4 cup, fresh rhubarb, rough chopped
4 Tablespoons, pure maple syrup
4 Tablespoons, chia seeds
3 Tablespoons, fresh lemon juice
Add all of the above ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse for 30 seconds. At this point, you should taste your jam for sweetness and, if it's not quite sweet enough for you, mix in a bit more maple syrup. If you are happy with the taste and texture, stop here. If you prefer a smoother jam, continue blending/processing until you've reached your desired consistency.
Add your jam to a jar and store in your refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Once the jam has solidified you can enjoy it on toast or rice cakes, with oatmeal or yogurt, on pancakes, or you might even want to eat it right out of the jar! You can store your jam for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Kathy's recipe was originally posted on her website, Live The Smart Way.