Sunday, January 24, 2016

homemade strawberry chia jam

I had last Monday off from work because of MLK Day.  I was feeling motivated, so I did a lot of cooking.  I used up the leftover ham and ham bone from the family dinner I had the previous weekend.  With the leftover ham I made ham hash for Bob; his dinner that night was hash and fried eggs.  I also made crustless quiches with ham and some sharp cheddar cheese that was left over; those are for me.  I used the ham bone to make pea soup for a friend.  I defrosted some cooked wheat berries and cooked chicken breast, and made Cranberry, Chicken and Wheat Berry salad.  And finally, I made strawberry chia jam.

I love jam, but it's loaded with sugar so I tend to stay away from it.  I've been looking for a good no-sugar-added jam, and I just can't find one that I would care to buy again. I was reading a weight loss blog and found a recipe for homemade jam with chia seeds and thought I'd give it a try.  All I needed was berries of my choosing--either frozen or fresh--, Torani sugar-free syrup, and some chia seeds.  I went to Whole Foods over the weekend to browse and saw they had chia seeds in the bulk bin.  With this recipe in mind, I decided to buy them. I also bought some frozen strawberries, since they were the least expensive.

This jam was so easy to make and didn't take long at all, about 15 minutes from start to finish. It tasted good, too.  Much better than the store-bought no-sugar-added stuff. I had been worried about the texture of the jam with the addition of chia seeds, but it was fine.  The texture reminded me a bit of tapioca. Chia seeds absorb a lot of liquid, so they soften and swell a little, which is what thickens the jam.

So far I've only used the jam on some toast, but you could use it anywhere you would normally use jam.

Here's the finished product.  It's not super pretty due to the chia seeds, but it tastes great.  You can find the original recipe here:  Chia Jam.  All I did was use frozen strawberries instead of a berry mix, and strawberry Torani Sugar-Free Syrup instead of Raspberry.  Next time I'm going to try blueberry!

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