Today I have a recipe to share that includes two of my favorite foods – chia seeds and strawberries. I’ve written about the benefits of chia seeds before and as most of you probably know – I love them!
As a quick recap, they’re a good source of:
- Omega 3 fatty acids – Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning that you need to get from food sources because your body cannot produce them itself. Omega 3′s reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. They’re also said to help with weight reduction related to their regulation of blood sugar levels and insulin.
- Plant-based protein – We all know protein is an essential macronutrient needed for many functions in the body, including muscle building.
- Antioxidants – Anti-oxidants help rid our body of free radicals, which have been linked to cancer and heart disease.
- Fiber – Helps with weight loss by keeping you feeling full, prevents constipation and enhances regularity.
- Magnesium and Potassium – Two minerals needed for good health.
I try to include them in my breakfast every day and it’s pretty easy to do (especially when having chia pudding, overnight oats or protein pancakes) but I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate them in my meals.
I’ve seen chia seed jelly/jam on a bunch of different blogs, but my main inspiration for trying it was a fellow FitFluential blogger, Casey of Power Cakes. She has a bunch of different variations of chia jam on her recipe page and after seeing photos of her power cakes covered in chia jam on Instagram, I knew I needed to try it.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to make some chia jam, but I’m sorry I didn’t try it sooner because I LOVE it! And I’m not exaggerating – I made one batch and ate it all plain as a snack… in one sitting. Yes, that happened!
I had to make another batch for pictures, which worked out quite well because now I have some to put on my protein pancakes and greek yogurt this week!
As I said, there are quite a few different recipes out there, but I’ll share how I made mine, which is probably the simplest version ever.
- 1 cup strawberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 Tablespoon water
- stevia, to taste (or other sweetener, like maple syrup)
- If using frozen strawberries, let them thaw. I try to limit my use of the microwave so I just sat mine in a bowl out on the counter for an hour or so.
- Mash strawberries with a fork or blend them. I mashed one batch and used my immersion blender for another - both methods worked great, but the blended version was more like jelly and less like jam.
- Mix in chia seeds, water and stevia, if using. I used 2-3 drops of liquid stevia, but I don't think it would be necessary with super sweet berries. It just depends on how sweet you want your jam.
- Cover the mixture and place in the fridge to set up for a while, 30-60 minutes is ideal.
That’s it! It’s super simple and so much better for you than the sugar-filled, processed jam you’d buy at the store. The best part is that you can use almost any berry you like – blueberries, blackberries and raspberries would work great.
I definitely recommend trying it, even if you don’t think you like the texture of chia seeds because it tastes just like a regular berry jam that has seeds. If you’re worried about the seedy texture, you can always buy ground chia seeds or grind them before making the recipe.
Have you ever made chia seed jam? What’s your favorite way to eat chia seeds?