Friday, June 5, 2015

No-Cook Berry Chia Jam (Toast Topper #60)

It's no secret that I adore making jam for my family. There's something special about the taste of a spread made yourself from the best produce you have available that blows away anything in a jar, and thanks to all the low- or no-sugar needed pectins out there the days of making "candy in a jar" are over. I usually make small batches of preserves, which allows me to constantly switch up the flavours on our plate, but I almost always rely on pectin for thickening because I don't add a ton of sugar.

When it came time to teaching my Home Economics gang about thickeners and making jam, though, I wanted to show them that you don't always have to heat something to make the thickener activate! I took inspiration from Eating Bird Food and brought in the humble, yet mighty chia seed, which not only thickened the works quickly but entertained the kids for an hour as they recited the Chia Pet commercial slogan. Of course, as they dug in (spreading it on homemade biscuits) they were also getting a good dose of vitamins, minerals and fibre, with much less sugar than run of the mill stuff! That said, since I was making this with grade 1-3 children, I had to add some sugar, but I opted for the lower-glycemic coconut sugar which also added a lovely exotic note. Personally, though, I love the taste of peak season berries, so if I have them on hand I'm leaving the sweetener out or adding a bare touch of honey or agave.

Delish raspberry chia jam! @ugogurl #vegan #teaching #MLCP #homeeconomics #sweet #fruit #healthyfood #healthychoices

Shared with Waste Not Want Not Wednesday and Gluten Free Fridays

No-Cook Berry Chia Jam
Makes about 1 cup, 16 servings
1 cup mashed berries (thawed if frozen), I used raspberries
1 tbsp whole
chia seeds
1 tbsp water
1 tsp
amber agave nectar or honey
2 tbsp
coconut sugar or granulated sugar (if berries are not sweet enough for you)
  1. Mix the berries, chia seeds, water, agave and sugar (if using) in a bowl until well blended.
  2. Cover and let sit at least 15-20 minutes to thicken.
  3. Store in the fridge up to 1 week or freeze.
Amount Per Serving (with sugar)
Calories 12.9
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 1.9 mg
Potassium 13.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Sugars 0.9 g
Protein 0.3 g

Amount Per Serving (without sugar)
Calories 9.1
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 0.0 mg
Potassium 13.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 0.3 g