It’s January. There’s a snow storm warning starting at midnight. And, spring is nowhere in sight, at least here in North Carolina.
But, sometimes you just need some spring on a dreary winter day, even if it’s just a little taste of spring.
So, when I saw this month’s Recipe ReDux theme, I was delighted.
A New Ingredient for the New Year: Pick a new ingredient that you’ve been wanting to try… and cook or bake up a new recipe in the new year. Are you curious about nutritional yeast, fish sauce, matcha, teff – or maybe even ugli fruit? Show us how you’re cooking with something new (to you!) in 2016.
I knew I wanted to explore the world of chia seeds. It’s not that I don’t already use chia seeds, because I do–sprinkled in baked goods, on top of yogurt, in a smoothie–but, I wanted to create a recipe where chia seeds play a starring role. After all, this ancient seed (it was enjoyed by the Mayan and Aztec cultures) is a bit of a superfood… a whole grain that’s loaded with protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. And along with seafood, beans and nuts, seeds are a protein-rich food that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans say we should eat more often.
Another boon for chia seeds? They turn into a gel when mixed with liquid, making them the perfect ingredient for jam, like in this Southern Spring Strawberry Jam. And even though there are no fresh strawberries to be found (here anyway), frozen strawberries provide a dose of vitamin C and a heaping taste of spring.
How to make strawberry jam
- 2.5 cups frozen strawberries
- 1/4-1/3 cup honey
- Zest of small orange (about 1/2-1 tsp.)
- 2 heaping Tbsp. chia seeds
- Heat strawberries in a medium pot, over medium-high heat. Add honey, and stir. Heat until strawberries soften, about 10-15 minutes. Add orange zest; bring to a boil. Let boil about 5 minutes, until strawberries are soft and mixture liquefies. Taste, adding more honey by the teaspoon to desired taste. Stir in chia seeds; let cook for another couple of minutes. Remove pot from heat and let sit until mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes. If too thin, add more chia seeds, as needed. Store in an airtight container (like a Mason jar) in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
PLEASE SHARE: What are your favorite chia seed jams or fruit spreads? Please share. I’d love to hear from you!