Monday, May 11, 2015

No-Cook Superfood Jam

Almond butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple lunch item in my house.  As such, we go through quite a bit of jelly. Trader Joes carries a reasonably priced jar of juice-sweetened jelly but since our move a year ago, the drive is no longer reasonable. Whole Foods' juice-sweetened jelly is just plain out of our price range with the amount we use. That left me having to buy the white-sugar laden jelly, much to my displeasure. So imagine how ecstatic I became when Natural Health magazine had a version of this no-cook fruit spread using strawberries. Since I had a bag of dried goji berries sitting in my pantry (since forever) that were begging to be used (or maybe it was just Dino's voice in my head telling me to stop wasting money), I decided to turn this into a real superfood jam.

Soaked goji berries.

Goji berries are considered a superfood for good reason: the amount of nutrition packed into this little berry is amazing. In just one ounce you get 140% RDA of vitamin A, 20% RDA of vitamin C, 10% RDA of iron, 4% RDA of calcium, 3 grams of fiber and a whopping 4 grams of protein. It also has over 20 trace minerals and vitamins. This little berry packs a punch!

The secret to this no-cook jam is the chia seeds. By soaking them in water, the seeds gel up to form the jam-like texture. Outside of this gelling behavior, chia seeds are also considered a superfood for their impressive nutritional content that includes a good amount of  Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, fiber and protein.

So whether you are having this jam on sprouted toast for breakfast or in almond butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, you will be well on your way to having your core nutritional needs met. If you are new to goji berries then it is important to note that they are not as sweet as a strawberry. If you need to add another tablespoon of honey to please your palate- go for it.

No-Cook Superfood Jam
By: Living Life Granola
1 1/2 cups dried goji berries
3 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp local raw honey
Enough filtered water to cover and soak the goji berries

*Buy organic when possible.

Place the dried goji berries in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Let soak for 20 minutes.

Take 1 cup of the water that the goji berries have been soaking in and place that water in another small bowl. Leave any remaining water in with the berries. Put the chia seeds in the goji water and soak the seeds for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fully drain the goji berries and place them, along with the chia gel and honey, into a blender and pulse to mix. Pour into three glass jelly jars. Store one in the fridge for immediate consumption and the other two jars in the freezer for later use. When storing in the fridge consume within 1 week.

I have found myself forgoing my usual breakfast smoothie to have this jam on sprouted toast with some ghee- so yummy! It is also nice to know my kids are getting a healthy dose of fiber, calcium and antioxidants even if they are just eating an AB&J for lunch (almond butter recipe here). This jam can be made with all sorts of berries so, if you have a favorite, give it a try!

Linked with the Simply Natural Saturdays blog series.

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