Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I really like using frozen berries and chia seeds to make quick sauces for oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, and desserts.

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Instant Cranberry Sauce, Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce, Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Once I realized that I could make delicious healthy sauces like this, I knew that it would also be possible to make jam in the same way. It would just have to be a little thicker. I’ve also started seeing some recipes for chia jams spreading through the web.

The other day I was making soup and biscuits for dinner and was upset to find that I was all out of jam (an absolute must for me with home-made biscuits), until I realized it would be the perfect opportunity to try making some of my own. Now I only wish I’d tried it sooner!

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Now this is healthy home-made vegan comfort food! I’ll be posting about the soup (it’s kind of like minestrone) and the biscuits (from The Joy of Vegan Baking) soon.

This jam is super simple to make, as the chia seeds to most of the work for you, and has only a few ingredients. The results won’t taste exactly like store-bought jam, mainly because it will taste a lot more like fruit and a whole lot less like sugar. I don’t know about you, but jam that actually tastes like fruit, sounds like a great idea to me. Your home-made chia jam will also be free of additives, preservatives, and processed sugars and full of antioxidants, omega 3’s, calcium, iron, protein, and lots of fibre. This is guilt-free jam!

Title, Berry Chia Jam

I’ve been devouring this jam all week on biscuits, toast, oatmeal, and even vanilla ice cream. This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of jam, and I had no problem using it up in about four days.

When deciding how much to make, keep in mind that because this jam has no preservatives, additives, or massive amounts of sugar, it will not keep forever like store-bought jam. I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t want to leave it any more than one week.

Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam (Yields 1 cup)
2/3 cup blueberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
2/3 cup blackberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp coconut sugar (or to taste)

1) Using a blender, food processor, or hand blender, process the blueberries, blackberries, and vanilla just until there are no whole berries left. This took me about 2 seconds with my hand blender, which I’d recommend using if you have one, as it will leave  you with a lot less clean up than a blender or food processor.
2) Stir the chia seeds and sugar into the berry mixture. If you used a food processor or blender you’ll need to transfer the berry mixture into a different container first. You can use the sealable jar or container you’ll be storing your jam in.
3) Make sure the jam is in a sealed container (a mason jar works perfect) and place in the fridge overnight, or at least for a couple of hours. The chia seeds will soak up the liquid, gelatinize, and turn this into a jam-like consistency for you.
4) Keep your chia jam in a sealed container in the fridge. Enjoy!

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Notes:
– I prefer the texture of ground chia seeds in my jam, but whole chia seeds will work as well. As I also prefer the texture of ground chia in things such as smoothies and puddings, I buy whole chia seeds, grind some with my coffee/spice grinder, and keep a small jar of this in my fridge. 
– While I’m sure that other berries or fruit could be substituted for the blueberries and blackberries, keep in mind that different fruits have different levels of moisture, which means you might need a different amount of chia to achieve a jam-like consistency.

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Silver Hills toast with almond butter and Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam. Yum!

I’ve shared this recipe with Healthy Vegan Friday #37Raw Food Thursdays (4/4/13),  Gluten Free Friday #34Wellness Weekends (Apr4-8/2013), and Meatless Monday A-Z #29 (Create w/ Blueberries.

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Lemon Cranberry Coconut Chia Bars

Collage, Lemon Cranberry Coconut Squares

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Let me just say that unless you absolutely hate lemon, cranberries, or coconut then you need to try these Tropical Lemon Cranberry Coconut Chia Bars from Angela at Oh She Glows.

The lemon and cranberry make for a delicious combination of sweet and tart flavours, and the coconut make these fantastically chewy.

These bars are also quite simple to make, and while probably quite high in calories, they don’t contain anything to really feel guilty about.

The only changes I made to the original recipe was to use whole wheat flour in place of the oat flour, mainly because I was too lazy to take that extra step of processing the oats. I also replaced the pistachios with pumpkin seeds, because I didn’t have any pistachios and I figured pumpkin seeds are the same colour and would still give me the crunch-factor.

I love these Tropical Lemon Cranberry Coconut Chia Bars!

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What I Ate Wednesday #112 – Oatmeal Love

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For this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post I’m going to share with you my recent oatmeal adventures. There have been a lot of cold mornings in the past couple months and I recently started making my oatmeal in the microwave, which on early mornings feels a lot easier than on the stove (plus it doesn’t leave me with a pot to wash). So, lots of oatmeal lately!

I hope this provides you with some inspiration for your next bowl of oatmeal. Enjoy!

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Sucanat & cinnamon oatmeal with (1) natural peanut butter unsweetened coconut, and home-made dried cranberries and (2) natural peanut butter, cocoa powder, and raw cacao nibs.

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3) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp sucanat, 1/4tsp cinnamon, 1/4tsp ground coriander, and 1/2tsp vanilla. Topped with 1/4 serving Vanilla Chai Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer, 2 cut up dried figs, and slivered almonds.
4) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp Nature’s Path Cranberry Vanilla Qi’a Cereal, 1tbsp sucanat, and 1tbsp cocoa powder. Topped with natural peanut butter and 1 cut up dried fig.

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5) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp ground chia seeds, 1tbsp sucanat, 1/2tsp cinnamon, and 2 chopped dried figs. Topped with hemp hearts and pumpkin seed butter.
6) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tsp chia seeds, 1tbsp maple syrup, 1/2tsp molasses, and 1/2tsp cinnamon. Topped with slivered almonds, home-made dried cranberries, and unsweetened coconut.

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And, I know its not oatmeal, but I had this yesterday evening and it was fantastic. I will definitely be using brown rice like this again!
Leftover cooked long grain brown rice, unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, and sucanat, heated in the microwave. Yum!

What I Ate Wednesday #112

Thanks for stopping by!

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This post was also shared with Healthy Vegan Friday #34. Go check it out!

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Tropical Pineapple Coconut Oat Cups

Ginger Snap Oatmeal with Instant Cranberry Sauce

I have another oatmeal recipe for you and this one tastes like a ginger snap! It’s full of spicy ginger, warming nutmeg and cloves, and that distinctive molasses flavour. This oatmeal is great on its own, or even better topped with my Instant Cranberry Sauce. The sweet tartness of the cranberries pairs beautifully with the flavours of the oatmeal. Perfect for a cool fall or winter morning!

Ginger Snap Oatmeal
2 cups water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree or unsweetened applesauce
1 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp ground flax
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp molasses
1/3 cup slivered almonds
2 tbsp Sucanat, coconut sugar, or cane sugar (optional)

On the stove, bring water to a boil in a pot. Stir in all of the other ingredients, except for the molasses, almonds, and sugar (if using). Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until oats are cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat. Stir molasses, almonds, and sugar (if using) into the oatmeal. Serve topped with Instant Cranberry Sauce. Enjoy!

Instant Cranberry Sauce (Yields 1 cup)
2 cups frozen cranberries
2 tbsp maple syrup

Place frozen berries in a microwave-safe dish (I use a liquid measuring cup). Defrost berries in a microwave, about 90 seconds, until berries squish when pressed. Stir cranberries with a fork until at least half of them are broken and have released their liquid. Stir in maple syrup.

You May Also Enjoy:
Apple Fig Oatmeal, Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce, Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes with Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #19Only one more to go! Barring an unexplained lengthy interruption tomorrow (knock on wood), I will actually have succeeded at writing 20 posts in one month! I don’t think I actually thought I would make it!

I have never really been interested in pancakes. They’ve always seemed way to doughy for me, and then as soon as you pour syrup over top, way too soggy. No thank you!

The only pancakes I’ve ever really enjoyed were the mini pancakes my grandma used to make for my sisters and I. They were nice and thin, probably more like a crepe batter, and we always ate them with butter and icing sugar, rather than syrup. Unfortunately, my grandma has passed away and I have absolutely no idea what the recipe was for her special pancakes. So I’ve pretty much given up on pancakes and focused on other breakfast food. Like waffles, which I absolutely love!

Definitely not the most attractive breakfast, but so good! My Natural Vega One turned these green!

Anyway, these protein pancakes from Sensual Appeal attracted me because they didn’t look like those thick cakey pancakes that everyone seems to enjoy so much. Plus they have chocolate chips! Even though I couldn’t even remember the last time I had pancakes, or wanted pancakes, I wanted to try these ones. So, with a couple adjustments and some lovely Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce I enjoyed these for breakfast one morning. I hope you do too.

I do suggest making the blueberry sauce before you start the pancakes, to give the chia seeds time to work their magic.

Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes (Serves 1-2)
1/4 cup protein powder (I used Natural Vega One, which has a light vanilla flavour)*
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup water
Vegan chocolate chips, to taste (I used 2 1/2 tsp Enjoy Life Mini Chips)
*You can use whatever protein powder you like here, just make sure its one that you enjoy the flavour of, because you will be able to taste it in these pancakes.

Mix the dry ingredients together, then stir in the water. Warm a pan on medium heat and spray lightly with oil. Pour the pancake batter onto the pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips. You can make a couple of large-ish pancakes or some smaller ones, like I did. The pancakes are ready to flip when they will move easily around on the pan. Flip, and cook for another minute or two. Repeat.

Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp ground chia
5 drops liquid stevia

Place blueberries in a microwave-safe dish (I use a glass measuring cup) and defrost in the microwave. They should yield to pressure, and look like the second photo, after a good stir. You want at least half, but not all of the blueberries to be squished. Stir the ground chia and stevia into the blueberries and set aside until ready to use.

When pancakes are done, plate and cover in your Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce. Enjoy!

I may just have to rethink this whole no-pancake thing.

You May Also Enjoy:
Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding, Blueberry Coconut Crumble Bars, Cinnamon Power Granola

Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #15

Yes! Chocolate and almond again! Apparently I don’t get tired of this combination.

This Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding is quick to throw together, tastes like a great chocolate dessert, but is healthy enough to be eaten for breakfast. As documented in this WIAW post, I actually did eat it for breakfast one day mixed with some Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal and covered in blueberry sauce (recipes coming at some point, I promise).

This chia pudding uses ground chia seeds, because I don’t really like the texture of the whole seeds. If you like the texture of tapioca pudding, you’d probably be fine using the whole seeds, you just may have to adjust the measurements a little bit.

Also, I decided on chocolate and almond because I had some unsweetened chocolate almond milk on hand, but any non-dairy milk would work.

Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding (Yields 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp carob powder
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
10 drops liquid stevia

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and stir well. Cover and place in fridge for at least an hour to thicken. Stir once more before serving. I like to garnish my pudding with something like nuts or coconut, to add some texture. Enjoy!

Nutritional Info for 1/4 cup (using Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Breeze): 68 calories, 9g carbs, 4g (healthy) fats, 4g protein, 1g sugar, 46mg sodium.

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This has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #14.

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Chocolate Almond Porridge
Almond Joy Cookie Bars
Chocolate Vega Macaroons

Cinnamon Power Granola

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #11

With the exception of changing up the protein powder (sometimes I use Natural or Vanilla Chai Vega One instead of hemp protein powder), spices, and fruit, this is my go-to granola. In addition to oats and almonds, it is packed with almost every kind of seed you could think of. Lots of goodness to give you some vegan super powers, or at least power you through your day!

Please don’t be scared away by the dark colour of this granola (it’s from the molasses) or the long list of ingredients. This recipe literally takes less than 5 minutes to mix together, and then you can put it in the oven and do something else for an hour. Like dream of eating your crunchy delicious Cinnamon Power Granola!

Also, while the idea of all the different seeds is to pack in lots of different nutrients, if you are missing one or two, just sub in whatever you do have.

Cinnamon Power Granola (adapted from Sacha Inchi Baked Apple Cinnamon Cereal from Brendan Brazier’s Whole Foods to Thrive)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup hemp protein powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground stevia
1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce or apple juice
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp hemp or flax oil
1 cup fresh fruit (I’ve tried diced apple, peaches, pears, apricots and fresh blueberries and they’ve all been great. As you can see in the photos, I used a combination of peach and apricot this time.)

Preheat oven to 250° and lightly grease a large baking sheet. In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the stevia, applesauce, molasses, and oil. Set aside. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl. Pour liquid mixture into bowl and stir with a fork until everything is moistened and clumping together. Bake for 60 minutes (1 hour), mixing up the granola halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool before breaking up any large chunks of granola and transferring to a sealed container. Stored in the fridge, this granola will last for at least a week, and probably longer but I’ve never had it last that long. Enjoy!

I enjoy my granola on its own or with some non-dairy milk. Sometimes I mix it half and half with whichever variety of Nature’s Path flake cereal I have on hand. Want a treat? Sprinkle your Cinnamon Power Granola over your favourite vegan ice cream or pudding!

A 1/2 cup serving of Cinnamon Power Granola has roughly 240 calories, 21g carbs, 14g fat (don’t worry its all healthy fats), 9g protein, and 8g sugar.

This post has been shared on Healthy Vegan Friday #34.

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Apple Fig Oatmeal, Peach Blueberry Crisp, Peanut Butter Porridge