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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spicy Pepper Chia Seed Jam: #Channyskitchen

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I was SO excited to try cooking with chia seeds (mostly for their amazing Omega 3 and fatty acid benefits, but also because I love to cook!), even though they were pricey. (The organic chia seeds I bought at my local health food store were about 12 dollars for a somewhat small bag!) I have heard about buying them in bulk for cheaper prices, but I wanted to get the hang of cooking with them before I committed to a large quantity.

I started with soaked chia seed pudding a few days ago--just a simple coconut milk/lemon zest chia pudding sweetened with stevia. That was pretty good! I knew, however, that my real interest was in making "jam" type concoctions. I made some strawberry chia preserves (and they were super yummy!) but it wasn't long before my mind started going down a savory a road less traveled. 

I present to you, my:


Delicious with meats, on buttered bread, or as a condiment to 
sandwiches, crackers, etc!

Should last in refrigerator for approximately 2 weeks.





You'll need:

--7-8 mini colorful peppers (or 2 large colored peppers)
--1/4 cup chopped onion
--Sea salt and pepper (optional)
--Olive oil for sauteeing
--Dash of honey
--Healthy TBSP of Sriracha (more if you like it hotter! You can also substitute hot peppers with your mild pepper mix, but I wanted a nice, controlled heat).
--1/4 cup dried chia seeds
--1/2 cup water

--Food processor, sauce pan, small to medium jar to hold jam while it cools.


First, I de-seeded and diced my mini-peppers, along with the onion. I tossed them into my sauce pan with some sea salt on medium heat, and began to caramelize them for added flavor.

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After they had become slightly browned, I added about 1/4 cup of water (additional water for simmering/cooking out and not listed in ingredients above). I let the peppers and onion simmer until they were soft, and the flavors had really been released. Most of the water cooked out, but I left what was there for blending in the next step.

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I blended my pepper/onion mix on high, until quite smooth, with my food processor. It didn't yeild much--maybe about 1/2 cup of pureed peppers and onion. I spooned that, still warm, into my small jelly jar.

Rather than soak my chia seeds in flavorless water, I used the 1/2 cup of water in the ingredient list to rinse the mixing basin of the food processor. I then dumped that watery pepper solution in to a small dish and soaked my chia seeds in it, for added flavor. After about five minutes, I spooned the somewhat gelled chia seeds and excess liquid into the jelly jar with the pepper puree, stirring for smooth consistency. Then, I added a healthy tablespoon or two of Sriracha for some nice heat! 

The consistency of the jelly is very much like a more textured mustard--chia seeds are soft, and don't present much flavor or texture, really. But they thicken the mixture nicely and add so much in the way of nutrition. I absolutely love the flavor of this jam, and even though I put the rest in the refrigerator to cool, I couldn't resist slathering some on a peice of 7 grain oval bread with some real butter to test it out.




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