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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Lavender Chia Seed Jam

Strawberry Rhubarb Lavender Chia Seed Jam

This weekend, I was lucky enough to have a nice beautiful batch of rhubarb given to me! For a moment I thought maybe I would try a savory recipe with the rhubarb, or something a little off the beaten path. And then I remembered I had ripe berries ready to be used for something--and I couldn't resist. ;) I love cooking with chia seeds (I've posted a chia seed recipe for Spicy Pepper Jam here before), so I thought I'd cook up some jam! As a child, I remember loving the challenge of eating a sour, tangy stalk raw--and the joy of strawberry rhubarb pie. Rhubarb and strawberry are a class act together, no doubt.
Still, I wanted to add something exotic in to the mix, and then it hit me--culinary lavender. Oh yes.
Check out my finished product--a lovely little fresh spread that has only around 18 calories, 1.3 grams of healthy omega-3 fats, and over half a gram of protein per tablespoon! The lavender taste is very present but not overwhelming--it adds a fancy, perfumed quality to the jam that is just what I was going for. Great on toast, or a muffin...and I can't even imagine how yummy it would be over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or yogurt.
Recipe below. Enjoy!


-2 cups of diced strawberries (or any other berry of choice)
-1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (you don't HAVE to peel your rhubarb, but I did peel mine before chopping to avoid any stringiness)
-Roughly 1 1/3 cup of dried chia seeds
-3 tbsp. dried culinary lavender
-1 tbsp. stevia (or 1 cup of granulated sugar, or another sweetener to taste)
-Additional 2 tbsp. of sugar
-Estimated 2 1/2 cups of water
-Medium Sauce Pan
-Containers to hold somewhere around 32 ounces of jam (I used a 12 ounce jar and two 8 ounce jars, and filled to the brim).

YEILD: A little over 32 ounces, or around 64 tbsp. of jam.


Add chopped berries, rhubarb, lavender and sweetener to a sauce pan with enough water to cover them plus a little extra. For me, this ended up being around 2 1/2 cups. Basically, you want to submerge the ingredients and leave a little room for liquid, without your mixture becoming too watery.
Bring to a boil and then quickly reduce to a simmer until fruit is tender--it doesn't take long, perhaps 4 minutes or so. Don't boil too long or you will lose the beautiful color in the berries!

At this point, I removed the pan from heat and used a masher to gently mash the ingredients in the pan.
I then added the chia seeds to each jar--I used about 1/3 of a cup of dried seeds for the two smaller 8 oz. jelly jars, and the remainder of seeds (around 1/2 a cup or a little more) for the 12 oz. jar.
Spoon/pour berry mixture in to each jar and stir well, incorporating the chia seeds. You may need to adjust the amount of seeds you use for each jar if the mixture seems too watery, but you'll need to wait a little while to gauge how thick the jam actually is while the chia seeds "set", or become jelly-like. They will expand and thicken the mixture.
After around 10-15 minutes, the chia should have expanded to their maximum thickness, so if you need to add more seeds by the tbsp., you can.
Allow the jars to cool before putting in to the refrigerator. Kept in the fridge, this spread should last about two weeks. You can also freeze this jam--but I will admit, I haven't tried that. We usually eat it up rather quickly. =)


Serving Size: 1 tbsp.
Calories: 18
Total fat: 1.3 g
Sodium: .2 mg
Carbs: 1 g
Protein: .6 g

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