10-Minute Chia Seed Fruit Jam 3 Easy Ways

There’s a New “Jam” in Town.

If you’re planning a trip to the berry patch or looking for a new cooking project, these Chia Jam recipes will not disappoint.

Chia seeds are now widely available in most grocery stores, and with all of their vitamins and minerals, they are worth the space in your pantry. Because chia binds to water and create a gelatinous product, it makes a great culinary ingredient for a fruit spread.

Chia jam is a fun way to incorporate chia seeds into your meal rotation. It’s a healthy food with minimal added sugar. (You can use sweetener to taste or just let the fruit shine through.)

In less than 10 minutes, you can have the freshest berry-licious spoonable  spread. Use it on toast, blend

chia jam it in smoothies, top it on yogurt or ice cream, pair with peanut butter, drizzle over grilled or roasted veggies, and heck you can even eat it straight up with a spoon!

Here are your step-by-step directions.

Berry Chia Jam

  • 1 cup of chopped berries
  • ¼ cup 100% grape juice or tart cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

 

lemon blueberry chia

Lemon Blueberry Chia Jam

  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Sweetener of your choice (optional, 1-2 tablespoons)zespri sungold

Sungold Kiwifruit Chia Jam

  • 2 cups Sungold Kiwifruit, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • Sweetener of your choice (optional, 1-2 tablespoons)

SunGolds are in season now through October. If you haven’t tried it, you will love the sweet, tropical taste. Look for the Zespri label, the brand that makes SunGold.

How to Make the Jam

  1. Prepare the fruit. Remove stems, pits, seeds, and skin, as needed. Chop large fruits into small pieces. Berries can be left whole.
  2. Mash the fruit. Use the back of a spoon or spatula (a potato masher works great too) until the fruit consistency is as smooth as you like.
  3. Stir in the juice or sweetener. This is where you add the juice or sweetener, depending on what recipe you are making. Add more honey or lemon juice to taste.
  4. Stir in the chia seeds.
  5. Let stand 5 minutes, until thickened: Be patient — it won’t be as thick as traditional jam, but if you’d like a thicker consistency, especially with juicier fruits, stir in more chia seeds, adding in 1 teaspoon at a time.
  6. Transfer to a jar or other storage container: Store in the fridge for about 2 weeks.  You can also freeze the jam for up to 3 months.

Sweeteners

It’s your choice and honestly, one form of sugar is not remarkably better than the other. You can also work with sugar alternatives like stevia if you like it and don’t mind aftertaste.

  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • brown sugar
  • white table sugar
  • coconut sugar
  • agave
  • 100% fruit juice

Did I miss one? Hit me up in the comments.

Family Fun

Try doing this activity with your kids, your besties, or give them as gifts to your foodie friends. You will all be happier and healthier from spending the time together enjoying delicious food and fun activities.

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Holy Moly! A New Way to Love Guacamole Sabra Veggie Fusions

Disclosure: I worked with Sabra Dipping Company for media meetings in NYC for the Veggie Fusions launch. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Holy Moly! Sabra Dipping Company is helping us all find a new way to love Guacamole! Sabra has found a way to make a favorite dip even more delicious and versatile and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share the low down on Veggie Fusions.

3-Up-Fusions-Guacamole-PacksA New Way to Love Guacamole

Veggie Fusions are made with Haas avocados blended with a variety of fresh cut vegetables. This guacamole is loaded with crisp and chunky vegetables, which adds fresh flavor you’ll love.

Take it with you on a road trip, outdoor concert, backyard picnic or BBQ. Whether you’re sipping on a summer margarita and need some good-for-you noshes, spreading it on your favorite wrap, dolloping on salads, using it to make your own salad dressing, or eating it by the spoonful, you’ll find many ways to love it.

Veggie Fusions come in three mouth-watering varieties with Mango Lime, Garden Vegetable, and South-Western. All three varieties are vegan, kosher, and gluten-free, so all of us can enjoy a new way to love guacamole.

 

A Favorite Dip with a Healthy Twist

7 OZ_GARDEN_FRONTThe Garden Vegetable variety blends carrots, peppers, and tomatoes with fresh herbs and spices. I love the subtle flavor notes of basil, making it a great compliment to any Italian cuisine. Add it to your pizza or toss in with pasta and meatballs. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.7 OZ_SOUTH-WESTERN_TOP

The South Western variety will win over the taste buds of any taco lover. It’s loaded with corn, peppers, onions, black beans, garlic and tomatoes, a perfect compliment to a baked potato or quesadilla.

7 OZ_MANGO_TOPMango Lime is packed with flavorful mango, lime and herbs for a sweet and savory twist that will wow your taste buds. Serve it with chips, fish tacos or grilled chicken or steak.

Look for Sabra Veggie Fusions in the deli section of grocery stores and supermarkets nationwide. You can also find Sabra at www.sabra.com, Facebook and @Sabra on Twitter.

Disclosure: I worked with Sabra Dipping Company media meetings in NYC during the Veggie Fusions press release. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Body Kindness Podcast Episode 8 – That Biggest Loser Study

Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield, RDNIn today’s episode of Body Kindness we’re talking about That Biggest Loser Study.

Last week the media exploded when the New York Times reported a new study of Biggest Loser Season 8 contestants that found that their bodies had “fought to regain weight”. Six years after the show:

  • all but one contestant had regained a significant portion of their lost weight – an average of 70%
  • their resting metabolisms had permanently slowed, burning an average 500 fewer calories a day than other people their age and size
  • they had significantly lower levels of leptin, the body’s satiety hormone.

You won’t be surprised to discover that Bernie and I have a lot to say about this study. We unpack the findings and talk about what they mean for the rest of us. I’ve also got some great advice for Bernie on how to find a healthy, body kindness way forward.

So if the news of this study made you want to throw your hands in the air with despair ‒ or left you feeling more confused than ever ‒ don’t miss this episode.

Have a question or comment for us? You can get in touch here.

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Listen to Episode 8 below…

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Here’s what we talked about…

  • I explained why this study is significant. It’s extremely rare for a study to run for six years – most studies only last a matter of months, usually due to funding. The results are meaningful as six years is long enough to show the potential for weight cycling.
  • We talked about our reactions to the article and its uncanny timing so soon after Bernie’s Loser Letter in Episode 7. Bernie says he was floored by the news and still unsure what to think. There is some hurt and anger, yet some relief to hear that there are biological reasons why he’s struggled with his weight post-Loser despite all his efforts. He sensed something was not right with his body, but carried a personal sense of blame and shame for gaining weight.
  • I expressed my annoyance that the researchers don’t seem to learn anything significant from their own study by concluding that The Biggest Loser results are still better than other methods out there. Their call to action is to “fight” and find a way to turn leptin into medication. Do the researchers realize that they’re not just measuring the impact of doing the show on metabolism but also each contestant’s entire dieting history? We know the more and longer someone has dieted, the higher weight can climb.
  • It’s maddening to see the author and researchers use the same kind of thinking that created all these problems to try to solve them. Deep down society doesn’t want to hear about the existence of fat people! They have been around forever. While there are lots of factors at play, size diversity exists.
  • We talked about the two key findings of the study. The first was the metabolic slowdown of the contestants. Their metabolism was low when they left the show – which is expected as the body needs fewer calories to survive as it loses weight. But what confounded the researchers was as participants regained weight, metabolism did not increase proportionately.
  • This means a person who has lost weight is burning fewer calories and has a slower metabolism than a person of the same size who has not experienced weight loss.
  • Of the Season 8 participants Danny Cahill had the biggest discrepancy in metabolic rate, burning 800 fewer calories per day. In real life terms, this would mean he would have to skip lunch every day of his life in order to prevent weight gain. Accepted scientific wisdom has been that your body will need more calories as you gain weight but the study showed this was not the case.
  • The other significant finding was that contestant’s leptin levels were extremely low after the show. Leptin levels were expected to increase in the following years but only reached 50% of predicted levels. Leptin is the satiety hormone that says “hey, I’m full!” (the opposing hormone is ghrelin which tells you when you’re hungry).
  • I explained that if you engage in extreme weight loss methods like Biggest Loser then shift to more moderate measures, even if you try to tune into your body’s fullness signals your hormones will tell you that you don’t have enough. Bernie says this describes his experience of satiety since leaving the show.
  • The conclusion here is that the body fights back. The weight loss methods on The Biggest Loser are about vanity, and health and wellbeing get hijacked for extreme weight loss.
  • I also expressed my frustration that some “weight loss experts” say this study simply demonstrates the dangers of extreme diets, however many studies point to similar metabolic results in more moderate approaches. We can’t accept that dieting is worse for your body than taking care of it!
  • Bernie asked me what we should do with these findings, worrying that this study might make our listeners feel like giving up.
  • I mentioned Dr. Deb Burgard, a California psychologist and eating disorder specialist who disagrees with the conclusions of the study:
    “People are still talking about ‘solutions’ like medications to eliminate hunger or massive therapeutic teams for life — and I think clinicians do not want to disappoint higher weight people who are desperate to change their weight. We have to grapple with the facts here and open our minds to what we can do to support the wellbeing of people at every weight.”
  • I believe this is where the answer lies – we need to support wellbeing and true health first – physical and mental. You can be healthy and unhealthy at a wide variety of sizes.
  • I encouraged Bernie to find peace with the past and his Biggest Loser experience so he can get to a place of wellbeing. While there may be metabolic impact beyond his control, he is in charge his other choices. I encouraged him and our listeners to not check out of self care, but rather to continue on his Body Kindness path. The three pillars of Body Kindness  – love, connection, and caring – are guides for how we make choices. I believe the answer lies in being kind to his body, eating balanced food and nourishing himself. Being rigid and restrictive won’t help, it will only reduce leptin levels.
  • I encourage people to not give up on taking care of yourself but to start thinking about – what is my value, what does self care look like for me, and commit to that.
  • This is hard in a society that isn’t accepting of different sizes and shapes but we can change society by using our voices and by advocating for ourselves and what health means.
  • I gently challenged Bernie to call a truce with his weight-based approach and try focusing on habits. Is he willing to pursue the idea of being in his current body while taking care of himself?
  • Bernie says while he is feeling he chooses to feel empowered by the news and work towards making peace with the past.
  • We finished with some wisdom from my coffee cup:

Coffee cup wisdom

Links mentioned in the show

What did you think of Bernie’s letter?

Let’s continue the conversation – we’d love to hear your thoughts. You can get in touch here.

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Nothing in this podcast is meant to provide medical diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Individuals should consult a qualified healthcare provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.

Celebrate Mom in Small and Special Ways for #MothersDay

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and what better than to celebrate mom with creative ideas to show you care? As a mom of two myself, I love getting taken care of in small and special ways and that’s what I have to share with you, little ideas that say “I love you, mom” and you can involve the kids too.

mothersday-blog

 

Loved working with some of my favorite brands on the Let’s Talk Live D.C. TV segment.

Give Mom a KIND Breakfast in Bed

What a nice treat to serve mom breakfast in bed! And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Simply pair kind breakfastscrambled eggs with fruit and a KIND breakfast bar. KIND breakfast bars are made with 100% whole grains. They have 5 super grain blend of oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa. And they go great with morning coffee or tea, not just on mothers day’s but for the busy mama all year round. I also love these as a pre-fuel before a workout and they are a fun snack for mom to share with her kids too. Try Peanut Butter, Raspberry Chai, Blueberry Almond, and Honey Oat varieties.

Involve The Whole Family in the Meal – Build Your Own Taco Bar

Another fun idea is to do a family lunch or dinner where everyone can get involved. I love to set up a make-your-own taco bar and enlist Dad and the kids to help chop up chicken, shredded cabbage, beans, corn, and any veggies you like, then top them with Sabra Veggie Fusions. This is a new guacamole from Sabra and it’s delicious.

There’s three new varieties of flavor that actually put 3-Up-Fusions-Guacamole-Packsvegetables in the guacamole – I love the Southwestern for tacos, but you can also try Garden Veggie and Mango Lime. It’s also Cinco de Mayo so you can celebrate with this dinner tonight! It’s really easy to bring together. Also, don’t forget Sabra hummus – 2 spoons of hummus a day helps you Smallerget the servings of beans and more vegetables.

A colorful veggie platter is also a great idea for the “unofficial meal” — those things you eat when you’re super busy or just want something easy – we have veggies, cheese, hummus and guac – always on hand and ready to go. Check out #unofficialmeal on Twitter to get recipes and ideas from bloggers who love hummus.

Marinades, Dressings, and Condiments Just Like Mom Would Make

LEMON_GARLIC_Organic_bottleWe know mom loves vegetables – salads are always a great idea, but another way to enjoy vegetables is roasting in the oven, which I love doing with green beans. Mazola marinated veggiesYou can easily enhance the flavor of ANY dish with Tessemae’s organic dressings, marinades, and condiments. I especially love the organic lemon garlic and balsamic dressings – just the right amount of flavor to enhance any roasted vegetables.

There’s over 25 varieties to choose from – just like mom would make from scratch at home, but already done, a nice time saver. Tessemae’s contain no added sugar, thickeners, or additives and are now certified USDA organic. And one more reason to love Tessemae’s, it was launched by three brothers using their Mom’s homemade recipes. If you shop at Whole Foods or Harris Teeter, you’re in luck – pick up some Tessemae’s and taste the difference.

What to Serve Baby’s First Foods

For moms of little ones, a recent survey by Beech-Nut showed parents get confused about what to do when it’s time to start feeding baby. And there’s researchbeechnut to show that by age 1 babies get fewer veggies, and whole grains and more sodium and sugar – similar amount of sugar to about a cup of soda.

Beech-Nut  is a smart choice to get baby in the habit of eating well. They make it easy to know what goes into your baby’s food. Using the freshest vegetables and fruits, gently cooked and just as flavorful as what you would do at home. The label says it all – simply organic with simple ingredients like “just sweet potatoes,” “just carrots,” and “just apples, raspberry and avocado.”

When you eat well, baby eats well. Along with Beech-Nut, give them foods they can scoop up with their hands like tuna, peas, and scrambled eggs when you start introducing foods.

 Celebrate Mom with a Chocolaty Twist on Tofu (Yes, Tofu!)

Let’s not forget dessert! You can enjoy a yummy flavor like chocolate and still get some surprising health benefits. Try whipping up this easy and delicious Chocolate Banana Pudding – made with TOFU! Simply combine banana and tofu in blender or food processor. Add cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon and purée until smooth. r_chocolate_banana_pudding

Tofu offers a variety of health benefits – it’s a complete protein source offering 9 essential amino acids. House Foods Organic tofu is one of my favorites. It’s non-GMO and made with soybeans that are US-grown. It also tastes great! Tofu is extremely versatile because it absorbs other flavors, so it’s a really wonderful healthy food swap. You can pick up House Foods Organic tofu at Walmart.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Sabra Dipping Company, Beech-Nut, House Foods Organic Tofu, KIND Snacks, and Tessemae’s for my work on TV. Thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Celebrate Mom with Parmesan-Herb Zucchini Brunch Bites (Gluten-Free)

Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

This May, celebrate Mom and all she does with a home cooked meal she’ll remember. This recipe was designed with my two little girls and their tiny hands and I hope you’ll try this recipe, one the whole family can help cook.

As both a daughter and a mom, Mother’s Day gives me the opportunity to tell my mom how much I appreciate her. It also reminds me to aspire to do my best for my own kids, and as a mom, my best almost always begins with a hug and a nutritious meal.

The Goodness of The Grain

Ready to eat cereal was one of the first foods I introduced to my girls. It’s a great way to start the day. In fact, people who eat cereal tend to take in more key nutrients that are essential to good health like calcium, vitamin D and fiber1.

Whole grain cereals also combine well with other healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, eggs and dairy products.

Think Outside The Bowl

These savory muffins will hit the spot at your special Mother’s Day brunch or even breakfast in bed. The blend of zucchini, eggs and cheese make a flavorful way to incorporate more veggies into the day. These muffins take less than an hour to make, start to finish. It’s the perfect recipe suited for all moms alike. 

May is also Celiac Awareness Month, a disease we continue to recognize more in the culinary world. This recipe uses whole grain Rice Chexcereal, which are gluten-free. Chex is also free of artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources, and high fructose corn syrup so you can feel good about serving it to your family.

Make Ahead

These muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or individually wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat at 350ºF for about 8-10 minutes, until heated through.

Share Your Mom Memory

Happy Mother’s Day, to our mothers everywhere! Please share your family baking memories in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Parmesan-Herb Zucchini Bites (Gluten-Free)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 muffins
Ingredients
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (or your favorite), shredded
  • 1 cup crushed gluten free Rice Chex Cereal
  • 1 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Cheese cloth
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a muffin tin, and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Shred zucchini into a colander or large bowl. Once shredded, place zucchini onto square of cheesecloth and sprinkle with a pinch of salt to help release excess water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before squeezing out excess liquid. After wringing out, zucchini in large bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, onion, garlic, cheese, Rice Chex Cereal, herbs, salt, and pepper to the shredded zucchini. Stir until evenly combined.
  4. Scoop the mixture into the greased muffin tin, filling each well to the top. Bake at 375ºF for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool slightly before removing to a wire rack to cool.

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Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Reference: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [2011-12] [http://cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes].