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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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. 

Easter Fun with Food and Friends

Easter is just around the corner, so let’s hop to it! I have cute, tasty and creative ideas for your celebration to help serve up your best Easter yet. Check out my spread during my appearance on Let’s Talk Live DC.

Serving Up the Incredible Egg

Whether you’re decorating them, eating them, or both, there is no denying it: eggs are a huge part of the Easter season! You might be surprised to hear that American Egg Board, image1has been donating hard-boiled eggs to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll since 1977! This year, they’ll be donating more than 30,000 eggs for South Lawn attendees. Not only are eggs fun to hunt for (especially with cool decorating techniques using glitter or craft tape), but they are a nutritional powerhouse. One large egg has 6 grams of high-quality protein and nine essential amino acids, all for 70 calories.

Eggs are also one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of Vitamin D, with nothing artificial. Try these Bacon and Cheddar Deviled eggs for your Easter brunch. Just 83 calories per serving and 5 grams of protein. And the good news is that hard boiling eggs just got easier! The American Egg Board is introducing a new method to help make eggs easier to peel AND shave 30% of your time hard-boiling them. Check it out here.

image2

Easter Brunch Crowd Pleasers

We all know hummus makes a great dip, but it’s also a versatile ingredient in your Easter brunch dishes. Two heaping spoons of hummus a day will help you meet the Dietary Guidelines for beans – hummus is made with chickpeas and 2 spoons is about ¼ cup. For Easter Brunch you can go the extra mile – try serving these vegetarian Curry Roasted Eggplant Hummus burgers. Full of flavor, with garlic, curry, parsley and even oats. After roasting they come together in the food processor quickly. You can make them ahead and save some time. Get this recipe and more at Sabra.com.

Healthy Treats for Your Easter Huntimage3

The hunt for healthy Easter treats is over. Wonderful pistachios are a heart smart with nearly 90% of the fats the unsaturated type. There’s 49 nuts in a serving, compared to about 15 chips making them a great option to include as a snack for your guests. Try filling plastic eggs with pistachios for a healthy hunt. You can also serve Wonderful pistachios as a snack before the meal instead of chips.

Get Crafty with Wonderful Halos

For a family friendly craft, Easter basket fun, or even as a image1place setting, these are cute bunnies you can make with Wonderful halos. Wonderful halos are California grown mandarin oranges that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, naturally fat and cholesterol free. Halos are seedless and easy to peel and eat for the entire family. Visit Halosfun.com to learn how to make these adorable Halos bunny pouches.

Better for You Easter Basket Treats

For the Easter Baskets, youimage2 definitely want to toss some KIND in there. With 30 core flavor options KIND has something for everyone, and of course KIND is made with real, wholesome ingredients like premium nuts. KIND “Nuts and Spices” has 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar, mostly from honey or dried fruits. And check out their 5 new flavors like BLACK TRUFFLE
ALMOND SEA SALT, DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND MINT, and my fave DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND COCONUT You can purchase this 30-bar pack, featuring the new flavors at Kind Snacks. Adults and kids would love a gift of KIND this Easter or thinking ahead to Mother’s Day in May.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate Easter?   Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

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Disclosure: I was compensated by Wonderful Brands, Kind Snacks, Sabra, and American Egg Board for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

March is National Nutrition Month and I’m thrilled to share some creative ideas for you to savor the flavor and eat well. The #1 influencer of our food choices is taste. Not surprising. We love delicious food. Here’s of few of my favorite tips on how you can add flavor to food that’s good for you and delicious!

Think Outside the Bowl with General Mills Bell Institute Health and Nutrition

Starting with cereal, which we all know about for breakfast. Cereal can be a smart choice, and offer good-for-you Whole Grains. Look for Whole Grains first on the ingredients list. With a think-outside-the-bowl mentality you can use cereal in so many dishes. Valentines Trail Mix pic_1I used Cheerios in this Nutty Chocolate Trail Mix – a smart snack, just add your favorite nuts and dried fruit and you have a satisfy treat. Looking for something a tad more unique? I used cereal to make a crunchy crust for fish. Fish is good for you, but it can lack flavor. I made this Crunchy, Asian-inspired Baked Fish with ginger and soy and Golden Grahams for a crunchy topping – this is baked, not fried.

fish picNo matter how you take your cereal, keep in mind that cereal can be a key source of vitamins and minerals, it’s cost effective, and you have lots of options in the store now, including gluten free, and whole grain cereals. You can find this recipe at my website www.RebeccaScritchfield.com.

Wonderful Halos

Bowls are a hot trend right now. Basically, you combine a bunch of good for you foods in a bowl, and make it taste delicious. This is a Mandarin Chicken and Quinoa Bowl. You can serve it “deconstructed” so you can see all the colorful parts. This bowl is loaded halo saladwith vegetables, whole grains from the quinoa, black beans which are great for digestive health, and Wonderful halos – a California grown mandarin orange that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, naturally fat and cholesterol free. Halos are seedless and easy to peel and eat for the entire family. Get them as a snack and include them in your meals for a boost of sweet flavor.

Sweet Scarlett’s

If you’re looking for a colorful and refreshing new side dish that will impress people with flavor and color, this Grapefruit and Carrot Salad is it – made with Sweet Scarlett’s, a Texas-grown red sweet scarlettegrapefruit. Compared to other grapefruits, Scarlett’s have a sweeter flavor and more vibrant red color. This salad can come together quickly with already shredded carrots, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, parsley, and a Moroccan spiced vinaigrette with flavors of cumin, cinnamon and honey. You can make this ahead of time and eat it during your busy day too! You’ll get 100% of vitamin C in half a grapefruit so include them in your snacks or as a something sweet after a meal.

Wonderful Pomegranates

I’m not one to skip dessert. This is Pomegranate Fro Yo made with POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice. It’s so easy a 3-year-old can do it. (I know because my daughter helped me.) You combine Greek yogurt, pom fro yobuttermilk, lemon juice and POM wonderful, chill, and then you can freeze it in popsicle molds or run it through an ice cream maker and freeze. POM Wonderful is a little tart in flavor, contains powerful antioxidants, and has zero added sugars and nothing artificial. Perfectly cool with the warmer weather have been enjoying.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate with flavor?   Please share below or tweet to@ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics by connecting on Twitter @bellinstitute@pomwonderful@HalosFun,

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Disclosure: I was compensated by General Mills Cereals and Pom Wonderful for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Eat the “Bugs” Do-It-Yourself Probiotic Pickles

Fermented-Pickles-5

You might wonder “Why would anyone want to eat bacteria?” If you have ever had yogurt, kefir, or kimchee you’ve had fermented foods. Fermentation is a process by which bacteria chemically break down parts of the food. Then, you eat it.

Fermented foods are great for your health because they are believed to help support a healthy gut microbiome. There are billions of “good” bacteria living in our digestive tract helping us create vitamins, digest food, and prevent infection from viruses and bad bacteria.

Doing your own food fermentation can be easy, fun, and delicious. Start with everyone’s favorite – the pickle. While grocery store pickles get their flavor from vinegar, these pickles get their flavor from the bacteria’s handiwork.

 

Do-It-Yourself “Probiotic” Pickles
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 quart sized jar
  • 3 pounds Cucumbers (Pickling or mini cucumbers work best because they have fewer seeds.)
  • Seasonings:
  • 3 sprigs of dill
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice (or combination of mustard seeds, coriander, bay leaf, and black peppercorn)
  • Optional: hot pepper or red chili flake for spicy pickles
  • Brine:
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • Onion bulb to keep pickles submerged.
Instructions
  1. Soak cucumbers in cold water. This helps keep them crunchy while they ferment.
  2. Clean cucumbers well and cut ends off.
  3. Cut cucumbers to desired size. Keep in mind that smaller slices will ferment faster.
  4. Pack cucumbers tightly into the jar.
  5. Add dill, garlic, and pickling spices.
  6. Prepare brine by combining salt and water and mixing to dissolve salt.
  7. Make sure to leave about an inch of room in the top of the jar. This is necessary for fermentation to take place.
  8. Cover jar and place on countertop for 3 days.
  9. Taste a pickle. If you like it, put the jar in the refrigerator to stop the fermenting process. If not, re-cover and taste each day until they are ready.
  10. Once in the refrigerator, don’t worry about keeping them submerged. Enjoy your “probiotic” pickles for up to 6 months.

Don’t just stop at cucumbers. Any vegetable can be “pickled” this way. Try green beans, peppers, zucchini, or asparagus for a new twist!

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