There is something nostalgic about jam. It was, and still can be, a building block of becoming our own people. From being school children and bringing a lunch to school everyday made my by our mothers to slapping some peanut butter and jam on some week old bread after a late night out at the bars in college.
It is simplistic, yet comforting, making a sandwich of PB&J and that is the bottom line. The best part about these types of sandwiches is that the opportunities for appetite are endless. You can you different types of bread, different types of peanut butter (where are my crunchy pb fans?), and different flavors of jam.
Of course as we grow older, we realize that not everything we put into our bodies is good for us. Some of the things we thought were healthy for us turn out to actually be putting our wellbeing at risk. That is when I started researching. I found a recipe that will allow me to still have that comfort of eating a PB&J and not feel guilty about it.
The jam only has four ingredients and takes around twenty minutes to make; sounds easy. The ingredients include:
- 2 Cups of Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
- 1.5 Table Spoons of Maple Syrup
- 1 Table Spoon of Fresh Lemon Squeeze
- 2 Table Spoons of Chia Seeds
The idea of this jam is that it has a decreased amount of sugars that most store bought jams consist of. The maple syrup is used in the jam to add some sweetness. The author claims that there are a handful of benefits with using chia seeds as a main ingredient in preparing food:
“My easy strawberry chia jam comes packed with other nutritional benefits too! Chia seeds are high in omega-3s which help calm inflammation. They also contain fiber, protein, phosphorus, and calcium.”Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen reminds us that there are so many more pairings of food that we can you jam for besides sandwiches. The jam can be used on top of yogurts and smoothie bowls. Mary Ellen uses the jam in her specialty Strawberries and Cream Overnight Oats!
Now to begin I read the instructions on how to create the jam. I am not jam making machine, but the recipe said easy and it sounds like it will be a guilt free treat. Below I will list her very short and simple instructions on how to make the jam.
- Heat strawberries in a pan for about 5-10 mins. Mash them with a fork while they are cooking to break them up.
- Take the strawberries off the heat and stir in maple syrup, lemon juice, and chia seeds.
- Let stand until cooled and transfer to jar for storage in the refrigerator. Jam will last about 2 weeks in fridge.
I made a run to the grocery store. I had some of the ingredients, but not all. I picked up fresh strawberries, organic maple syrup, organic lemons, chia seeds, and headed home. I thought cutting up the strawberries would make the process simplified while breaking them down. After cutting the berries I took a masher to them which made the strawberries purified to the point that it almost looked like a liquid. Once they were in the pan I let is sit for around five minutes considering they were already quite broken down.
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I took the pan down to a simmer and added in the maple syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and chia seeds. I stirred until there was a consistency within the sauce pan and all ingredients were evenly distributed. Before putting the jam into a mason jar, I let the pan and soon to be jam to cool for around twenty minutes. If there is one thing my mother taught me while baking was do not move the product until it is completely cooled!
I finally put the jar into the refrigerator and let it cool for around five or so hours. In the mean time, I went back to the grocery store to get more ingredients to test the new jam out! I grabbed bread, yogurt, and bagels. I let the jam cool over night so the excitement could build for the next morning to use.
I will say that when I went to use the jam it had the consistency of a normal store bought jar. But, with really thin slips of strawberry pulp floating around. Not to toot my own horn, but wow. It did not taste like any jam that I have ever tried before. It tasted real, pure, and natural. I had no guilt slapping it on my bagel with a layer of butter. Later that day, I was able to make a crunchy peanut butter and jam sandwich which was the perfect consistency.
All and all, the recipe was rather easy to follow and make. It did not take a lot of time while being hands on. There was a longer wait time for the jam to jellify, but that was expected. I genuinely had fun making this condiment and being able to make breakfast and lunch a more fun and nostalgic experience.
Unfortunately, I did not document enough steps of my own process making the jam as it would be another thing I had to pay attention to.
I just want to thank Mary Ellen for sharing the awesome recipes. I had a great time making and eating the jam. If jam is not something that you are interested in, there are a ton of other recipes on Mary Ellen’s website (linked above).
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