“…Tea, a drink with jam and bread…” One of the most common questions people ask me is “Don’t you miss bread?” or “How do you live without it?”. When I first cut gluten out of my diet, I did miss it! A lot! I would say for the first 9 months, I would stick to a gluten free diet for a few days, maybe a week at a time, but then I would inevitably fall off the wagon. I repeated this cycle countless times my first year of being “gluten free”, and it was only because I knew the stuff wasn’t good for my body that I finally had the will power to permanently ditch it. My determination to finally feel good so I could get the most out of my life (because really, you can only do that if you feel good!) kept me climbing back on that gluten free wagon. I would say at about the 9-month mark, I turned a corner. I craved it less, I became more dedicated, and I stopped my gluten free yo-yo diet.
So back to the question “Do you miss bread?”. At first, yes, (hence the cycle I just mentioned) so much so that for the next couple of years, I became obsessed with creating foods that resembled my gluten filled favorites. This helped me transition I believe. But…those breads and baked goods I was cooking up were filled with sugar and gluten free grains, which also have a high glycemic index and can be quite processed.
It wasn’t until I started caring more about the quality of food I was putting in my body and what that food could do for me that I really began to feel awesome. I focused on all of those whole foods that I could eat in their natural package – fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and high quality eggs, lean meats, and fish. Think this way of eating sounds restricting? Heck no!! A whole new world opened up to me and I finally started feeling REALLY good.
Considering that I don’t really eat eat bread (outside of those yummy paleo treats like banana nut muffins ), you might find it strange that I would make jam because after all, isn’t jam made for spreading on bread? While it’s true that I don’t have my jam with bread, I can still find many ways to enjoy it. Think of jam as another condiment to make all of those whole foods taste good. Just a few things to spread this jam on:
A slice of banana with nut butter
A stick of celery with nut butter
A slice of turkey, and then roll it up
Stir into plain Greek yogurt
Add to smoothies
Blend with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make a sweet salad dressing
Spread on a piece of chicken or fish and bake
How do you enjoy homemade jam? Please share!
This recipe is seriously the easiest recipe I’ve ever posted. Almost no prep time, no cook or bake time, and made with only 3 healthy whole food ingredients. It’s berry season, and large cartons of organic berries are on sale at the grocery. I chose strawberries because they are my kids’ favorite berry but a pound of any berry would work in this recipe. After washing and trimming the tops off of the strawberries, I added them to the Vitamix.
Next, to thicken the jam, I added a couple tablespoons of chia seeds to the Vitamix. I love these little energy packed guys and find myself throwing them into something new every day. Chia seeds provide so much soluble fiber – good for your cholesterol levels, your heart, your digestion, and your gut environment – so go ahead and sprinkle them on anything you can think of!
I drizzled a couple tablespoons of honey (although you could substitute a dropper of liquid stevia to avoid the natural sugar) to sweeten the jam. Depending on the level of your sweet tooth, you may want to add more or less honey. The last step is to blend the three ingredients for at least 30 seconds. I stored it in the fridge overnight to let those chia seeds plump up so the concoction thickens like jam. And that’s it folks – healthy homemade jam doesn’t get much easier than that!
strawberry chia seed jam
Recipe type: condiment
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons honey
Wash and trim the tops off the strawberries.
Combine strawberries, chia seeds, and honey in the blender, and blend for at least 30 seconds.
Pour into a glass container, and store in the refrigerator overnight before serving.