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  • irinagolomb

Raspberry and Chia Seed Jam

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

This is a 'smart swap' for regular jam you might use in a sandwich, on crackers or pancakes. Besides for loads of sugar, many jams you find on the supermarket shelf also contain food colouring, flavours and possibly more chemicals. This is my go-to when the kids want butter and jam in their sandwich for school and I don't feel bad about it all. The chia seeds and raspberries are so nutritious, and the maple syrup used to sweeten it is one of my favourite natural sweeteners to use.

Chia seeds are little powerhouses of nutrients. They are an excellent source of fibre (important for healthy digestive system and to feel full), protein (also helps us to feel full and provides essential amino acids for all protein production in our cells), B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids (although the kind present in chia seeds may not be as beneficial as the kind that is found in fatty fish). So you can see that including chia seeds in your diet is really beneficial, especially if you or your children are vegan, vegetarian or lactose intolerant.

Raspberries - who needs convincing to eat them? With their delicious smell and gorgeous colour they are extremely appealing. Raspberries are also a really good source of fibre and in addition they contain trace minerals and antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight damage from free radicals in our cells. Free radicals are produced in our body by various endogenous systems, exposure to different chemicals and radiation, as well as stress. A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for proper physiological function. Oxidative stress is the term given to the state where the amount of free radicals present in the body cannot be regulated. Free radicals cause damage to lipids, proteins, and DNA and are implicated in a number of human diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

So we can see how important it is for us to consume antioxidant-rich foods, as well as foods which provide us with the trace nutrients necessary for endogenous production of antioxidants, for example copper, zinc and manganese for superoxide dismutase. Raspberries are an excellent source of manganese, as well as vitamin C, quercetin and ellagic acid, which are all antioxidants. For this recipe I usually use frozen raspberries, as fresh isn't available for long, are more expensive and are so downright delicious that they get gobbled up straight away.

Maple syrup is my favourite sweetener to use. Besides for the simply delicious, caramel-y flavour, it also contains lots of trace nutrients that help to metabolise the sugar present in it in a healthier way. We know that consuming sugar (sucrose, which is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose) increases free radical production. The cool thing is that maple syrup contains antioxidants as well as trace minerals, such as zinc and manganese, which are co-factors in antioxidant production in human cells. Thereby maple syrup comes with the necessary nutrients to help the sugar present in it to be metabolised in the healthiest way possible. How clever is that? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that maple syrup should be considered a health food or a nutrient-rich whole food. I definitely don't recommend drowning everything in it and adding it to all your food. But if we are making something that needs a sweetener, most times I use maple syrup, as opposed to processed sugar, which has been stripped of all the micronutrients that help us to assimilate it in a healthy way.

So on to the recipe, so simple, delicious and nutritious. Let me know if you try it and what you think!



1 1/2 cups raspberries (if using frozen allow to thaw)

3 table spoons chia seeds

1-3 table spoons maple syrup

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. I usually do mine in a small glass container, that way when it's ready I just put the lid on and store, no need for any extra dishes! You need to mash the raspberries a little and make sure the chia seeds are mixed through evenly. Give it a mix after five minutes, cover with a lid and store in the fridge for up to one week. Use as you would any other jam - on sourdough toast, pancakes, sandwiches, crackers, porridge or whatever your heart fancies.


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