If you have the pleasure of going blueberry picking this Summer, then see if you can make it home with 3 cups to spare! You’ll be able to create this delicious, healthy jam in a flash and benefit from the nutritional boost of these amazing ingedients. Otherwise, head to your nearest farmers market or greengrocer and make the most of the blueberry harvest while they’re in season and plentiful.
With blueberries and chia seeds both bursting with anti-ageing antioxidants, and chia seeds together with cinnamon to enhance energy and metabolism, this is a jam that will keep you young and vibrant!
In Chinese medicine – nourishes the Kidney Yin (Yin is way you embrace energy and life, containing energy as your own and allowing it to flow through you). Kidney relates to reproduction, ageing, brain and memory. See below for how this matches with Western nutrition understanding!
In Western nutrition – Extremely rich in antioxidants which combats ageing and protects against degenerative disease such as cancer. Blueberries are rich in gallic acid, which studies suggest can help the body eliminate cancerous cells while protecting healthy cells. Anti-inflammatory. Nourish the nerves and nervous system: protects brain from degeneration, neurotoxicity and oxidative stress. Boosts memory and focus. Wild blueberries are prebiotic (nourish healthy gut flora). Blueberries and strawberries together can reduce risk of heart attack by 33 percent. Lowers blood pressure, lowers LDL and raises HDL cholesterol (towards the healthy cholesterol ratio).
Rich in antioxidants that slow skin ageing and help repair from free radical damage. Very high in fibre which is great for gut health and helps to balance blood-sugar. The gel created when seeds are soaked is a prebiotic – nourishes healthy gut flora. Very high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids – higher than salmon. Can reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure – excellent for heart health. Can prevent or reverse diabetes (in animal studies). Boosts energy and metabolism. Rich in calcium and boron for strong healthy bones and teeth. High in protein and zinc.
Boosts energy – in Chinese medicine, represents true Yang or the source of life’s energetic movement (“fire”).
Together with the blueberries’ Yin-nourishing quality, the sweet flavour helps you to grasp the energy (“fire”) from the cinnamon to use as your own vitality.
1. In a medium-sized non-stick pot, bring the blueberries, cinnamon sticks and 3 tbsp of maple syrup to a low boil. Stir frequently, and reduce heat to low-medium to simmer for about 5 minutes. Lightly mash the blueberries with a potato masher or fork, leaving some for texture.
2. Stir in the chia seeds until thoroughly combined and cook the mixture down until it thickens to your desired consistency, or about 15 minutes. Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick to the pot.
3. Once the jam is thick, remove from heat, remove cinnamon sticks and stir in the vanilla extract. Add more maple syrup to taste if desired. Enjoy on toast, English muffins, porridge, vegan overnight oats, oat bars, tarts, cookies, banana soft serve, smoothies, and more. The jam should keep for at least a week in an air-tight container in the fridge or it can be frozen.
Adapted from Oh She Glows