Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

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This might just be the easiest and healthiest jam recipe you could possibly make. I have a thing for raspberry jam. It might be the reason why I fell in love with Linzer cookies from Palombo’s on Arthur Ave. in Little Italy of Bronx, NY. Of course, when I wasn’t downing Linzers I was most definitely having an affair with a Cannoli or two (they’re my ultimate dessert weakness). Now raspberry jam or any type of preserves is usually filled with loads of added sugar, natural flavors (aka beaver anal glands – feel free to google) and loads of other not so good for you ingredients. So do yourself a favor and make this delicious fruit spread and with the addition of chia seeds it’s sure to add an extra punch of nutrients to your day.

Here are some interesting facts about Chia seeds:

  1. Chia seeds are related to mint and come from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which grows natively in South America.
  2. “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”
  3. 1 ounce of chia seeds contains 11g of fiber, 4g of protein, 9g of fat (5 of which are Omega-3s), Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Vitamin B3, Potassium, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin B2.
  4. Chia seeds are a whole grain food making them gluten free.
  5. They’re loaded with antioxidants, which in turn fights the production of free radicals. Free radicals damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.
  6. They can help you lose weight! Well this is still up for debate, but the high fiber content does help to make you feel full for longer.

The best part about this jam recipe, besides the fact that it’s delicious, is that you can substitute the raspberries for a berry of your choice. I can’t wait to make it with blackberries and strawberries. I hope you enjoy!

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups fresh raspberries (you can also use frozen)
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • In a medium saucepan stir together raspberries, maple syrup, and chia seeds.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes while stirring often until the raspberries break down and the mixture thickens to your liking.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Enjoy immediately or transfer to a jar and store in the fridge.

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Porter Gingerbread Cake

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I hope the new year is treating you well. I have lots to catch up on with this blog starting with a holiday cake. Is it too late to share a holiday cake recipe? Well I don’t think so. Gingerbread should be eaten all year round, especially if you add a nice porter or stout to the mix. This cake is so moist, rich, and filled with loads of ginger – it’s the perfect mix of sweet and spice. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of porter or stout beer (your choice).
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour an 8″ cake pan.
  • In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, bring beer to a boil. Once boiling remove from heat and add baking soda. When the foaming subsides add molasses, honey, and brown sugar.
  • In a separate bowl mix together AP and spelt flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
  • Add eggs, coconut oil, grated ginger to beer mixture.
  • Add beer to flour mix in 3 parts – whisk after each addition.
  • Bake for 32 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once cake has cooled feel free to top with a butter cream frosting (I’m still experimenting with alternative frosting recipes) find a good recipe: here
  • Top frosted cake with some candied ginger if you like.

 

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Cranberry Pecan White Chocolate Muffins

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I think it’s safe to say that I pretty much lived off of a variation of these muffins while I was in college. I dedicate this recipe to one of my best friends and old college roommate, Gina who reminded me of these muffins and our slight addiction to them. To be fair, our University dining hall was absolutely horrible and the muffins were just about the only edible/good thing to eat. Whenever the muffins were put out we would hoard at least a dozen between the two of us.

Here is my healthier version of a muffin perfect for this time of year – they’re tart, sweet, moist, fluffy, and oh so delicious. I absolutely loved using fresh cranberries in a muffin recipe for a change. I hope you enjoy!

Cranberry Pecan White Chocolate Muffins 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of butter softened
  • 1/4 unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1-1/4 cups fresh cranberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 35o F.
  • Place muffin liners in your muffin tray.
  • In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, applesauce, honey, and sugar. *Since you’re using applesauce here it won’t “cream” together in the traditional sense, but you want to make sure it’s all incorporated.
  • Add eggs, yogurt, milk, and vanilla to butter/sugar mixture until just combined.
  • In a separate bowl combine AP flour, spelt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  • Add flour mixture to wet ingredients until just combined – you do not want to over mix this or your muffins will be dense.
  • Mix in the chocolate chips, pecans and cranberries.
  • Scoop out approximately a 1/3 of a cup into your prepared muffin tray.
  • Bake for 18-20 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

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