Have you ever had someone tell you “You remind me so much of my friend (fill in name)?” I had a mystery girl like that for years. It seemed that whenever I was away at conferences, at church, or at a friend’s gathering people would continually ask me “Do you know Christine? You remind me so much of her!” The first time I was asked the question about “Christine”, I didn’t think much of it. I had never met her and knew nothing about her. It seemed like a random comment.
But then it just kept happening!
It seemed that for years everywhere I went people would ask me if I knew Christine. Who was this “Mystery Christine”?
I would reply that I did not know her and my friends would immediately begin to gush about all of our similarities. Many times they would even call over their other friends and ask “doesn’t Pam remind you of Christine?” to which the other girls would always smile and excitedly nod in agreement. Over the years I got to know a bit more about “Mystery Christine”.
I learned that “Mystery Christine” lived quite far from where I lived. Because of the many mutual friends we shared we eventually connected on social media. I have to admit, I was curious about this woman that so many people thought I was like. After about a year of creeping her facebook and instagram, I heard through the grapevine that she had moved close to my home. We chatted through facebook and made a plan to finally hang out in person!
On the morning I started to drive to her house I started to get a little nervous. I had never done something like this before. Was I really going to just spend the day at someone’s house I didn’t really know? What if she didn’t like me? What if our kids didn’t get along? What if it was awkward?
Within the first 15 minutes of being with Christine, it felt like I was visiting with an old friend. I loved her sense of humour, I loved her stories, I loved her openness, I loved her honesty, I loved her house, I loved her style, I loved the kind of wife and mother she was! She was just as amazing as everyone had described her to be! We spent the entire day together chatting, laughing and getting to know each other.
I drove home that day thinking about what a high compliment it was that people thought I reminded them of Christine!
She was fabulous!
One of the many things that Christine and I have in common is that we are both bloggers. She blogs over at http://amidstthechaos.ca You guys will LOVE her blog! It’s one of my favs!
Today I have the great honour of hosting Christine as a guest blogger here. She is sharing a delicious, clean jam recipe for us!
I know you guys will love her as much as I do! And don’t forget to check out her blog- it’s awesome! 🙂
CLEAN STRAWBERRY CHIA JAM
There are definitely a few food staples from my childhood that I remember well. Homemade strawberry jam is definitely one of them. We used to go strawberry picking every summer and then have a day where we would make jars upon jars of jam and freeze it away for the winter months.
There was just something about my moms jam. It was the best jam I had ever tasted. Nothing like the store bought stuff, which I could never get used to after having my moms jam.
So when I got married, I decided that it was time I learned how to make this jam on my own and carry on the tradition. Once I learned the secret, it was actually fairly simple. That secret is: a packet of clubhouse freezer jam mix! That’s it. No cooking required, just a packet, some sugar and some time.
Last summer I went a little overboard and we picked over $70 worth of strawberries. That doesn’t include all the raspberries and blueberries we picked as well. There is just something about picking your own fruit and making food with it. Nothing quite like it. We had jars and jars of jam, many of which we gave out to neighbors and friends.
This summer, as we’ve tried to be more conscience of our food choices and eliminate refined sugar from the diet, I decided I wanted to give my favorite jam a little food makeover. I have seen chia seed jams floating around the interwebs and so after researching a few different recipes and techniques, I came up with my own version of clean strawberry chia jam.
The results: pretty darn good! I will say that it’s definitely not as sweet as my moms recipe but we aren’t using refined sugar here. The texture is great, especially after it’s cooled. It really is so simple and I love that when I’m eating it, there’s no guilt of eating badly, rather, true satisfaction knowing that what you made is clean and good for your body. No refined sugar, no preservatives, just whole, clean goodness!
A few things to note. First, I found a few recipes that said to use a blender when mashing up the berries. I tried this and it was a HUGE mistake. Made the consistency way too watery. I reverted back to how my mom used to prep the berries with just a good ol’ potato masher! Perfect consistency. Secondly, in the picture you see one jar of strawberry jam and one jar of raspberry jam. This recipe worked well for both versions. So if you prefer one over the other, it will work! Thirdly, you can use any kind of natural sweetener in this recipe: stevia, maple syrup or honey. Any of them would be great.
Clean Strawberry Chia Seed Jam
A clean version of the classic freezer jam made with chia seeds and sweetened with stevia.
Prep Time10 min
Cook Time10 min
Total Time20 min
4 cups strawberries, washed, destemmed and cut
4 tbsp chia seeds
3-4 packets of stevia
Place all ingredients into one bowl
Mash strawberries until broken down and mix well with other ingredients
Place into pot and put on medium until it starts to bubble up
Reduce heat and simmer for about 7-8 minutes
Remove from heat when it reaches desired consistency and jar
* Last 1-2 weeks in refrigerator
* Lasts 6-12 months in freezer
* This recipe can be easily changed up using any other berry
By Christine Martin
So if you’ve been making your own version of freezer jams, why not give this clean chia seed recipe a try? I think you will find a nice surprise here!
Love & Blessings,
Doesn’t Christine’s jam look delicious? Don’t forget to give Christine some love over at her blog http://amidstthechaos.ca
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