Who’s the most influential man when it comes to nutrition? A household name. Someone with their own afternoon TV show. And books…galore. Does Dr. Oz come to mind?
I always enjoy talking to supermarket dietitian and personal friend, Gina, about the inquiries she receives at the store. She can almost pin-point based on a customer’s request if it is something Dr. Oz touts as the next best food that will save your life, cure cancer, or reduce cellulite. Or heck, all of the above! *eye roll*
I don’t know Dr. Oz and his claims well enough to determine their credibility, but I do know he speaks fondly of chia seeds, and rightfully so.
Chia seeds are an unprocessed whole grain (seed) that offer up a great source of omega 3 and loads of fiber (11 grams in 2 tablespoons!) and antioxidants. A lot of people have heard of these powerful seeds, but may not know exactly what to do with them.
Unlike the very similar flaxseed, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to receive their nutritional benefits. In fact, chia seeds are unique in that they act more like a gelatin and absorb water and other liquids readily. Outside of adding chia seeds to smoothies, or sprinkled on oats, jam seems to be a natural fit for chia seed use. The seeds are generally considered tasteless and take on the flavors they’re combined with perfectly.
When my student shared stalk after stalk of fresh rhubarb from her backyard, I was happy to accept (thanks, Nicole!). With the move upcoming, I wanted something I could keep for a week and use in simple meals. I was also steering clear of the oh-so-0bvious choice of desserts. (Nicole made a killed rhubarb pie for our picnic!)
Though rhubarb most certainly requires a sweetener of some sort, I opted for a natural sweetener (honey) and kept it at a minimum. If you’re looking for something sweeter, just add to taste. Agave or maple syrup would work great, too.
Rhubarb Chia Seed Jam
4 cups rhubarb, finely diced
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups of water
Bring all 4 ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Pour into jars and allow to sit at room temp for 1 hour before refrigerating.
Yield: ~5 cups (40 servings; 2 tablespoons each)
Nutrition Information (per 2 Tbsp): 37 calories; 0.9 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 2 mg. sodium; 7.2 g. carbohydrate; 1.3 g. fiber; 0.6 g. protein
Result: A subtly sweet rhubarb jam that is simple to make and goes great on everything from oats to toast. For a sweeter jam, increase the amount of honey or add sugar, to taste. Chia seeds are the perfect way to make jam packed with nutrition. Feel free to switch out the 4 cups of rhubarb for the fruit of your choice. Berries, perhaps? Mmm! Enjoy!
I think we’ll check out the farmer’s market this morning and cross our fingers for some beach weather. Only 1 more day without a bed!!! And still, plenty of chores to be done. I even have an assigned book to read about management before starting my job on the 9th! I should probably zap out of vacation mode and get on that!