I would like to think people don’t actually refer to me as ‘The Sugar Police’ when I’m not looking, but I might be fighting a losing battle….Oh well there are worse things I suppose!
Anyway in terms of all things in moderation, today I wanted to shine my foodie spotlight onto the world of preserves, conserves, jams & jellies (delete as appropriate depending on your location & preference).
This issue I have with these products is unlike something like a piece of fresh or dried fruit which will also contain significant quantities of naturally occurring sugars, these things will be pure refined sugar, concentrated down through the cooking process, & presented to you in the absence of the balancing elements of fibre, fat & protein.
And such a severe whack of glucose straight into the bloodstream is nobody’s health friend.
We live in a world absolutely bursting with the sweet stuff & it’s the ever increasing consumption of sugar that is linked to the exponential rise in things like diabetes, obesity, heart disease & cancers due to its influence on our inflammatory state. So I’m sorry to say that if you were to come & see me having jam on toast for breakfast, well I am going to strongly encourage you to step away from the sticky jars & join me in a slightly different start to the day.
But to suggest this & not offer an alternative for those days when a piece of toast & jam, or a porridge bowl with a fruity spoonful is the only thing on your mind, well that would be downright mean & silly on my part as none of you would come back & see me again!
So instead of course I have come up with a delightful alternative, 1 that of course delivers on flavour but whilst also being conscious of supporting your health too. And this comes down to a couple of the specific inclusions to the ingredient list you will shortly come to.
Firstly you will see I have not added anything sweet – it just doesn’t need it! And I have also opted for raspberries which are naturally tart so contain very little sugar to start off with. By balancing their flavour with the heady floral notes of rosewater you get a beautifully flavoursome replacement, but one that is going nowhere near the blood sugar rollercoaster a standard product would sign you up for.
And then there is the setting element.
Usually a jam etc would rely on pectin, a fibre naturally found in most fruits. By bypassing this & using protein & fibre rich chia seeds you not only completely switch the nutritional profile of your ‘jam’, but you also cut the production process down to less than 15 minutes, compared to the few hours ‘proper’ jam making would take. I have then gone further & chosen to include collagen powder as an additional musculoskeletal supporting extra but this is entirely optional.
So yes as it turns out I may actually be The Sugar Police after all, but you know what if waving my baton for a low sugar life encourages even some of you to consider your intake for your long term health, well then I’ll take the name calling all day!
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 tablespoon rosewater*
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon collagen powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon hibiscus powder (optional)
- Warm the raspberries in a small pan on a gentle heat to thaw. Mix the rosewater with the collagen & hibiscus powder if using then stir through.
- Sprinkle over the chia seeds, mix, then leave for 5 minutes before stirring again.
- Decant to a jar & keep in the fridge. Use within 5 days.
*You can substitute lemon or orange juice for the rosewater (or leave it out & use water) but add the citrus juices AFTER the chia as otherwise they won’t form the set gel like texture of the jam.