Sometimes we have to go with what life gives us and make it work. Whether that means dealing with a crabby customer or spouse or accepting that a friend really isn’t one, it’s important to gain perspective through these experiences and know-how to deal with the bumps in the road or the unexpected curve balls as they come. Because they do come.
Cooking tends to lean in the same way, in that when you open the fridge or pantry and wonder, “What will we eat today?” You can see either a world of possibilities or impossible challenges, but it always helps when you start with a healthy pantry that offers a variety of foods and flavors to pick and choose from.
Getting Creative in the Kitchen
Invariably, over the course of a week of cooking, there are pieces of this and parts of that leftover in the fridge. And that’s when I think my creativity kicks in. My grandmother had a sensational knack for being able to repurpose leftovers in ways that would make really good chefs envious. I would like to think that I got just a smidgen of that enviable skill and here’s why.
I bought rhubarb for the very first time at last Saturday’s farmers market and immediately made a paleo strawberry and rhubarb crisp that was just ok. Truth–there’s still one-quarter of the dish left in the fridge and neither David nor I have bothered to eat it. So I definitely needed to make something else that redeemed my $4 investment and my ego and give me the confidence to keep cooking with rhubarb.
Waste Not, Want Not
In the fridge was one remaining stalk of rhubarb that needed to be dealt with and a quart of strawberries that would have been best eaten yesterday or the day before, at the latest. These two pieces and imperfect parts were staring at me when I envisioned a super easy, good + good for you strawberry-rhubarb chia jam.
It was a long time ago when I made a blueberry chia jam and this strawberry-rhubarb version proves how adaptable this recipe is. And, really, isn’t adaptability something we all strive for?
In life as in recipes.
And to every mother out there, a very Happy Mother’s Day. Wishing you a day filled with magic and love.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Chia Jam
If you love jelly but don't love the excess sugar typically found in jellies, this is the one you want. It takes less than 30 minutes to pull it together and then you will have a good + good for you fruit spread. Spoon a dollop into your plain yogurt or swirl some into your oatmeal. Slather it on top of your favorite vanilla ice cream for something decadent or for a meal on the go, spread it on top of nut butter or tahini toast. Feel free to use seasonal fruits, like fresh peaches, plums or any berry for a berry delicious treat.
- 1 pound fresh organic strawberries diced
- 1 stalk fresh rhubarb diced
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium saucepan, add the diced fruit and place over medium heat. Add the maple syrup and stir well to combine.
As the saucepan heats, you will hear it begin to boil and then lower it to a simmer. Stir frequently and cook for about 5 minutes, until the fruit begins to soften.
Using a potato masher, then mash the fruit a bit more to break it up, but leaving some chunks for texture.
Stir in the seeds and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
The jam is ready when the mixture has cooked down and there is no liquid remaining in the saucepan, as well as when it has reached the desired thickness you want. Once the jam is thick, turn off the heat and let it cool.
Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Reserve in a glass jar and refrigerate.
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