This is a recipe I tried this summer on a whim, and I have to admit it’s pretty cool. I bought the package of Bob’s Red Mill whole seed chia to include with some granola bars I was making. On the back of the package is a recipe for a rather unique jam. With some slight modification I was able to turn it into a FODMAP Free Blueberry Chia Jam.
According to Authority Nutrition, Chia is loaded with fiber, protein and antioxidants, and we all know how good blueberries are for you! After checking out the Bobs Red Mill website, I see they note that the recipe is High in fiber, lactose free, Low Cal, Low Carb, Low Fat, Soy Free and Vegan.
The interesting thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t call for pectin – the package notes that chia is a ‘nutrient rich substitute for pectin’. Because of this, it doesn’t call for much in the way of sugar either. The 1/4 cup of Agave syrup was easily swapped for a more FODMAP friendly Brown Rice syrup.
Here’s the recipe, right off the package with the minor sugar substitute:
FODMAP Free Blueberry Chia Jam
3 Cups fresh Blueberries
1/4 cup Brown Rice syrup
1/4 cup Chia Seed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine berries and syrup in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat until berries soften. Add chia seed and cook, stirring often, until very thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Store in refrigerator. Makes 10 servings. Keeps best refrigerated or frozen.
The resulting jam has a mild flavour and fun texture. I love it loaded on a piece of my toasted gluten, egg and dairy free bread. Or a rice cracker for a snack!. I find that regular jam is often overwhelmingly sweet and this is a nice alternative. It also makes a smaller batch than most jam recipes, so is a little more convenient for a home cook like me.
I know we are well into the New Year, but I’m still catching up from all the hoopla that is the holiday season…. Like many of you, I rushed around trying to organize and prepare everything that needed organizing and preparing in the weeks before Christmas. That’s why I was really happy to take some time and pay some attention to three of the goals of my Manifesto:
Spend time with my family (Be Loved) – meeting up with The Parents was a nice chance to reconnect.
Get away (Be Free) – by travelling to the coast, and
Relax (Be Sane) – it was wonderful to escape the cold and snow, and to just hang out with the family.
We all stayed at a condo on the West Coast – I find great comfort in having a nice bathroom and a kitchen close at hand! Christmas Dinner was yummy, The Mother and I managed to load up the table with Turkey, gravy, potatoes, cranberry sauce and veggies – all FODMAP friendly! (The Mother is still panicky about cooking FODMAP free, but she’s learning a few dishes that she can confidently prepare safely for me). I also brought a supply of FODMAP, dairy, and egg free cookies to enjoy. Yes – I ate too much!
I did have three surprises on the trip.
One was that I found an old container of Benefibre in my travel supplies. I had been using this product last spring when suddenly I couldn’t find it on the shelves anymore. Once I found the container, I didn’t want to waste it so I confidently took a good healthy dose of this fiber supplement one day as part of my morning ritual. Of course, after I drank it, I read the label – it’s all inulin! Definitely on the no-no list of FODMAP ingredients!
I spent a few moments panicking, but calmed down to see what would happen. I was in a safe place, with access to a nice bathroom, so felt I could handle whatever my stomach threw my way. I’m happy to say, other than some bloating the next day (I was glad I brought sweat pants!), I was fine.
My second gift of IBS happened a few days later, when I accidentally took a sip of The Husbands coffee one bleary morning. He puts milk in his coffee and this usually makes me have explosive diarrhea within the half hour. I nervously padded around the condo while a half hour passed. Then an hour. Then two. The day went uneventfully…. I guess it’s true that if you avoid trouble foods for a while, your body will give you a bit of a free pass when a small amount is ingested. Whew!
My third gift wasn’t so appreciated, though…. On the last day of vacation I started to feel a pain in the ass. No, The Parents weren’t bothering me. The Husband and The Son were being charming. No, it was a real pain in the ass: hemorrhoids!
I knew what they were because I had them after giving birth to The Son many years ago. Obviously, the sheer exhaustion of that time had erased my memories of how painful they can be.
Needless to say, the flight home will hold special memories for me.
I’ve been to see my doctor, and he prescribed some ointment (without an examination), and the pain and discomfort are pretty much gone. I’ve surfed the web to see what info I can find on the subject, and have to say that I’m not really impressed with what’s available on line. A site either provides so little information that you think it’s a non-issue, or it goes straight to surgery. The joys of the internet!
I did discover forums where the condition has received a cute nick-name: Hemmies! (not to be confused with large engines in trucks, I suppose).
At least I know that they are common, and previous experience has taught me that they are usually harmless and subside. I’ll continue to monitor the situation and keep a sense of humour about it all. What’s the saying? Oh yeah….
What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
Well, I hope you too had a very merry IBS Christmas!