Thursday, 27 March 2014

Two Experiments and One Success

It was a day of experimenting.  

We are running low in yogurt so I thought I would make some pudding. Yes, good old fashioned cornstarch thickened pudding... with a twist!  I dug out my tried and true Fanny Farmer cook book and looked up the recipe.

1 cup sugar (YIKES that's a lot!)
2 cups milk
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

Let me see if I can tweak this ingredient list.  Change the dairy milk to almond milk, oops, I only have the sweetened variety, so cut back the sugar to 1/2 cup. I substitute 1/4 cup of pineapple juice for some of the almond milk, because suddenly all I can think about is Pina Colada.  Add  a small handful unsweetened coconut to continue with the tropical theme, and a teaspoon of the vanilla paste. (I am still not totally wowed by this stuff. I think I prefer the old fashioned vanilla extract).   In theory, this should be wonderful.

Mix... Cook... Cool... Taste...

It's not horrid, but I tell you it isn't what I had hoped for... so back to drawing board! I think I will have to blend the remainder into my breakfast smoothie tomorrow.  Some banana,  spinach and frozen strawberries will make it taste much better!  Waste not, want not I always say.

Still wanting to experiment, I decided it was time to try out the Chia Seed Jam I have been seeing on-line lately.  I used the proportions from the Eating Birdfood blog.  I didn't have fresh strawberries, only frozen. Sadly, I didn't have enough so I topped up with frozen blueberries.  I didn't add any sweetener because I froze my strawberries with sugar, and instead of a tablespoon of water, I added 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice, because I like to tinker and had some on hand.  The result?  It was a HUGE success.  A jam that was fresh tasting and not overly sweet.  A perfect addition to a PB&J sandwich me thinks!

Chia Seed Strawberry & Blueberry Jam

1/2 cup frozen strawberries (frozen with sugar)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (no sugar added to freeze)
1 tbsp pineapple juice
1 tbsp chia seeds

Thaw the fruit, and squash with a fork so that the fruit is not chunky.
Add the pineapple juice and chia seeds.
Stir well to combine and pour mixture into a mason jar.  Put into the fridge.
This jam should be ready in about 30 minutes, but I didn't try it out until the next day.

Now that I have this recipe, I can make jam on demand and have fresh tasting "preserves" any time I want without the fuss and the trouble of canning.  I like jam, but am not a fan of the fuss and muss of making it.  I would much rather pick, clean and freeze my in season fruit and use it throughout the fall and winter months for fruit salads, served over ice cream or now... as jam! 

Chia seeds are the bomb!

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