As much as I love experimenting with different foods, I’m not above a good PBJ, but now that I’m not 5 years old, it’s time to upgrade the ingredients and move towards a more ~adult~ combo of almond butter and nutritious blueberry jam (ABJ?), packed with antioxidants rather than the usual much too sweet corn-syrup bomb that is commercial jelly.
I love this recipe because it’s SO EASY – all you have to do is throw a couple things in a pan and stir until it’s ready, you could do that in your sleep! You can even sit on a stool in front of the stove if you’re that beat. It’s ready within 15 minutes and lasts for a few weeks in the fridge. Spread it on a sandwich, stir it in yogurt, use it as a dessert filling, eat it with a spoon – I don’t judge. It’s versatile and packed with nutrients so that no matter how you use it, you’re getting a healthy antioxidant boost.
Now, onto why each ingredient rocks:
- Blueberries contain anthocyanidin compounds, which give them their deep hue and help safeguard against oxidative stress in the brain and age-related diseases. The Vitamin C they contain boosts immunity, while Vitamin E protects bodily tissues from free radicals, which means good things for your skin health. They also contain soluble fiber (which absorbs toxins), insoluble fiber in the pectin (carries the toxins out), and tannins that help promote proper bowel movements to get those toxins out of your body (tee hee).
- Honey sweetens the jam, with riboflavin that supports the body’s antioxidant function. Make sure you are using raw (and local, if possible) to maintain all of its great antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that can get lost in processing. Using honey is a natural and much better alternative to refined white sugar (or nasty HFCS) usually found in jam because it keeps blood sugar stable, making it a great option for a pre-workout snack ingredient. If, however, you’re averse to any added sugar, it can be left out.
- Chia seeds help us thicken the blueberries in a flash with their mega absorbency, and it’s another food with high antioxidant and blood-sugar-balancing activity that also contains plenty of fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids.
- Lemon zest is filled with Vitamin C and really brightens up the flavor of this jam.
Within 15 minutes from “prep” (there is no prep) to finish we get an all-natural, free radical neutralizing, immune boosting, age defying, digestion aiding, blood sugar balancing jam. BAM.
- 1½ cups fresh blueberries*
- 1 tbsp raw, local honey (optional, but I love it)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- On medium heat, cook blueberries and honey in a small saucepan, stirring periodically to heat evenly, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in chia seeds and lemon zest and cook until blueberries break down and juices thicken, about 10 minutes. You can also mash with a fork if you're weird about texture and the berries aren't broken down enough for you by the end.