Chia jam has been a staple in my kitchen for quite some time now, and I’m excited to share my winter spice plum recipe with you – a perfect gift for Christmas.
Chia seeds are used in lots of vegan recipes, as they often act as an egg replacement, making them ideal for baking cakes, chia puddings and other delicious treats. One of the great things about chia seeds is that they can hold between 9-12 times the amount of liquid they are soaked in, making them a perfect addition to fresh homemade jam.
Many store-bought jams contain huge amounts of sugar, I’ve discovered that you only need a tablespoon or two of maple syrup or honey to sweeten chia jam, and that can only be good thing right!
This recipe makes 1-2 small jars, and will last for 7-10 days in the fridge (with an airtight lid).
- 475g of plums, stoned
- 2 tbsp of sugar (I used coconut sugar for a slightly caramelised flavour)
- 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 tsp of mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp of orange juice
- 3 tbsp of chia seeds
Preheat the oven to 200°c (180°c fan) and line a baking tray. Stone the plums and roughly chop into small pieces, add to a mixing bowl with the coconut oil, sugar, mixed spice and vanilla extract. Using a spoon, mix the fruit together until evenly coated.
Lay out the fruit on to the tray and pop in the oven, bake for 25-30 minutes until soft and sticky. Leave to cool.
Add the spiced fruit to a blender (I used my NutriBullet) and add a tbsp of orange juice. Blend for a few seconds until roughly smooth. Scrape into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Stir together until well combined and spoon into jars. Pop in the fridge overnight and enjoy spread on toast, with greek yoghurt or give as a gift for Christmas!
This is one of my favourite sweet treats to make, the mix of raw cacao and smooth peanut butter is an absolute dream! I like to make a batch of these as a sweet snack, and I leave a bowlful of them in the fridge and pop the rest in the freezer – then there is always delicious treats at my fingertips.
The secret to making these bliss balls stick together is by soaking the dates in freshly hot boiled water. This makes them extra soft and easy to blend. I also find that you can use any form of dates when you soak them in hot water, which means you don’t have to buy super expensive medjool dates instead.
I’ve used peanuts and cashews as the base of the bliss balls but you can swap these for any type of nut you prefer. They would even taste delicious with almond butter instead of peanut, actually any nut butter would be awesome!
So, here’s my recipe…
You will need:
- 100g of peanuts
- 100g of cashews
- 150g of dates (pitted)
- 50g of desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp of peanut butter
- 2 tbsp of raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of ground linseed (optional)
Boil the kettle and soak the dates in a bowl. Blitz the nuts in a processor until they form a fine crumb. Next drain the dates and add to the processor with the rest of the ingredients and blend until sticky and combined.
Using your hands, roll into small balls and pop in the fridge for an hour. This recipe makes approx 30 bliss balls. Store in the fridge or freezer.
Apple. Peanut Butter. Oats. What more do I need to say?!
I’m always looking to find healthy alternatives to sweet treats, and today I’ve been experimenting with breakfast bars. Lots of the store bought versions are crammed full of sugar, additives and other names that we just simply can’t pronounce – and if you can’t say it, how are we supposed to know what we’re putting into our bodies?
I’m sure many of you are aware of my ‘overnight oats’ addiction (so flipping’ good!) and this inspired me to take some of the key ingredients and have a go making my own breakfast bars. As soon as they’re were out of the oven, the warm sweet scent filled the kitchen and I knew I was onto a winner!
The recipe is simple and easy to follow, and they make the perfect grab and go breakfast when times are hurried. They also taste awesome with a cup of tea as a mid afternoon snack. Brew anyone?
- 200g of oats (I used porridge oats)
- 50g ground almonds
- 2 apples, peeled and grated
- 25g of sunflower seeds
- 25g of pumpkin seeds
- 25g of peanut butter (I used The Protein Works PB)
- 25g of honey or maple syrup
- 25g of coconut oil
- 40g of 80% dark chocolate
Makes 16 squares.
Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan) and line a square baking tray. Peel and grate the apples into a bowl, add the oats, ground almonds and seeds and roughly mix together. In a pan, add the peanut butter, coconut oil and honey (or maple syrup) and gently stir on a low heat until melted. Be careful not to burn! Pour into the mixing
bowl and stir together until combined and sticky.
Press the mix into the baking tray and flatten with the back of a spoon until compact. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
For extra yumminess, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the bars. Top with a sprinkle of seeds and enjoy!
If you have a really sweet tooth, increase the honey to 50g instead of 25g.
One of my favourite ways of recipe testing is by making bliss balls, they’re the perfect little bite sized treat and the possibilities are endless! I’ve used cashews and coconut as the base and the zingy lemon makes them super refreshing. Here’s how I made them:
- 100g cashews
- 25g desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp of coconut cream
- 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tbsp of poppy seeds
- juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
Blitz all the dry ingredients in a food processor until a fine crumb, then add the coconut cream, syrup and the zest of a full lemon but just 1/2 of the juice. Blitz until sticky and then make bite sized shapes in your hands. Makes 10. Store in the fridge or freezer.
It’s one of my favourite healthy snacks, you can add them to lots of different dishes or just munch them as they are! Here’s how I made them:
- 400g of cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp of honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan). Drain the chickpeas and dry them in a clean tea towel, discard any shells as they can burn easily. In a pan, heat the rest of the ingredients until liquid, add the chickpeas to the pan and stir until covered. Pour onto a tray and into the oven, bake for 30 mins but shake them every 10 mins to stop them burning. I added 100g of pecans and took them out after the first 10 mins. Munch away!