Posted in Food

Secret Raspberry Jam

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

While rows of jars stand turning sterile in the oven, upon the hob a pot of fruity goodness bubbles ferociously filling the kitchen with a sweet comforting warmth. Slathered on bread or slapped on a scone, jam is a wonderful way to enjoy a glut of fruit months after harvest, which would otherwise have gone bad. But there is a sticky downside to this treat, excessive amounts of sugar, while living in times of mass obesity.

Sugar has an important role to play in jam more than sweeten sharp fruit, it breaks down the pectin present enabling a jam to set, and behaves as a preservative preventing discolouration and mould. So! Is there a way this shrewd use of abundant fruit can be friendly on the waistline?

Image by Markus Tries from Pixabay

The answer is yes. And it lies in the edible seeds of a member of the sage family; Salvia hispanica and the closely related Salvia columbariae, are native to central and southern Mexico and the southern western states of the US. These oval seeds are grey with black and white spots, capable of absorbing large amounts of liquid up to twelve times their weight. As they absorb and swell chia seeds develop a mucilaginous texture, and this is what sets a jam in place of excessive amounts of sugar.

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Posted in Food

Three Berry Mess

https://pixabay.com/photos/blueberry-raspberry-strawberry-539148/

Not Ready to Say Goodbye to Summer

Dawn prises its way through the gap in my curtain considerably later now. Dusk settles a little earlier. Department stores no longer drip with breezy silks and cotton, instead heavy with the weight of wool. Christmas is cropping up in pubs and restaurants: book your party now.

Summer has been one of extremes. Record breaking temperatures interrupted by dark skies and prolonged periods of pounding rain. Bram Stokers Dracula arriving en masse in gangs of bloodthirsty midge.

A Saturday – central Manchester. Damp hair growing frizzy; sitting in a cafĂ© surrounded by customers seeking shelter from the barrage of umbrellas. Spying a misty impression of a rainbow, parting clouds lure me home: for something vibrant, something sweet, a nugget of evening summer sunshine.

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