You’ll probably notice that a fair few of my recent recipes include this home made berry & chia seed jam because, well it’s one of my latest obsessions and I want to include it in just about everything! That and I don’t like to be wasteful, so when I’ve made a jar of this delicious stuff I want to try and come up with recipes based around what needs using up! I’ve always loved jam as long as I can remember, but not just any jams. Oh no, like with a few other things, I’m particularly fussy when it comes to types of jam and up until recently, I would only ever have raspberry flavour. I don’t quite know why this was, but I literally couldn’t stand any other flavours and had an absolute devotion to raspberry. Of course, to make life even more complicated for my poor mother, I would then only like certain brand of raspberry jam and they had to be the posh ones with no added sugars. At the time this wasn’t for health reasons, as I was probably too young to really think about all of those things on a daily basis, I just preferred the way that they tasted.
Upon changing my diet and trying to reduce my sugar intake, jam then became a thing of the past until I discovered just how easy it is to make your own with such minimal and nutritious ingredients! Other than fruit, one of the key components to this jam is chia seeds. These are a great source o plant based protein and healthy fats, as well as being great at absorbing liquids. When soaked, chia seeds swell to create a jelly like texture, that is perfect for creating that gooey jam like consistency. When making this particular jam, I had a load of mixed frozen summer berries in the freezer, so decided to use those and they made possible THE BEST jam ever. Even my mum has now become a chia jam addict and is constantly sneaking some from the jar in the fridge to put on porridge, yoghurt and in her new favourite recipe I’ve taught her: overnight oats!
Anyway, on to these crumble bars. The base is a kind of sweet biscuit thats bound together with sweet, sticky, delicious dates that not only help to hold all of the other ingredients together, but also add an amazing flavour. The middle layer is of course the chia seed berry jam and on top of that, I’ve sprinkled on a generous layer of the Planet Organic paleo granola, but you could of course use any granola that you have. These make a great little snack for when you’re on the go and need something quick to grab and head out of the door. I also think they’re perfect for summer, as the vibrant fruity flavours from the berries are really light and fresh.
- 1 cup oats
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup dates
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 11/2 cup frozen mixed summer berries
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (can add more depending on how sweet you'd like it)
- Splash of water
- Granola of choice- I've used Planet Organic paleo granola in berry flavour (Link is down bellow)
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c and line a baking tray with greese proof paper.
- To make the base, place the oats into a food processor and blend for a few seconds to form a rough flour texture.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and blend everything together until well combined and slightly stick.
- Press this mixture into the base of the tray, creating an nice and even flat surface. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- To make the jam, heat the berries in a saucepan oven a medium heat and add a slash of water. Once they have started to break down and release some of the juices, you should be able to mash them with a fork or wooden spoon the speed up the cooking process.
- When your berries have cooked down, stir through the chia seeds and maple syrup and allow to thicken. Transfer into a dish and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, once the base has finished cooking, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once the base and jam have cooled down, spread a generous layer of the jam over the biscuit and top with the granola. Slice into pieces and enjoy!