I love it when the first strawberries start to sprout on our plants in the garden – it means the weather is warming up and summer is on its way!
It’s only a little plant though, so we just get a few berries every couple of days to enjoy. I usually still get punnets when I’m doing the grocery shopping to satisfy the rest of my cravings. The other day, I just couldn’t resist buying some from the local supermarket, even though I wasn’t sure what the quality would be like. We didn’t get around to eating them on the same day, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when I pulled them out of the fridge the next day and they looked a bit worse for wear.
It gave me a chance to try this recipe that I’ve had dog-eared from the September issue of Taste magazine (contributed by Megan May). It’s a healthy snack/dessert idea without any added sugar. It has chia seeds in it (which come from the salvia hispanica plant). If you haven’t used chia seeds before, they are supposed to be really good for you – full of omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids. Also, they have this funny little property – if you soak them in liquid, they thicken it up and form a kind of gelatine like substance. It’s not quite firm enough to hold their own shape though; it’s more like a soft jelly.
I didn’t use a food processor like the instructions say either. I used my mortar and pestle so that my jelly was full of nice big fruit pieces. It was a lovely refreshing dessert for a nice spring evening.
Strawberry and honey chia seed jelly pots
1/3 C chia seeds
1 1/2 C water
1 1/2 C strawberries, fresh or frozen (defrost them first if using frozen)
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place chia seeds and water in a bowl and stir lightly with a fork to make sure there are no clumps and all the chia seeds are covered in water.
Let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly to stop seeds clumping as they absorb the water.
Lightly blend the strawberries with honey and vanilla in a food processor or blender until broken down but with a few small pieces intact, for texture.
Mix strawberry mixture into the chia seeds and leave for another 5-10 minutes. They are now ready to serve, or store in the fridge until needed.