There have been a handful of decidedly warm days this summer, and, thanks to a well-built New England house, our walls seem to retain heat oh-so-well. At times, the temperature outside is more tolerable than our living room full of box fans. I can’t seem to get any work done outside – what with the allure of nature and all – and find myself torn between working in the heat or blowing off responsibilities out in the breeze. But the work remains and has to get done at some point, so I’ve spent several long days at cafes around town and too frequently those have been of the Starbucks variety (okay they’ve mostly been at the Starbucks up by my husband’s office and the grocery store where I do lots of the sourcing for my recipe testing). And since I’m there all day, mooching the free air conditioning, I feel obligated to buy more than just my normal tea or iced latte (okay, it’s half obligation, half pregnancy snacking). So my go-to snack is the granola-yogurt cups with strawberry chia seed jam.
Thanks to the whole pregnancy thing, the husband decided it was too warm for me to be at home in the heat, so he got us a darling little window unit for our home office. There went my long days at Starbucks and my go-to granola yogurt with chia seed jam went with them. While thankful for the new pleasant temperature at home, I was a bit bummed about the loss of my snack. But it’s just a well-balanced mix of yogurt, granola, and jam. If Starbucks can do it, so can I. So I did. And I made everything – except for the yogurt – from scratch.
I’m an old hat at homemade granola – it’s kind of my thing – but good jam is something that still eludes me. Stove-top spoon fruits for sauces and over pancakes, no problem. Citrus curds, can do. But a sturdy jam that stays, well, jammy has never been my forte. Then I discovered the jam-making power of chia seeds. You literally cannot mess it up. And, chia seeds are super good for you so it cancels out any sugar you add, probably. Win, win, win in my book.
granola yogurt bowls w/ chia seed jams
to make one bowl
about 1 cup plain yogurt (I prefer traditional cream-top rather than Greek)
2 – 4 tablespoons chia seed jam (see below)
1/4 cup homemade granola (see below)
Fill a bowl with your favorite yogurt. Add a few tablespoons of yogurt and swirl with a spoon. Top with granola and a clean spoon.
makes about 2 cups
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 to 4 tablespoons honey
pinch of salt
1/4 cup of coconut oil
Set the oven to 250 degrees.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oats, seeds, honey, salt, and oil, tossing to thoroughly incorporate. Spread in an even layer on a small rimmed baking sheet and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour – tossing the granola every 15 minutes – until golden brown and crunchy. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Store in an airtight container.
chia seed jam
I made three kinds one right after the other: peach with orange rind, sweet cherry and vanilla, and blueberry lemon.
2 cups fruit, finely diced (fruit like blueberries can be left whole)
juice from half a lemon
2 to 4 tablespoons of sugar (to taste)
pinch of salt
optional: orange rind, vanilla bean seeds, lemon rind
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
Combine the fruit, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and other flavors in a small sauce pan set over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a low boil then turn down to a simmer, allowing the fruit to cook until it can be smashed with the back of a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from the heat, smash the fruit to your desired consistency, then add the chia seeds and stir to combine. Transfer to a Mason jar or other heat-resistant container and let cool on the counter. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until ready to use.
p.s. Congratulations to Sandra for winning the King Arthur Flour #betterbiscuits campaign giveaway and thanks to everyone else who entered. Keep baking (and tag your biscuits on social media with #betterbiscuits and @kingarthurflour)!