RASPBERRY CHIA SEED JAM

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca

Full winter mode is in effect. I'm making soup after soup, the tea kettle is always warm, and I've resolved to my usual winter introversion of staying in most evenings. I swing back and forth between embracing hibernation and seriously contemplating why I live in such a cold place during these months.

Pros of Winter

  • daydreaming about summer
  • romancing a hot babe with 69 candles and a dusty grey-brown space heater because every old building in Toronto is never warm enough.
  • pasta every other night seems reasonable
  • wearing big blankety scarves. No joke, the other day someone told me my scarf made me look like I was from The Revenant. Ummm thank you. They were bad asses and also very cold like me.
  • catching up on all your tv shows and internet memes
  • onesies are appropriate at any hour (are they though?", said a work friend when I demanded I should be allowed to wear one to my job.)
  • The snow is pretty and makes it look like Narnia. (But let's not forget how messed up Narnia was. Firstly, the evil queen cast a spell so that it's permanent winter. So yeah, it was beautiful and magical or whatever, but even the evil queen couldn't think of a worse punishment than infinite winter. Also, Mr. Tumnus is a uber creep. He lures a little girl into his underground lair or home", drugs her drink, and then hypnotizes her with his pan flute and fire demons. Ummmmm whaaaaaat?!?!  Just watch this scene and try and tell me different.)

Cons of Winter

  • toes turn to icicles for 5 months straight
  • buying tubs of moisturizer to prevent a reptile-like appearance
  • everyone has a slight to severe amount of depression
  • the air hurts your face
  • the air hurts your lungs
  • produce is often unripe. My current avocados are more fossilized dinosaur eggs rather than fruit or vegetable. 
  • morphing into a jelly-like blob from too many hours of Netflix and bowls of pasta
  • slipping on ice because 1) it hurts and 2) it's very embarrassing and people always ask if you're okay and you say yeah, I'm fine" when you're not really sure if you are fine and all you want to do is have a frustrated-painful cry for like one minute. 

To improve my winter depression I must have light and fresh things around to whisper sweet summer nothings into my ear. Raspberry jam is my favourite preserve and reminds me of my grandmother's garden where fresh herbs, rhubarb and raspberries would flourish. I bought some lush plants the other day to help remind me that we will eventually emerge from the heaviness of winter – revitalized and fresh, into a lighter and more care-free season.

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago
— In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca

This raspberry jam uses all natural ingredients and is lightly sweetened with a bit of honey to create a tart and fresh preserve. The recipe is simple, with only a few ingredients, and uses chia seeds to thicken it to the perfect jammy texture that invites eating straight from the spoon.

May your winter and jam be fruitful and your skin still in tact by Spring.

xx

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! || www.creamandhoney.ca
Raspberry Chia Seed Jam || Easy and delicious raspberry vanilla jam recipe with no refined sugar! Less than ten ingredients, dairy free, pectin free, plant based + vegan with substitution of agave for honey. || www.creamandhoney.ca

RASPBERRY CHIA SEED JAM

the magic

inspiration:            raspberry picking in my grandma's garden                 

the feels:                tart + slightly sweet

eat with:                 a thick piece of toast w/ butter or coconut oil,                                   oatmeal, yogurt + granola, in a smoothie, muffins,                               croissants, scones with clotted or whipped                                         cream, in a cocktail, on vanilla ice cream

might like it you're into:       picnics, cartwheels, the smell of grass,                                               quiet sunny mornings, cheese boards,                                                 English gardens, The Lion The Witch                                                 and The Wardrobe

 

the science

makes one cup jam || prep + cook time: 20 minutes + extra to cool

ingredients:

  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • zest of half a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (I used white)
  • 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • optional: 1/4 tsp powdered ginger

method: 

  1. In a medium pot add everything except for the chia seeds (raspberries, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and salt). Place on stovetop over medium heat and stir to combine. Once mixture begins to warm up and berries begin to get mushy (within a few minutes), mash with the back of a wooden spoon until it is all evenly broken down.
  2.  Leave for 5 minutes on medium then reduce to low-medium for another 10 minutes, stirring once in a while. 
  3. Remove from heat, add chia seeds and stir to evenly combine. Leave to cool. Pour into jar and refrigerate. 

Keeps for 3 to 4 weeks in the fridge. 

BISCUITS FROM SCRATCH: A BRUNCH SPREAD

    

Spread them with butter, jams or jellies, slather them in gravy, or create a sandwich for any time of day. Savoury or sweet, biscuits are always there for you. Simple ingredients but also lovely and versatile foods—butter, flour, salt, milk or cream, and baking powder. A kind of perfection and calm in this chaotic world.

I decided on  Martha Stewart’s recipe for Baking Powder Biscuits. Why? Because it's Martha. Self made, household name, icon, lawbreaker, ex-model, ex-stockbroker, jack of all trades and entrepreneur - Martha. I recently found out that it wasn’t until her 30s when Martha became a self taught gourmet cook through the use of Julia Child’s “Mastering The Art of French Cooking”. (Side note on Julia—I can't help but mention that at 37 she enrolls at Le Cordon Bleu in a foreign country, among mostly men and becomes a culinary icon. Hence, total badass.) Back to Martha — she starts a catering business in her late 30s and that’s where her current career stemmed from. As a 30 year old woman, I love this. I spent my 20s mostly confused and floundering around trying to find something that I was “supposed to do with my life”. Stories like Martha and Julia's remind me that all is okay in the world. That I've got lots of time. That doing things which thrill me and slow down time into fragments of beautiful moments are what I want to repeat. Those moments that seem to linger in a suspended state of focus and ease with no background noise. Sometimes they're seconds, sometimes minutes. We need more of those... Enter biscuit making.

Why These Biscuits?

1. Because they’re delicious and I love to eat them. Duh. 

How I picture myself eating biscuits: Biting elegantly into delicate flakiness while using a tea saucer to catch my crumbs. I slowly savour every bite alternating with a sip of tea, whilst sitting in peaceful meditation gazing out a sunlit window. Birds are chirping softly in the background.

How I actually eat biscuits: Remove biscuits from oven. Tell myself I’ll wait until they cool. One minute later I tell myself it’s been 10 minutes. I quickly devour the biscuit barely swallowing one bite before taking the next. My mouth is burnt (a chronic problem in my life) because apparently I have no patience or self control. A few crumbs hit the plate while most are falling onto the table and floor. I am cookie monster in human female form. I proceed to eat 1 or 2 more, quickly stuffing myself and then immediately swearing off biscuits for the rest of the day—crumbs falling out of my mouth as I shake my finger to no one in the empty room, like that will make it official. I abandon that resolution a few hours later and have another, thinking back wondering how I could ever deny myself something so beautiful. 

2. Because these are made with cream and delicious when topped with honey. Hence, “Cream + Honey”. Clearly, it was meant to be for my first post. (Also, I’m sorry these are not buttermilk biscuits for the people who are adamant that biscuits should be made with buttermilk. Forgive me—I promise they are still delicious. Amen.

3. Because who doesn’t love fresh warm biscuits?! I dare you to find one person. Just the words “homemade biscuits” make me imagine tenderly wrapping them up in a blanket and dancing about while singing to the birds and squirrels around me. (I like imagining I live in a magical forest. I actually live in a city so it’s probably just the garbage outside that attracts  the animals. And by birds and squirrels I meant raccoons and rats. They need love too people!)

4. Because Martha is the f*#$ing s*&t! 

5. Because you can literally put anything on them. Like anything! Well, not poison. But that’s pretty much it. Unless you're one of those people who can do crazy tricks and eat anything like light bulbs or poison. (note: I do not condone eating light bulbs or poison.)

Okay, now for the biscuits!

Biscuits From Scratch || Cream + Honey
Biscuits From Scratch || Cream + Honey

The pre-oven mess I call "art".

Biscuits From Scratch || Cream + Honey

Ta da! Magic! (or as some people call it, "science".)

Biscuits From Scratch || Cream + Honey
You can even make little baby biscuits!!! (Everything in mini form is exciting)   

(top to bottom: lemon curd, honey, Seville orange jam, maple butter, butter, blackcurrent jam)

You can even make little baby biscuits!!! (Everything in mini form is exciting)

Biscuits From Scratch || Cream + Honey

Brunch isn't really brunch until bacon and/or eggs are on the table.  

Biscuits From Scratch || Cream + Honey
Biscuits From Scratch || Cream + Honey

The perfect brunch to me is a balance of savoury and sweet—it's like having two meals in one. I'm insatiable like that.

Welcome the Brunch Biscuit:

Maple drizzled bacon, egg, old cheddar, thyme butter and sriracha sauce (insert 100 happy emoji faces here). 

Biscuits From Scratch || Cream + Honey

Eat it as slow or fast as you like. Moaning during is encouraged, it makes it better, trust me.

   Take a nap.    

Bask in what you've just created and consumed. Commit to eating a green vegetable later. 

Take a nap.


B I S C U I T S

t h e   m a g i c 

i n s p i r a t i o n :        brunch + the south

f e e l s :                          comforting, homey, indulging

e a t   w i t h :                tea, coffee, butter (obviously), herb butter (fancy!), honey, cinnamon,                                                                  maple butter, maple syrup, jams/jellies, lemon curd, whipped cream                                                                    + strawberries, gravy!!!, baked beans, breakfast things (bacon, sausage, ham,                                                    eggs, cheese, mushrooms, tomato, avocado), potato leek soup.

m i g h t   l i k e   i f   y o u ' r e   i n t o :    comfort food, southern hospitality, all things that                                                                                                      include butter, blaring music and singing your heart                                                                                                  out, a thin layer of flour dust on everything you own.

t h e   s c i e n c e

Martha Stewart's Baking Powder Biscuits from "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook"                                                   

makes 1 dozen medium-sized biscuits

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups heavy cream, plus extra for brushing

m e t h o d :

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Add all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together. 
  3. Cut in cold butter pieces with a pastry blender (or 2 butter knives). Continue until the pieces of butter range in size with none larger than the size of a pea. 
  4. Add cream and fold into the dough with a spatula. Continue folding until the dough just comes together. It should be slightly sticky and scraggy. 
  5. Place the dough onto lightly floured surface. With gentle hands, pat the dough into a round approximately 1 inch thick incorporating any loose pieces. 
  6. Take a floured round biscuit cutter of your choice, cut out the biscuits and place onto baking sheet. ***
  7. Place all the biscuits in the middle with edges touching each other.
  8. Brush top of biscuits with cream.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the biscuits are golden (rotate halfway through time). 
  10. Place biscuits on wire rack to cool.  

*Tips for better biscuit making: Just a few things I've learned that seem to make the most difference in flakiness, rise and overall beauty of biscuits.

  • Cold ingredients are key. Of course the butter but I've made my best biscuits by putting my whisked dry ingredients in the fridge for 30 minutes before. By using a pastry blender or knives you can keep the ingredients from taking on as little warmth as possible. I really love getting my hands dirty but my biscuits apparently don't feel the same. If your dough feels a bit warm after working it on the counter you can always put it in the fridge for a bit to cool down and firm up the butter again. 
  • Work the dough as little as possible when patting it out. The gluten becomes activated and therefore your biscuits become chewier and not as flaky. 
  • *** When using a biscuit cutter, do not twist it after you push down. It feels like the natural thing to do to remove the biscuit from the dough but this will shrink and close the layers (lines on the sides of the cooked biscuits that make it look and feel super flaky) . So just push the cutter down then release up instead of twisting. It makes a world of difference.
  • If you prefer fluffier biscuits— keep them together touching on the baking sheet when cooking. 
  • If you prefer crunchier biscuits on the outside - place them away from each other, not touching.