breakfast

Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed Jam

This raspberry lemon chia seed jam is bright and tart, and it makes for an awesome fruity topping on yogurt, oatmeal, or toast. The best part is that you can make it in just 30 minutes!

Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed Jam

Can we talk about the wonder that is chia seed jam for a minute? With four simple ingredients you can whip up a simple jam that’s heavy on the fruit, low on the added sugar and a beautiful vibrant color.

Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed Jam

Now, if you’re totally weirded out by chia seeds, this is the post where I convince you that they’re actually cool and functional, in a nerdy food science kind-of way. And yes, it’s the same seed that was responsible for the chia pet trend of the 90s (come to find out, you can still buy them 😂).

Besides being used to grow sprouts, the seeds are actually really versatile in the kitchen. Read on to find out how to use them, what the nutritional benefits are and of course to get the recipe for the raspberry lemon jam.

How to Use Chia Seeds

I love keeping chia on hand for tossing in random things for an added nutritional boost. I add them to overnight oats for creamier texture or oatmeal balls for cohesiveness. Another popular use is chia seed pudding, although I’m personally not as big a fan of that. Mix with water for an egg replacer in baked goods for the vegan folks (or in a pinch if you run out).

Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed Jam

The Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds

One of the biggest reasons why chia seeds surged in popularity is because they’re a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. While fatty fish provides the most efficient form of omega 3s, I always advocate for consuming a variety of food sources of each nutrient when possible and I also realize that not everyone consumes fish.

Even better, there are plenty of other great qualities in chia. Here are the nutrition facts at-a-glance (per 1/4 cup):

  • 180 calories

  • 11 g fat

  • 16 g carbohydrate

  • 14 g dietary fiber

  • 6 g protein

  • 230 mg calcium (15% DV)

  • 2.8 mg iron (15% DV)

Why Would You Add Chia Seeds to Jam?

When added to liquid, chia seeds expand and become gelatinous. This basically creates a thickening quality which is exactly what you want when making jam/preserves so it’s easier to spread.

This jam recipe is simple and can be switched up based on whatever fruit you have on hand and the sweetener you prefer. Here are a few other flavor combinations that could work:

  • Strawberry Mint

  • Blueberry Lemon

  • Cherry Vanilla Almond

  • Blackberry Orange Ginger

Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed Jam

Have other flavor combination ideas? Leave me a comment! And be sure to let me know if you give this a try by posting your photos on Instagram and tagging me @LeanneRayRDN.


Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed Jam

Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Yield: 16 oz | Prep time: 5 min | Cook time: 10 min | Total time: 30 min (including time to cool)

Ingredients

  • 12 oz bag frozen raspberries

  • 1 lemon (zest & juice)

  • 2 Tbsp cane sugar

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except chia seeds to a medium saucepan. Bring to a low boil stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.

  2. Lower heat to a simmer and stir in the chia seeds. Partially cover and continue to simmer for 5-7 minutes until berries are broken down and slightly thickened.

  3. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

recipe inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod.


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Breakfast-Worthy Apple Crisp

Breakfast-Worthy Apple Crisp

Well this is a fall recipe if I’ve ever seen one

I’m just going to go ahead and say it - I’m one of those weird people that doesn’t really care about dessert. It’s not that I don’t like it, more so I could “take or leave it” and nine times out of ten I would go for a glass of wine after a meal instead. Apple crisp is one seasonal treat that I really do enjoy and one of the few “desserts” that I actually make at home. Probably because you can’t really mess it up. Those always tend to be my favorite dishes!

Once I start seeing apples back in the spotlight at the grocery store, I always get the itch to make a crisp.

Even better, I LOVE to eat it for breakfast with a side of eggs for quite possibly the most satisfying meal of all time. It’s called moderation people. Anyways, this breakfast-worthy crisp… It has all of the same great flavors and textures of a traditional apple crisp but it’s taken down a notch to make it more on the hearty/fiber-y side and less on the indulgent/sweet end of the spectrum. It’s mostly apples so it would make a great topping for oats. It’s also vegan for my plant-based friends out there! Of course if you don’t have coconut oil on hand you can use butter and it would still turn out great.

Breakfast-Worthy Apple Crisp

So here’s how you make it.

I chose to use a cast-iron skillet, mainly because I don’t own a casserole dish. How is this even possible? I’m not sure. Regardless, I think it’s kind of fun to use your cast iron for recipes like this and it also makes for a fun presentation - perfect for a hosted brunch.

When I said you couldn’t mess it up, I wasn’t joking. All you really have to do is:

  1. Peel and slice your apples

  2. Toss them with a little bit of coconut oil, brown sugar and cinnamon

  3. Top with the crumbly mixture (made out of ingredients you probably have on hand!)

  4. Bake.

Check out the full recipe below and let me know if you give this (or your own variation) a try. It’s a little more time-intensive than my other recipes but it’s mostly hands-off and as a bonus, it makes your house smell BOMB.

Breakfast-Worthy Apple Crisp

Breakfast-Worthy Apple Crisp

Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Yield: 6 servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 45 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 5 honeycrisp apples, peeled and sliced (cores removed)

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (divided)

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (divided)

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seed

  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Toss apples with 2 Tbsp each brown sugar and coconut oil. Add them to an oiled cast iron skillet.

  3. In a small bowl, mixed the oats, walnuts, flax, flour, cinnamon and salt. Then add the remaining brown sugar and coconut oil and mix until well-combined (it’s easiest to use your hands for this step!). You want a crumbly but moist mixture.

  4. Spread the crumble mixture evenly over the top of the apples. Cover with foil.

  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and browned on the top. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.


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Pumpkin & Fig Smoothie

Apparently I’m all about the seasonal recipes lately and I’m totally owning it!

Isn’t it funny how sometimes the most unplanned things end up turning out the best? This smoothie was never meant to make it on the blog. I randomly made it for breakfast one day because a) we were low on food and b) I remembered that I still had two cans of pumpkin in the pantry from last fall and wanted to use it in something besides a baked good.

pumpkin fig smoothie

Cans are perfect for when you need some produce in a pinch by the way. I think they get a bad rap for being nutritionally sub-par, but in reality some vegetables are actually more nutritious after having been cooked/processed.

A few of my favorite canned vegetable staples are:

  • Beans (garbanzo, black, and pinto)

  • Diced tomatoes for soups, chilis, marinara sauce, and a stand-in for pizza sauce

  • Corn (when out of season) for burrito bowls and Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

  • Pumpkin for adding to oatmeal, smoothies and muffins/quick breads

What else would you add to this list?

You guys know that I’m a huge proponent for keeping a well-stocked pantry because it makes weeknight cooking a million times easier and can be a lifesaver when you run out of fresh produce but still want to make a balanced meal.

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So back to this smoothie… I knew I had made something similar to this in the past, but I cannot for the life of me remember exactly what I put in it. I rummaged through the fridge to find anything that I thought would pair well with the pumpkin and here’s what I came up with:

  • Milk for the liquid component. Use your favorite! I used 1%.

  • Frozen banana, because in my opinion, no smoothie is complete without it. This is what makes smoothies extra creamy and it also adds a little bit of natural sweetness.

  • Fresh figs because I needed to use these up ASAP before they went bad (do not procrastinate with the figs you guys)

  • PB Love Co cinnamon almond butter for fat, protein and flavor

  • Hemp hearts for more protein, texture and because in all honesty, smoothies are the opposite of photogenic without something on top, especially when they are pale orange in color

  • Cinnamon because I love it and seem to put it on almost every breakfast food out there

pumpkin smoothie ingredients

The result is thick and creamy, has a serving of orange vegetables (always impressive at breakfast) and to be honest, kind of tastes like dessert. Let me know if you give it a try!


Pumpkin & Fig Smoothie

Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Yield: 1 serving | Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large frozen banana

  • 3 fresh figs, peeled and chopped

  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin

  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon almond butter (see note)

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2-3 ice cubes

  • 1 Tbsp hemp hearts

  • Cinnamon to garnish

pumpkin fig smoothie with hemp hearts

Instructions

  1. Add banana, figs, pumpkin, almond butter, milk and ice to a blender and blend on high until very smooth.

  2. Pour into a glass, then top with the hemp hearts and a shake of cinnamon. Serve immediately.

*notes:

If you can’t find a cinnamon almond butter (or don’t want to buy one specifically for this purpose), add regular almond butter + 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.

I keep a gallon-sized zip top bag in my freezer for bananas that get too brown to eat raw. Just peel, break in half, and throw it in the bag to freeze. They make for the best smoothie add-in for extra creaminess and natural sweetness. You can also use in baked goods! It’s way easier to use them if you peel before freezing.