Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Jam is a breakfast favorite of so many people but at the same time people might try to avoid the store bought varieties because of the high sugar count! Vegetarians and vegans often have a hard time finding jam that they can eat because several brands of jam do not qualify in either category! The best way to have control over your diet is to make things like jam at home yourself. It does not take as long as you might think, it will always be healthier than anything you can buy in the store and it will be delicious!

Strawberries are such an amazing way to get a wide range of vitamins and minerals into your diet. Even though some people opt to eat them dipped in sugar or cream, they are still very tasty without any added extras. Strawberries are particularly high in a certain group of antioxidants known as polyphenols and will provide protection for your heart as well as increasing good (HDL) cholesterol levels.

To make my strawberry jam, you will only need the following ingredients:

2 cups of strawberries, de-stemmed and chopped in quarters
¼ cup maple syrup / honey /coconut nectar
2 Tbsp chia seeds
Water as needed

To get started you will first need to add the strawberries to a pan and heat at a medium to high heat. You must also add the sweetner of your choice. The liquid from the strawberries will soon start to fill up the pan. Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 7-10 minutes, stirring every so often. Then, ussing a fork or masher, smash your strawberries to your desired level of consistency.

The next step is to stir in the two tablespoons of chia seeds and leave to cook for another minute – making sure to stir well. You can then remove from the heat and allow the jam to cool while the chia seeds swell up to thicken the jam. Don’t worry if it isn’t at the desired consistency as it will continue to thicken as it cools. Once the jam is cooled you can serve on your favourite piece of toast or top onto your favourite pudding! There’s no end to the many uses of delicious and healthy strawberry chia seed jam!

If you want to store this jam for later use then do so in an airtight container. If you keep it in the refrigerator then it will be good for up to two weeks.

To learn more about nutrition head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Eating for Oral Health

Your smile is often the first thing people notice about you and taking care of our teeth is an important aspect of overall good health. When you negate your oral health, problems can quickly arise which could lead to a costly trip to the dentist! The foods and drinks that we consume can play a big part in how healthy our teeth are and it’s not difficult to make certain dietary changes to make improvements. In doing so, you can work to avoid painful problems and discolouration.

Encouraging the production of saliva in your mouth is a great way to keep your teeth clean. If you do this by eating foods that are quite crunchy, then you will also be helping to remove plaque from your teeth at the same time. Try apples, celery, nuts and raw carrots to start. These foods make great snacks at any point during the day and will be of particular use if you consume them after a meal.

Strawberries are not only a delicious sweet treat but they are also fantastic for the health of your teeth. In fact, any fruit or vegetable that is high in vitamin C will do good things for your oral health. This is because they encourage collagen growth as well as the development of connective tissue between your gums and your teeth. Vitamin C helps blood vessels to become stronger whilst also reducing inflammation, both important factors in combating the common oral health problem, gingivitis.

Raisins are a popular snack, especially amongst young children. If you ensure that you are eating a brand that has no added sugar then this food type will also provide benefits for your oral health. This is because raisins contain phytochemicals which prevent the growth of certain bad bacteria in the mouth. Adding raisins to your diet once or twice a week is a good way to improve the general health of your mouth.

It is also possible to use certain foods to directly whiten your teeth. For example, taking a piece of orange peel and rubbing it over your teeth is known to be a good way to remove stains. In fact, the majority of citrus fruits are thought to be good for this purpose, but oranges are the most preferable as they cause the least amount of damage to your enamel. If you do this just two or three times a week, then you will soon notice the stains on your teeth begin to get better in appearance.

It is important to both eat the correct foods and make regular visits to your dentist. In doing so you will preserve your beautiful smile and avoid problems in the future!

To learn more about eating for optimal health, check out my e-learning portal, The Flexi Foodie Academy!