A Jam by any other name is…. a Spread? a Paste?

cooking, recipe, Vegan
This has been a bizarre week – my entire management chain (up to the guy who runs Marketing and Communications – whom I consider to be a minor celebrity) is taking their summer vacation. So it’s all quiet on the Westchester front.

Too quiet.

I’m working from home these 4 days, which makes impromptu cooking much easier!

During my lunch hour today (aka my 1 hour to try and avoid cabin fever) I stumbled across the White Plains farmer’s market! Don’t ask me why – but the farmer’s market in WP is held on Wednesdays from 8am – 12pm. (Tomorrow is a holiday, hence the reschedule)

Who in their right mind has a farmer’s market in A) the middle of the work week & B) the middle of the work day? – but it was nice. Considering I just spent an arm & a leg at Whole Foods, I bought some sugar plums (YES LIKE FROM THE XMAS STORY!!!) from an Amish farm and was hit on by a Kettle Corn seller. All in a day’s work I guess 🙂

New recipe test for ya’ll!
Blueberry Vegan Spready-Jam* (bberries were on sale at Whole Foods 🙂
Ingredients –
1 pint of blueberries
2 tbsp of chia seeds (OK – so I didn’t use Chia seeds. I used Flax Seed, which came out to about the same thing – I think. You should all know I sort of wing these recipes)
3 tbsp Maple Syrup/Agave/Liquid Sweetner
Dash o’ Vanilla Extract

Directions –
1. Mix the blueberries & liquid sweetner in a small pot on the stove. Mash up the bberries, (use a potato masher – works better than a fork). Leave some bberries for texture. Cook at boiling for about 5 minutes.

Pre-Flax seed. It was a beautiful blue/purple color

2. Mix in seeds (chia or otherwise – the seeds, when combined with a liquid, are used as a thinkener) and cook on a med/low heat for about 15 minutes.
3. Stir frequently. This is muy importante b/c you don’t want the sugar to burn
4. Once it’s been cooked to the desired consistency, remove from heat & mix in vanilla extract.
5. Store in an air-tight container in el fridge. I put mine in a glass mason jar which made me feel super-hippy 🙂

*Fair warning – you may need to add more maple syrup/sweetner to your own taste preferences. My spread ended up not as sweet as jelly/jam (duh) so if you want something sweeter – you may need to add extra.

Verdict
– it’s an OK vegan substitute – I’ve been wary of foods that could pectin/lecithin/gelatin – as pectin is vegan, but the others aren’t. Plus, some of those jams/jellies have a lot of added sugar. I think it needs something more to enhance the natural sugars in the blueberries. Maybe a mashed banana or some applesauce next time.

Also – LB did not enjoy it. I tried to get her to taste some. Womp Womp. She’s going to stick with raisins and bananas.

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