Happy weekend everyone! I'm going to be sharing with you a delicious Minted Mango Jam today - healthy & simple.
Poor jam, it gets a bad rap. Everyone loves it, but knows it's packed full of sugar and empty calories. This makes sense, as the sugar is what preserves to keep the shelf life. But really, why do we need to keep jam for months? Usually, because it has limited use - we are just not creative in using such delicious condiments. Yes, how amazing is fresh bread with jam? Or scones? Or muffins? But what about breakfast porridge, sandwiches, salads and smoothies? There are many options to inspire you, trust me!
I woke up this morning, keen to begin a fresh start - Waka Fitness is open! For anyone who lives in Kigali, it is well known that the gym/fitness scene just isn't that great. I moved here about 10 months ago, and have tried many different options for exercise, but just haven't found something that really suits me. Then, I saw that two fitness enthusiasts took the plunge and decided to open their own fitness centre - a very risky venture in Rwanda. I was quick to sign up, even paying the first $300 instalment. Ryan (my husband) commented later that day "so you paid money to a company that isn't yet open, with a location that isn't finished being built, where there's no equipment yet, and you have no idea what classes/options they offer? Good move!"
He had a point, but I met Denis, the co-owner, and he instantly inspired me. I was SURE this would be the place for me. A place to go and really get back into shape. Three months later, they've finally opened! The place is amazing - I can't wait to make it part of my regular schedule, and to join a community of people who want to stay healthy and eat well.
So, with that in mind - I'm planning my weekend to cook good food that I can keep to hand while I get back into my exercise routine. The main thing when exercising more is to make sure to eat, eat, eat. You burn more calories and need more inputs in order to perform well, and eating is so key to this. Many people think that losing weight is about moderating the diet, but that this means cutting calories. Yes, this is a part truth, but in reality, you want to be eating lots of whole foods with the vitamins, minerals and calories to keep up with your increased metabolism.
I've been growing a vegetable garden in my house (nice weather really is a gift). We now have an abundance of whole foods which I'll be incorporating into my diet. And I'll share what I make as I go. The goal is to have a week's worth of meals prepared each week, keeping in mind that snacking is also key - good, nutritious snacking!
Now, onto today's recipe - the Easiest, Healthiest Jam Recipe in the World! (Minted Mango Jam)
I've discovered this fool-proof recipe, which can be adapted into hundreds of recipes, for simple, healthy jam. It will last in your fridge for about 3 weeks, but I'll be sharing many recipes to incorporate it, so I doubt it will last that long.
Today I'll show you one of my favourites - Minted Mango Jam. This jam is packed full of flavour, and is sweet and tangy. The fresh mint compliments it perfectly - I had it on toast with dates and the whole combination was so satisfying. It took all of three minutes to prepare and is chocked full of vitamins and minerals.
So what's the secret ingredient you ask? Drum roll.......
Yes, these seeds absorb all the water in the fruit and create a thick, tasty jam.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
These little seeds are either white, black or a dark brown, and are packed full of nutrients. They contain calcium and manganese (good for bones, skin and blood sugar control), plus phosphorus, which helps the body make protein, ATP (stores energy) and provides general cell functioning. Chia seeds are also a great source of omega-3 fats, which help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure.
Just two tablespoons in your diet a day provides you with one third of your daily fibre requirement, and almost 10% of your daily protein requirement. So for vegans and vegetarians, this is a great protein source.
Unlike flax seeds, you can eat chia seeds whole or ground to get these benefits. And they are relatively inexpensive to buy. Add them to baking, porridge, salads - they are versatile.
The recipe is easy - mangos, mint and chia seeds. See people? I told you this was simple.
Minted Mango Jam
- One Mango, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Fresh mint (I used about 15-20 leaves)
- Sweetener, if you feel it's needed (I added 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup)
- Put the mango, mint and chia seeds into a blender.
- Blend to desired consistency - if you want the seeds to be a bit bigger, then don't blend too much. You can also save some chunks of mango, squash them a bit, and add them in after. It depends if you like chunky or smooth jam.
- Put in a jar, and leave in the fridge overnight - the chia seeds will plump up and give the jam a lovely texture.
- If you want, you can eat the jam earlier, it's a personal preference.
- Serve with fresh, lightly toasted bread, and figs. Incredible combination - enjoy!