CH-ch-ch-Chia...

I bought myself a wee little package of chia seeds at the grocery store the other day...wanting to stretch myself and use something new (to me, anyway...I know that the rest of the world and their neighbor have been using these little seeds of wonder for many a moon now.  But, me - I like my rut).

And so, this past week, I used them in two of my recipes...and I must say, I am pretty pleased with the results.  The first thing I used them for was to replace my wheat gluten in my homemade bread.  A friend told me that she had tried it with virtually no difference in texture results, so I figured I would give it a whirl.
First time around, the bread fluffed up higher like it usually does - making a nice tall loaf.  The second time around, it was not as fluffy and a bit more dense.  However, it was scuzzy outside, and for whatever reason, I find that when I am working with yeast on rainy days, my bread never rises as high.  Call me crazy, but I swear it's true.

And now Kevy can eat my bread.  For some reason, his belly can handle my breads that don't have any gluten in them, but not so much the ones that do.  So, here's my all-time favorite, make once and sometimes twice every single week of my life, and have it for breakfast and/or lunch almost every day of life recipe for my bread.  I put it in my bread maker for the mixing and first rise cycle, so my  hands-on work is virtually the amount of time it takes me to make my morning cup of coffee.  You just have to be home for three hours - because that's how long everything takes from start to finish.

Throw all of this into your machine:
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
2 cups of unbleached white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
(** or four cups of any flour, any combination you would like.  I often use all spelt, as well).
2 heaping tablespoons yeast
2 heaping tablespoons chia seeds (or wheat gluten)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup ground flax seed (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds and poppy seeds (optional.  Just yummy)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey or molasses - or a combination of both
1 2/3 cups water.

Place in dough setting and go conquer the rest of your world for 1 1/2 hours.
When the kneading and first rise are over, place in greased loaf pan and let rise again.
Bake at 350 degrees for 32 minutes exactly in my oven.

Dee-lish.
And serve with my second chia recipe trial of the week:
Crock Pot Sugar-Free Strawberry Chia Freezer Jam.
I stumbled across this recipe somewhere on-line and thought I would give it a whirl.  I normally make my strawberry freezer jam using the "pink sure-jell" and following the "less sugar" recipe on the back of the box. But, the less sugar recipe still takes quite a bit of sugar per batch, so I just wanted to try one batch with stevia...and chia seeds as a thickener instead of the sure jell.

I kind of muddled my way through the recipe, because I didn't quite have the full three pounds (which equals about 3 3/4 cups whole berries) of strawberries thawed.  I had just a little less.  So, I used a bit less Stevia and chia seeds both than what was called for.  Thus, my jam is a bit tart and more on the "soft set" side...but still pretty yummy.  The boys love it, anyway.  I am not a huge fan of the taste of stevia, myself.  But, I think it could grow on me.

So, here you have recipe #2:
1. Lightly grease a crock pot.
2. Combine 3 pounds strawberries, 1/4 cup lemon juice, & 2-3 teaspoons stevia.  Stir to coat.
3. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
4. Uncover and mash berries using a potato masher.
5. Cover and cook for 1 more hour.
6. Mash berries again.
7. Cover and cook 2 more final hours with a spoon propped under the lid to let moisture escape.
8. Stir in chia seeds.
9. Ladle mixture into clean mason jars and cool slightly.
10. Store in freezer for longer periods of time.  The chia seeds will work their magic as the jam cools.

I found that I didn't notice the chia seeds at all...because strawberries have seeds, so everything just kind of blended together.  I was worried I would feel all of the seeds in my teeth, and I didn't.  And I'm also not sure I would do it in my crock pot again, just because I'm a get'er done kind of girl, and the whole procedure took about 4 hours.  Although, again, the hands-on time was pretty minimal.  Just a stir here and there.  The lady who posted the recipe said that her main reason for "crockin'" her jam was because she has a tendency to burn things.  Ha!  If you were to cook your berries on the stove, the whole idea is to just simmer them until they start to thicken a bit on their own...and that whole process would just take mere minutes.  Whatever floats your boat, I guess...
So, there you have it.
Some rainy day recipes.

Now I must go clean my house for a showing.
Joy unspeakable and full of glory...

1 comment:

Jeff and Meg said...

I love, love, love this recipe!! I got it from you long ago and have made it tons and passed the recipe on many times.