Rhubarb barb barb barb, rhubarb jam

semi-raw rhubarb and strawberry chia seed jam
I may have not mentioned, but at work I have a Little Boss, and a Big (Little) Boss. Neither of them are my actual boss, but that doesn’t seem to matter… It’s complicated, but it works.

Anyways, Big (Little) Boss, is addicted to rhubarb. She tells stories of as soon as it comes in season, stewed apples and yoghurt is no longer good enough unless rhubarb is involved. I’m sure she is so serious about this rule that there may be tears if this status quo was challenged. Not. Even. Kidding.

Her love for rhubarb is so strong and loud, that when I was dreaming up my ideal chia jam scenario, I too was drawn to the weird stalky fruit that kinda looks like red kale with poisonous leaves.

Now I am pretty new to rhubarb, but one of the things I am pretty sure of, is that rhubarb and strawberries are in a pretty serious relationship. Who am I to break that shit up?

According to Google, picking ripe rhubarb is pretty easy to do from the supermarket or vege shop (I found mind at Thomas Dux as it was not available at Coles). If it has made it to the supermarket, it has pretty much been picked ripe – so not much can go wrong here. What to look out for is bright firm stalks, with bright green leaves. Wilted stalks, or black/yellows leaves means it has pasted its prime. If the stalks are firm but have imperfections, these can be cut off prior to stewing. Rhubarb’s leaves are generally avoided due to having high amounts of oxalic acid, which can cause poisoning in high quantities. Some people enjoy raw rhubarb, however this too has oxalic acid in it, but I understand in quantities so small you would have to ingest a lot – I’m impartial either way.

Also note, rhubarb is best cooked in a stainless-steal or enamelled cast-iron pan. That pesky oxalic acid will react with aluminium and you’ll end up with brown metallic-tasting fruit and a ruined pan.

Because rhubarb is naturally quite tart, this jam has an optional 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup. You can decide that level in right for you according to your personal preference.

This jam is semi-raw – meaning the rhubarb is first stewed, and then it is mixed with the other ingredients which are raw. There is no laborious mucking around with dissolving sugar, straining etc here as per with normal jam. This jam is quick and easy, as well as a healthy alternative to a classic breakfast spread.

Stewed Rhubarb
Gluten free, paleo, vegan, fructose free, nut free, refined sugar free
Makes about 1 cup
Cooking and prep time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 bunch rhubarb, diced (8-10 stalks)
1-2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Place the rhubarb and water in a saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Cook for a min or 2 until it it starts to breakdown, then add the cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and maple syrup.
  3. Lower heat and let it stew, stirring occasionally until everything is soft, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely before making the jam.

semi-raw rhubarb and strawberry chia seed jam
Semi Raw, Rhubarb &Strawberry & Chia Jam

Gluten free, paleo, vegan, fructose free, nut free, refined sugar free
Makes about 3 cups – which is enough for a big jar and a bonus small jar – excellent for sharing with your durps
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup stewed rhubarb
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (defrost if using frozen)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse the strawberries and water. The more you pulse the smoother the jam will be – I like it a bit chunky so I tend to keep the pulsing to a minimum. Alternatively you can mash by hand with a folk or a mortar and pestle.
  2. Mix through the stewed rhubarb.
  3. I put 2/3 of the mixture in a 600ml glass jar (equal to a 375 gram jar), the remaining 1/3 in a 300ml jar and then divided the chia accordingly, if you have one large jar then use that. If you feel the need to divide it up further, it’s probably best to mix in a jug before dividing into small jars so the chia is dispersed evenly.
  4. Once the chia seeds are added, work quickly to mix thoroughly making sure to break up any clumps.
  5. Place in the fridge to set for minimum an over – best is overnight.

This rhubarb and strawberry chia seed jam will last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

You can serve it in place of jam on toast, or using it as a filling in cookie sandwiches, or as a compote on fruit and yoghurt or other desserts.

Or served as pictured here with cashew cream and Breakfast Cake.

// HOLLA BACK YO



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