Jam is something that is generally a no go for women with gestational diabetes as it causes rapid, high blood sugar levels.
Let’s look at why it causes a problem: Fruit is high in fructose (natural sugars in fruit). It is then cooked, meaning it is broken down and digested much faster than fruit in it’s raw form, therefore turns into glucose in the bloodstream much faster and has lots of sugar added to it.
Diabetic and low or no added sugar jams and preserves may be tolerated by some, but once again are high in carbs due to the amount of cooked fruit in them and many cause gastric upset due to the types of sweeteners added to them.
The next problem with jam is what it’s usually eaten with; carbs. We tend to spread it on bread or toast, add it to cereals like porridge or spread on scones or cakes. All of these things are high in carbs and so it’s just sugar added to more sugar.
This raw chia seed jam may not be tolerated by all, as it’s still mashed fruit. However, if you are looking for a sweet blob of jam to add to your peanut butter on toast, yogurt, or one of our well paired cake or pancake recipes, then this jam may be the answer you’re looking for and is worth a try if you tolerate berries well.
This jam can be made with any berries, rhubarb or gooseberries, so get out there and get picking! Berries are lower GI than many fruits and so are more tolerable for people with diabetes. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, red currants, cherries and gooseberries will all work well.
Chia seeds are powerful little seeds. They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fibre and antioxidants. These funny little seeds also plump up and become gelatinous in liquid (similar to tapioca in texture), meaning they are great for puddings and to create a natural gelling agent in this jam!
- 300 grams berries fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp agave nectar or granulated sweetener to taste (optional)
- If using frozen berries, leave them to defrost overnight or pop them in the microwave to defrost (but avoid 'cooking' them by overheating). They should be thawed enough to eat without being hot to touch
- Mash the berries with a fork to your desired consistency. If you blitz or blend the fruit then you are breaking it down more, which means that your body can break down the fruit into sugar much faster. I therefore leave my fruit quite lumpy/chunky and like this texture
- Add the chia seeds, lemon juice and agave or sweetener to taste. Please note: you do not need to add agave or sweetener unless you want to. If you think the berries alone are sweet enough then there is no need. Mix well
- At this point you pour the jam into a jar or tub with a sealable lid, or cover with baking parchment paper
- Add the jam to the fridge and chill for 1-2 hours. The chia seeds will plump up and absorb the liquids, creating a thicker jam like consistency which can then be spread