Raspberry chia jam
Changing behaviours and habits, particularly health habits is tough. There are numerous theories of behaviour change and supposed ways of eliciting better results. I have found that incremental, or small changes work best. Life is so busy that sweeping changes sometimes go by the wayside, unless there is a health condition that provides the impetus for maintaining these changes.
Little baby steps that then become incorporated as new habits pave the way for longer term health goals. This is where swaps come into practice in nutrition. Say for example, swapping short grain white rice to a basmati rice which and has a slower release of sugars, or one step further, brown basmati rice with the cardiovascular health benefits associated with its comparatively higher fibre content.
Last week I was writing up recipes for my community nutrition classes. A lot of what I have been developing is swaps. Healthier options and an opportunity to add in nutrients, especially via the consumption of fruit and vegetables. All of the recipes I have developed have to be able to be made within the classroom without the use of a kitchen. We will have use of food processors and a microwave, but that is it. This drastically reduces the recipe development options, however, it also makes the recipes safe and easy to be made by small children under supervision.
Here in Chile we are nearing the end of raspberry season, which means, they are available to buy cheaply. It also means that they are not very sweet, as the warm summer sun has not intensified the fruit sugars, so my recipe includes honey for extra sweetness. In the height of summer, when raspberries are at their sweetest, this may not be necessary.
My first recipe for this new class of students is a raspberry chia and vanilla jam. It will hopefully provide a cheap, quick and easy alternative to the sugar laden jams available, and add fruit to their daily diet. My recipe is designed for the classroom but feel free to use the stove top instead of the microwave if your children are capable or you prefer.
Studies show that one of the best ways to positively influence children's fruit and vegetable consumption is via participation in kitchen and learning cooking skills (Hersh, Perdue, Ambroz & Boucher, 2014). This recipe is for children, or for you to do with your children, grandchildren or students. Who knows it may be one of the longer term, sustainable nutrition swaps that your kids take with them into the future!
Hersch, D., Perdue, L., Ambroz, T., & Boucher, J. L. (2014). The impact of cooking classes on food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors of school-aged children: a systematic review of the evidence, 2003-2014. Preventing chronic disease, 11, E193. doi:10.5888/pcd11.140267