Archive for Seasonal

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

Okay, so… I get it. You’re maybe not Mr or Ms Suzy Homemaker. Maybe the best you can do is to make things out of packages. That’s cool.

But let’s say you really want to impress someone. Maybe you’re going to a friend’s house and you want to bring a hostess gift, or maybe you’ve got people coming over for brunch.

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

What you need is the world’s easiest, laziest, most klutz-proof strawberry rhubarb jam recipe.

Jam is a tricky business. There is fruit, sure. But there’s also this magical substance called pectin (what even is that, right?), sugar, and often lemon juice, which are all cooked down together in a giant, simmering vat. And that’s just the cooking part. Then you have to put it into jars and preserve it, and if you don’t do that right, will you kill everyone who eats it?

Yeah, jam can be complicated. But this one is not.

It’s not, thanks to the miracle of the chia seed.

Chia has been quite the thing for the last few years. And yes, in case you were wondering, they are the same seeds you used to grow on your Chia Pet (“Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!”). They are beloved by vegetarians and paleos alike because they are gluten-free and high in protein. You’ll often find them in smoothies and puddings, which can be eaten either at breakfast or for dessert.

Because of their magical properties to suck up immense amounts of moisture and turn it into a kind of gel, chia is amazing for thickening stuff. Like jam. In this case.

Just 5 ingredients, real simple, very satisfying results.

Simple Jam Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

  • 1/2 cup washed and chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup washed and chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Method:

Store finished jam in the refrigerator!

Rhubarb Dream Bars (Vegan)

You guys, it’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here!

It’s May. Last week the farmer’s markets started opening, and the first signs of spring in the kitchen, which include fiddleheads, ramps and rhubarb, are available for sale there.

I know, I know, you must think me a crazy person. To be so excited about the opening of the markets and the first fresh, locally-grown produce of the year.

But I am! I’m just not a winter person. I left Eastern Canada 20 years ago because I couldn’t handle the winters any more, and this past winter has been especially brutal for the West Coast–cold, rainy, snowy. I live for the summer. I’m counting down the weeks until it’s the end of June and I can take time off and hang at the pool with my son.

A big part of my love of summer is all the amazing, fresh ingredients. I love to get inspired by what I find at the farmer’s markets and roadside stands.

Rhubarb Dream Bars

And rhubarb is the harbinger of it all. So let’s party!

I have two rhubarb recipes for you this week: today’s is a dessert bar made with rhubarb and aquafaba. It’s a meringue base, so I’m calling these Rhubarb Dream Bars, because they are dreamy like clouds, baked atop a shortbread crust.

The second is a recipe for the easiest jam you’ll ever make. It’s like the laziest jam recipe ever. But it tastes awesome, so there’s no shame. No one needs to know.

Onward with our spring celebration!

Rhubarb Meringue Bars Vegan Aquafaba

Rhubarb Dream Bars

Ingredients for the crust

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1/4 cup aquafaba
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla beans
  • 2 stalks diced rhubarb

Method

To make the crust:

  • Place the flour and icing sugar together in a bowl, and stir. Make a little well in the centre of the bowl, and pour the coconut oil or melted vegan butter into it. Mix well until the wet is incorporated into the dry. It will be crumby. Press this mixture into the bottom of a greased 8″x8″ pan, and set aside.

To make the filling:

  1. Place the aquafaba, sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer and begin beating it at a low speed, just to incorporate. Then turn up the speed as high as it will go for about 6-10 minutes, until it is fluffy, smooth, thick and glossy, similar to the texture of melted marshmallows. You can also do this with a hand-held mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  2. Carefully fold about half of the rhubarb into the meringue mixture with a spatula, then scrap it into the pan on top of the crust. Smooth over the top with your spatula, then sprinkle the remaining rhubarb over top.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing into squares. Best enjoyed same day, as the meringue won’t keep well over the long term.

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