A delicious and healthy addition to your holiday meal.
By Carlynn Woolsey
Coming from a flowering plant of the mint family, chia seeds are native to Mexico and Guatemala. Today, these tiny seeds are recognized all over the world for their health benefits, ranging far and wide. In addition to providing a healthy dose of omega-three fatty acids and plant-based protein, chia seeds are full of fiber, too. They work wonders on the digestive tract by regulating the bowels and helping to flush toxins away. The high fiber content might also contribute positively to weight loss efforts, creating a feeling of fullness and satiety.
Another key component in such efforts may be linked to the amino acid, tryptophan, which is present in chia seeds. Unlike the tendency to pull up the covers after a traditional holiday dinner, the tryptophan in these seeds will keep you clear and focused, helping to regulate appetite and improve mood. If it’s the turkey you desire, do your body a favor and reach for a bit of this jam too. You just may find yourself satisfied and leaning away from that pumpkin pie — or not!
- Combine the cranberries, water and maple syrup in a large pot, over medium-high heat. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, until the cranberries begin to burst and the water reduces.
- Reduce the heat to medium and slowly stir in the chia seeds. Continue to cook and stir for an additional 5 minutes. The mixture should be starting to gel.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and add the orange zest and vanilla extract to the pot. Combine, and allow the mixture to come to room temperature. The relish will become increasingly thick as it cools.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (up to three days for maximum freshness) and serve chilled or at room temperature.
- 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract