I planned for a stress-free brunch by making nearly everything in advance. I kind of ending up pulling out some of our normal breakfast foods (granola, yogurt, etc) along with the special crepes and pancakes. I had pimped my kale salad as the best kale salad ever, so I had that as a savoury option, too.
On the menu:
Avocado Mint Cream
Yogurt, for those wanting something more traditional
Rob’s Omelettes with Spinach and Mushrooms (which no one wanted with all the other food!)
Raw Strawberry Tart, as the birthday “cake”
Strawberry Smoothies (a surprise from one of my friends who came bearing a ton of frozen strawberries!)
and this Blueberry Vanilla Chia Jam.
With all the different filling options, it was a brunch extraveganza. Just look at Rob’s plate, complete with his new Android jelly bean toy (no jelly beans were in the crepes!):
Earlier that week, I made Angela‘s Blueberry Chia Jam, so I pulled it out as another option as an afterthought. Everyone enjoyed their mixed-and-matched creations, and agreed that the jam was awesome. Pure blueberry bliss. Without all the typical over-sugared pectin-laden jam, this spread is simply fresh blueberries reduced with a touch of maple syrup and vanilla, thickened with chia seeds. I was worried the chia seeds might be too slimy or crunchy, but it was neither. They blended in so well and helped make this a thicker spread. Such a simple recipe, but it highlights how fresh produce can be augmented in creative ways.
Blueberry Vanilla Chia Seed Jam
Adapted from Oh She Glows
2 cups blueberries (1 pint)
1 tbsp maple syrup, or to taste
1.5 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, place the blueberries and maple syrup. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for around 5 minutes, then lightly mash the blueberries with a fork, maintaining some texture.
2. Stir in the chia seeds and continue to simmer the mixture until it thickens to your desired consistency – around 15-20 minutes. Continue to stir so that nothing burns.
3. Once it reaches your desired consistency, remove from heat and add vanilla. Taste and add more sweetener if desired. Refrigerated, this jam should last around a week in an air-tight container.
Makes 1 cup.