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Delicious, healthy jams and dairy free strawberry ice cream

June 19, 2017

Enjoy these homemade treats using local, seasonal produce…

The easiest home made dairy free ice cream 

1 punnet of strawberries, 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 50-100ml coconut cream

Trim the tops off the berries and roughly chop. Freeze until frozen solid, at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. Break the frozen berries up and place in a food processor with the maple syrup and 50ml coconut cream. Start the motor going on your food processor and trickle in more cream until the mix comes together. Take it slowly, though, and don’t go mad with the cream as the berries will warm up as they churn, gently softening the mix to the most stunningly fresh homemade ice cream you’ll ever dip your spoon into. You can try with raspberries for a different flavour, and add different flavours such as vanilla paste. From the Ayurvedic, this is best eaten on an empty stomach on a hot day as a mid afternoon treat :

Strawberry and chia-seed jam (taken from

I have long been interested in a quest for low sugar healthier jams. A neighbour even dug out a WW2 recipe book for jam making during sugar rationing! I have had some successes but am still disappointed by how much sugar is often needed for jams to set, with some runny disasters too. This year has been a bumper one for strawberries in my garden and jam is a great way to save some for Autumn/ Winter. One of these recipes is healthier than the other, with only only 100ml of maple syrup, but both allow the flavours of fruit to come through rather than sugary sweetness.  I prefer to use maple syrup as a sugar substitute in healthier recipies, as Ayurveda is not keen on heating honey.WP_20160701_14_00_37_Pro

Gently heat 500g strawberries with 100ml maple syrup in a pan until the strawberries release their juices. Add two tablespoons of chia seeds and heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from the hob and allow to sit for 10 minutes, by which time it will be thick. Transfer to a jar and keep in your fridge. For variation, you can add rose water, vanilla or even rose petals to this jam.  Why not try making a blackberry version in Autumn (sieve pulp first to avoid the pips!). The thing I am most happy about is that my children like this jam and have previously run a mile from anything with chia seeds in it.  I think they are disguised as they look just like strawberry seeds. Delicious with spelt sourdough bread, pancakes or home-made coconut yoghurt. Enjoy!

First sign of summer jam (taken from Anna Jones’s ‘How to Eat’)

6 unsprayed red roses (or a handful of edible dried rose petals); 1kg of strawberries (hulled and quartered), 1 kg rhubarb (trimmed and cut into 2 cm lengths), 300g golden caster sugar, 1 unwaxed lemon quartered; juice of 2 lemons and 4 tablespoons of rosewater.

pink-garden-rosesGently pull of rose petals and rinse. Put a saucer in the freezer for checking jam later. Put strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, quartered lemon and lemon juice into a large pan, place over  allow heat and allow sugar to dissolve slowly. Once it has, increase heat to bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. After 45 minutes, check jam by sponging onto the saucer from the freezer. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, its ready. Otherwise, cook for a few minuets more then test again. Once you are happy with the set of your jam, turn off the heat and stir in the rose petals and rosewater. Allow to cool a little then spoon into sterilised jars. Screw lids on and allow to cool. Store in a cool place until you are in need of some jarred sunshine.  Anna Jones writes “By regular jam making standards, I only use a tiny bit of sugar here, so the texture is looser than a heaver-set jam.” I can vouch this jam is so delicious you will never make jam with 1kg of sugar for every 1kg of fruit again!

For general tips to stay cool and calm this Summer, for when it finally arrives click here.