In the spring of 2010, I studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, during which I gained a healthy 8 pounds on my 5 ft 2 inch frame. You guess the culprit: a) tender, beautifully buttery croissants, b) tarteflambée (basically, French pizza) c) copious amounts of chocolate, or d) jam.
The answer is: d) jam.
I am a jam fanatic, which is ironic, considering I don’t normally eat toast, the typical vehicle for fruity preserves, sweet, smooth jelly, and bright, chunky compote. Whatever you want to call it, jam in it’s many iterations is one of my favorite condiments, and I went to town on the stuff while living in France, meaning I let loose in the long and prolific jam aisle of the local supermarket.
The national brand of choice for the French (which they also sell in the US, thank God, is Bonne Maman). In the US, we have strawberry, grape, maybe cherry if we’re lucky. In France, a typical assortment includes apricot, pluot, plum, blackberry, sour cherry, mirabelle (a type of yellow plum), all sorts of citrusy marmalade, plus never-ending combos (think blackberry-raspberry). I felt compelled to try every flavor, visited the fridge often for a spoonful, and quickly saw the results.
This fresh raspberry jam is my way of celebrating the beginning of summer and my jam obsession. This round, I make my own, using coconut sugar as a sweetener, and pairing the sweet stuff with my other favorite food, almond butter. A breakfast bowl is essentially an excuse to eat all the foods we really want to eat (i.e. crunchy granola, toasted nuts, honey, maple syrup), and use them to top a less-guilty pleasure like yogurt or oatmeal. This bowl is grain-free, jewel-like in color, and sweet + tart + creamy + crunchy in all the right ways.
For the raspberry jam-
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1/2 juice small lemon
- zest from the same lemon
For the bowl-
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam (above)
- 1-2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- handful pepitas
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Make your jam: Over medium-high heat, bring raspberries to a boil over the stove in a small saucepan (will happen very quickly). Add coconut sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Give it a stir, reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, until jam has thickened and the juices coat the back of a spoon. Don’t cook too long- it will continue to thicken as it cools.
- If you’re super hungry, this will make one large, very satisfying breakfast bowl, but you could also divide the ingredients into small glass jars for a little breakfast for two. In any case, dollop out the yogurt, top with a healthy amount of jam and almond butter. Sprinkle on pepitas (or sub in another type of seed or chopped nut), and drizzle with maple syrup (honey would also be good).
- Indulge your breakfast condiment obsession.