Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Celebrate Back to School with SodaStream ~ GIVEAWAY!

The SodaStream is a wonderful way to add a little "sparkle" to your life!

Have you heard of the SodaStream? It's an easy, convenient and money-saving machine that turns plain old tap water into sparkling water in less than 30 seconds!  It requires no electricity, little counter space and doesn't leave you with any clean-up.  You can enjoy the freshness and convenience of homemade sparkling water and sodas and be kind to the earth at the same time because  SodaStream bottles are reusable  -- no more wasteful and heavy bottles to lug home from the store!

I had long coveted the SodaStream owned by a good friend.  I envied the way she was able to produce sparkling water and custom sodas on demand when last minute guests showed up.  I sought out this review of the SodaStream knowing that it was a product that my readers would love.  Thanks to the generosity of SodaStream, I've been enjoying my Genesis model machine all summer long.  It's given me ample time to live with and test the soda maker so that I can say with conviction and certainty that I recommend the product!

The verdict:  I love it!

Drinks on Demand We use our SodaStream every day.  I always have a bottle of sparkling water in the refrigerator.  The SodaStream allows me to add just the perfect amount of fizz to suit my taste.  When the mood for a cocktail strikes, we can instantly create a bottle of ginger ale or club soda.  The kids love being able to make their own sodas for special occasions.

Easy to use:  It didn't take but a few minutes for me, my husband and our two girls (7 and 10) to become pros at making our own soda water.  

Green We used to go through a case of Pellegrino each month.  In just a few months, the SodaStream has "paid" for itself and we're no longer filling our recycling bin with bottles.

For me, the biggest selling point is that I can make sparkling water in less than 30 seconds.  But if flavored beverages are more you style, there are over 50 SodaStream flavors available.  Unlike many sodas you find in the store, the sodamix flavors for the SodaStream are made without high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame!

This past week, my girls went back to school.  To celebrate the first Friday of the school year, the girls invited some friends over to make Root Beer and Orange Floats with homemade soda from the SodaStream.

The kids had almost as fun making the sodas... they did drinking them!

The best thing about this little party is that it came together in a snap!  All I had to do was pick up ice cream in the morning and set out some glasses and was ready to go.  

To add to the back-to-school themed fun, I served all-natural Smiley fries as a nod to the smiley-face stickers from my childhood.

SodaStream machines come in several different sizes and models and can be found in thousands of stores all over the country like Costco, Target, Kohls, Sears, Macy's, and Williams-Sonoma.  Click HERE to find a dealer near you.

OR, perhaps you'd like to win one instead?

The generous folks at SodaStream are giving one lucky Rook No. 17 reader (in the continental U.S.)

The giveaway package is a Fountain Jet Soda Lover's Start-Up Kit  (value:  $99.95).  It includes:
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  • 1 carbonating bottle, reusable for up to 3 years
  • Reusable carbonator to fizz up to 60L of soda
  • Variety 6-pack of popular sample-size flavors
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 Entering is easy with Rafflecopter below
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Good Luck! 

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary SodaStream Genesis Starter Kit and an assortment of flavors for this review.  My favorite of all of the flavors was the Diet Cranberry Raspberry.  All opinions are genuine and are my own.  

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