90 days to go, well 78...

I mentioned in my last post that I'm starting a diet for 90 days. Not a lose weight diet but a feel better diet by eliminating the foods I'm sensitive to. Back in March I had my blood tested against 1500 different food types to see what my body had a reaction to. It's taken me 5 months to accept the results and attempt this 90 day challenge. Here's a short version of what I had to give up: wheat, dairy, eggs, yeast (brewers and bakers), tomatoes, lettuce, bananas - the list goes on... depressing, right?! 

Some might ask why would I ever do this to myself? Well, a few reasons actually. 1. to see if I can eliminate or lessen the amount of headaches I get. 2. to see if I can actually do it. 3. to have more energy, better skin, and to be better to my body. There's lots of reasons to give it a try and I decided to look at it as a challenge instead of getting discouraged. Again, it took me 5 months to get here. I'm pretty sure most of my friends reading this are in disbelief. I am the queen of carbs. Pasta and bread are my favorite things. Add some butter and cream and you've hit my sweet spot. So yes, this is going to be a challenge but if I can do it, anyone can! 

So far I'm 12 days in and I haven't broken yet! I don't feel different but they say it takes 10 - 14 days to get the foods out of your system and to start feeling the difference. I'm looking forward to this journey. My goal is to make tasty meals that don't leave me feeling like things are missing. So far I'm doing REALLY good. I'm not lying, I promise. I'm looking forward to perfecting some of the recipes and sharing with you!

With that I give you recipe #1 fig jam. This is not the canning type of jam, more like a spread that will last a few weeks in your refrigerator. QUICK, fig season comes as fast as it goes! Run to the grocery store and grab them while they're still here! I like to use this for all sorts of things. It's especially delicious on a sea salt cracker with an extra sharp white cheddar, as a glaze on ham, or coated on chicken. I'll share a recipe that uses the jam soon! 

fig + thyme jam
yields about 2 cups of jam
2 lbs fresh mission figs (the black ones)
¾ c. sugar
½ a lemon*
5 sprigs fresh thyme
½ c. water

Cut the stems off the figs and cut them into quarters. Peel the lemon removing only the zest none of the pith (the white part). Cut the lemon zest into strips and squeeze the juice into a medium sized sauce pan. Add the lemon zest, figs, sugar, water and thyme sprigs. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and figs become plump and juicy. Pull out the thyme sprigs and mash up the mixture. I like to put mine through a food processor to get everything nice and smooth. If you like yours a little more chunky, skip this step.

Place in air tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. *I didn't actually use lemon because it's on the list of things I can't have. I recommend a little bit of lemon because it brings out the freshness of the figs and cuts through the sweet. 

improv style:
missed fresh fig season? that's ok... use an 8 oz bag of dried mission figs. it will take a little more liquid but it will still taste delicious! don't have mission figs? not a problem, you can use any type... golden, brown turkey, calimyrna they'll all work. the flavor changes a bit but use the type you like. you may need to adjust the amount of sugar depending on how sweet or sour your fruit is. give it a little taste test. remember, you can always add more but you can't take it out! there are tons of ways to improvise the jam... not a fan of thyme? use rosemary instead or leave out the fresh herbs all together. i like to add a little brandy too. a little booze really adds great flavor to your jam! 

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