I am loving all the fitness-sharing comments on my most recent giveaway! I am super impressed! Some of you are hiking every day, dedicated to your early morning runs, trying out yoga classes, enjoying sunshine walks with your pups, bike riding, swimming and on and on. Look how much we can inspire each others’ wellness goals. I love it.
One of my favorite summer activities is hiking. There are a bunch of pretty canyon-y, beach-lined, dusty path trails around Los Angeles. You just have to know where to find them. It has taken me a few years to discover my favorite spots. This is a great LA hiking guide.
Today’s blueberry plum jam/sauce recipe is so easy to make and has real fresh summer fruit flavor in every spoonful. The sweetness is perfectly mild, from real whole fruit only – no added sugars or fruit concentrates.
It is easy to customize the thickness of this jam simple by adding a bit more or less of the thickener. I used arrowroot powder, but corn starch works just as well. You could also experiment with fruit pectin if desired. The thicker you make it, the more jam-like and spreadable it becomes. Thinner textures create a sort of blueberry-plum sauce that is perfect warmed up and served over top oatmeal, pancakes and vegan yogurt!
I really love the subtle lemon flavor in this jam too! You could also try adding vanilla extract or cinnamon.
Fun Kathy Fact: One of my fave summer fruits are plums because growing up we had a giant, bountiful plum tree in our backyard. I would eat a few fresh picked plums every day and we would have bags and bags of leftovers from the tree that we would give to neighbors. I love that tree so much! Just smelling a summer plum reminds me of those memories.
Besides the basics like cute and comfy workout clothes, sturdy shoes, sunblock and maybe a good hat or visor, here are a few things I always bring on my hike..
Five Things I Bring on a Summer Hike
1. A Reusable Water Bottle.
Klean Kanteen! I bought this bottle at Whole Foods a few months ago and boy has it been a smart purchase! I am ashamed to admit that I am only just now hopping on the bring-your-own-waterbottle trend instead of needing to buy plastic bottles here and there. And oh my gosh I bring this thing everywhere I go! The bright color makes me happy and it is super easy to carry around. Light and loops around my fingers quite easily. Another great brand is Swell, but they don’t have the little loop, that I love on the Klean Kanteen. Klean Kanteen on Amazon.
2. Electrolyte Powder for my Water.
To go along with the drink loads of water thing, I like to add electrolyte flavor powder to my water when I will be sweating or working out. I have two fave brands for that:
– Ultima in either grape or lemonade flavors. Contains vitamin c, 5 macro-essential and all 3 micro-essential electrolytes. It is sugar-free, free of artificial colors and vegan.
– VEGA Hydrator Contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate. From one of my fave vegan brands.
3. Thorlo Socks.
They are jus socks, right? Nope. I am pretty much obsessed with Thorlo brand socks. I have a sock drawer jammed with them. From the lightweight workout-perfect socks to the ultra-thick ‘hiking’ or ‘tennis’ socks that I just love wearing around the house. Obsessed. I can’t wear normal socks anymore. They pretty much have to be Thorlos for me feet to be happy.
You have to bring snacks on a hike. Because no matter what you think going into your journey (long or short) a snack break always gives you an energy boost and feels so good when you are hiking! Here are a few of my hike standby snacks..
– Justin’s. Almond butter packets, maple flavor. These.
– Philosophie. Superfood coconut butter (If I can pack the whole jar in my bag)
– PBJ. DIY nut butter sandwich (especially using homemade jam like today’s recipe!)
– Bars. Preferably low-processed and containing healthy fats and protein, not a lot of sugar or artificial anything. Too many brands to name. We have been buying Kind bars lately. You can also make your own with my Roadtrip Bars recipe.
– Fresh fruit. The best snack on the trail! If you can carry fresh fruit – do it! I love oranges, peaches, apples, banana and more. Tip: I always add frozen grapes to my water bottle. Then when the water is nearly done I can start eating the chilled grapes!
– Something Salty. From salted nuts or chips to a salty hummus dip, I crave salty snacks during and after long hikes. Sometimes I will even add a tiny pinch of salt to my water.
– Hummus Spinach Pita. I stuff hummus and loads of baby spinach into pita pockets.
5. Comfy Shoulder Bag.
I am not really a backpack hiker, only because my hikes are usually not all day or multi-day trips, but really a quick urban getaway. So I love my Le SportSac shoulder hobo bag. Ok, ok so Le Sport Sac feels very 1980’s to me, kinda nerdy and something my mom would have owned back in the 90’s. But I randomly bought one about three years ago at Disneyland, when I suddenly needed a comfy shoulder purse and I still bring it everywhere! I love it because it is lightweight, made of Nylon (vegan) and soft. It may not be fancy-stylish-supermodel-purse but seriously, I love it. I can’t find the exact bag that I own online, but I’m pretty sure it is the Hobo bag.
This was a plum-blueberry jam + sun-butter sandwich on gluten-free white country loaf bread from Rising Hearts Bakery..
Sugar-Free Blueberry Plum Jam
This easy lemon-infused plum and blueberry jam is perfect for summer recipes. I love it warmed up to add to vegan yogurts or ice cream – or spread on a sandwich or toast!
- 3 medium black plums, organic – halved and pit removed
- 1 ½ cups wild or regular blueberries, organic
- 1 lemon, squeezed
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon corn starch or 2-3 teaspoon arrowroot
- pinch of sea salt, optional
- Fold in: ½ cup blueberries (whole) — optional for chunky texture
- Add all the ingredients (except the optional fold in berries) to a high speed blender. Process until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a small sauce pot. Stir continuously over medium heat until the jam begins to bubble and thicken, usually about 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a jar for storing.
- Serving: You can wait for the jam to chill so it is thick for spreading and dolloping. Or you can serve it warm over top ice cream or yogurt. Also delicious on top of oatmeal, pancakes or waffles.
Yield: 2 cupsPrep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins. Cook time: 00 hrs. 05 mins. Total time: 10 mins. Tags: blueberries,plum,lemon,jam,easy,diy,summer,spread,sauce,blueberry sauce
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