Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Chia goodness

Published:Thursday | September 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMKimberly Goodall
Jelly strips with warm pineapple chia seed jam will make your day.
The hearts behind Ara Foods Jamaica – Ramaar and Ayesha Allen.
Their jam is perfect on a cracker for a tasty snack.
Three of Ara Foods delicious chia seed jam flavors. From left: pineapple, strawberry and blueberry.
Ditch maple syrup for this tasty substitute – pancakes with Ara Foods' Pineapple Chia Jam.
Blueberry Chia Jam on banana fritters are just delicious.
Ara Foods' jams adds extra yum to vegan donuts.
The magical wonder of chia seeds in liquid is what makes Ara Foods different.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Fresh fruits, chia seeds, vanilla, a little agave nectar and a whole lot of determination is all it took for 31-year-old Ayesha Allen to create the tasty, sticky paste that has captured taste buds and transformed the hearts of many sweet lovers.

If you asked Ayesha what her future looked like a year ago, she would have said "exploring my interests in digital communications", as she had no experience or formal training in whipping up masterpieces in the kitchen.

She tells Food, "It all started when my friend Rachel Christia gave me a chia seed jam to try a few years ago. Being the person I am, I went home and began to experiment with various flavours and ways to make it, and my husband, Ramaar, was my guinea pig. It became something I made at home for fun until a friend came over, loved it and told me that the Lord would bless me with it as a business."

Without previous thoughts of her jam being a business, Ayesha was taken aback by her friend's words, but with an additional push from her husband, she took her jam to work and had it tested and proved. From there, she took the positive feedback, made her first social-media post, and the rest was history.

 

START OF ARA FOODS JAMAICA

 

Making it official in December 2016, Ayesha and Ramaar are excited about their new journey with Ara Foods Jamaica, as they have also made the decision to try and eat more natural foods. As a result, they used their chia seed jam as a healthy substitute for sugary treats.

"We currently have four flavours - strawberry, pineapple (which is the top seller), blueberry and strawberry pineapple mix. Our chia seeds jams is the healthier option to many foods we consume like regular jams, maple syrup, salad dressing and preserved fruit in syrup. You can choose our jams instead of eating foods with ingredients you can't pronounce, with lots of preservatives and loads of sugar," Ayesha shared.

 

TASTE ON OVERLOAD

 

According to Ayesha, when you have their tasty jams, you are benefiting from the chia seeds which are considered a super food. "You're getting lots of nutrients like more calcium than milk, and more omega 3 than salmon. It's vegan-friendly and kid-approved too," she added.

Healthy for the Allens is eating natural and in moderation. Ayesha's lifestyle has changed to accommodate the natural way of life, not just with food, but in their cosmetics, hair and body products.

"We don't always get it right but we're improving as time goes by, and we're happy to share a little of what we've found with others. So in our effort, we chose not to put artificial preservatives in our jams," Ayesha expressed.

Ara Foods' delicious jams that are nothing short of exciting and worth a try can be used as a spread, dessert toppings, dips and salad dressings.

To order or find out more, contact Ara Foods Jamaica at 876-351-9228, and Instagram and Facebook at arafoodsjamaica.

kimberly.goodall@gleanerjm.com