Coconut-Chai Chia Pudding

These evenings smell like honeysuckle. I drive my road with the windows down, cool night air and honeysuckle drifting through the car. I can't get enough of it. I love to draw as much air into my lungs as they will hold and then do it again and again. There's something better about smelling things in the dark, like since one sense (sight) is deafened, the others are more alert. Either way, I'm glad it's honeysuckle season again. On Saturday I visited Three Ships Coffee, a new roaster and coffee shop in Virginia Beach. Since I'm working within the parameters of the 30 Day Brighten Up Challenge, I couldn't try their chai tea latte (if they offer chai, which I didn't ask so as not to be tempted). Still, early summer is a perfect time for an iced chai latte; something I decided to translate into a healthy, protein and flavor-packed chia seed pudding. Try saying “Coconut-Chai Chia Pudding.” It's basically a tribal chant which makes me think of islands which makes me think of beaches which are the essence of summer. Right, I know I'm about three years late to the chia party but something as useful (and fun, let's face it) as chia seeds needs to get some respect longer than a fad-mode. And the best part? You can enjoy these pretty puddings (dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free) for breakfast or dessert, garnished or un-garnished, by yourself, or with friends...

Coconut-Chai Chia Pudding

16 oz. Coconut milk with cream
½ cup chia seeds
1 Tablespoon chai spice (I use the blend from Queen's Pantry)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon raw maple syrup

  1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Mix well and spoon into individual ramekins for single portions or a small serving dish for family-style pudding. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight before eating.

Garnish ideas: sliced dried figs, maple syrup, edible flowers, sliced mango, nuts or granola