Cheater's chai chia pudding


I told myself I wouldn't post another chia pudding recipe. Because, who needs a recipe once you've made some, any kind? And I've been making chia puddings nearly every day lately, so if I were to write them all up I'd quickly be beyond redundant. Then again, I've been making chia puddings nearly every day lately! They're all so refreshing and delicious, and nutrient-packed. When one stands out particularly, why not share? chai chia pudding (2)

There's always a point where too much is a good thing, but there are also a lot of good things to be found in the dailiness of certain rituals and routines.  Speaking of, here's an unexpected moment I breathe in every day at least once, since last September:

My grandfather was a hard-working, principled, dignified, wise/learned/brilliant man. He was active, athletic, skilled. Voracious in his quest for knowledge, robust and energetic in his drive for health. There were times I feared my conversation too dull or frivolous for him. Now that he's passed, I regret holding back from asking questions in case they'd seem naive. The things I might have learned! He was 98 years old.

chai chia pudding (3)

Alongside sharp wit, my grandfather possessed a talent for pulling off the occasional exceptionally corny joke. The kind that provokes a warm smile, a chuckle and an eye roll. I wasn't always certain if a witticism went over my head or really was that bad.  One day, he said to my father in the calm blue of his kitchen, "You know what they say...why you should never put a dirty knife down?". "No, why?" "Because you won't ever get it clean again," Grandpa returned. [Cue smile and eye roll.]

I tried to understand that "joke", but I just don't get it. Maybe I misheard. That's probably what happened. I was only half paying attention, but for some reason it stuck.

3It's funny, the things that sometimes stay with you. The littlest things that didn't even matter in the moment. I may never know what the real joke was, or if it was even the slightest bit funny, but thanks to it I now have an acute awareness of how often I pick up (and clean) knives. Every day, standing at the crowded kitchen sink, I also have the briefest of visits with my grandfather as he retells the "joke". I hear the hearty lift in his voice, see the crinkles of his smile. It's nice.

Of course, none of this has a thing to do with chia pudding. The connection is just about connection. Two little things I wanted to share. :)

 Cheater's chai chia pudding (Not really cheating--just the easiest way to remember (for me) how to make this. Not much in the way of measuring, just tossing in spices to taste, but it's been uniquely delicious every time!)

  • 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • a scant 1/3  cup chia seeds
  • a splash pure maple syrup (1-2 tablespoons)
  • generous shakes to taste of: ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves (plus, optionally, a little ground cardamom and even less ground black pepper)
  • a splash (about 1 teaspoon) pure vanilla extract

Whisk all ingredients in an airtight container to combine well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir well prior to serving.