Daydreaming :: Tropical Chia Breakfast Pudding

“We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter’s evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.”  – Woodrow Wilson


Time seems to be standing still for me lately.  While my feet  are firmly planted in the last weeks of winter’s cool soil, the critical step I’m supposed to take next is unclear.  Ideas are swirling in my mind, frenzied at times and quite controlled at others.  All the while, everything is still — as if something big, a dream not yet realized, not yet materialized, is about to take shape.

Until then, all I can do is wait.  And hope.  And, of course, eat.

Here’s where this pudding comes in.  Do you know that feeling when a recipe grabs hold of you?  So much so that you’re unable to stop thinking about it, dreaming about what it tastes like, and conjuring up how you’ll tweak the ingredients to make it your own?



The chia seed is a newer ingredient to me.  I’ve heard plenty about it and the health benefits it touts, but haven’t experimented much with it — until now.  After a bowl of this silky concoction (full of protein, omega-3’s, iron, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and fiber) and topped with the freshest pineapple, mango and orange, I’m officially hooked.

The best part is that it’s so simple to make and any combination of ingredients can be added to make it your own.  In this version, I added fresh vanilla bean, star anise and Cara Cara orange zest, which rounds out the inherent nutty flavor and brightens the entire pudding temporarily whisking you away to a dreamlike land.

Recipe inspired by Food & Wine


  • 32 ounces unsweetened organic almond milk (about 4.5 cups)
  • 2 whole star anise pods
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar, plus extra for drizzling over top
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean, scraped from the pod (reserving the empty pod to add to the mixture)
  • zest of 1 orange (Cara Cara works well)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups chia seeds
  • finely crushed pistachios or macadamia nuts


In a large glass jar or bowl, combine the almond milk, star anise, agave, vanilla bean (and pod), orange zest and salt.  Slowly add the chia seeds and stir to incorporate.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally during the process.

To serve, remove the star anise and vanilla bean pod and scoop the pudding into small bowls.  Top with fresh pineapple, mango, orange, crushed pistachios or macadamia nuts and drizzle with a little agave.


{serves 6-8}


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The pudding looks comforting and yet exotic. I’ve never cooked with chia seeds, and the simplicity of this recipe is so tempting. What a wonderful quote by Woodrow Wilson to begin the post with!


Hi, Jess. The best part about this recipe is that there’s actually no cooking involved. The chia seeds begin a gelling action when submerged in liquid (somewhat reminiscent of tapioca) making them so hearty and satisfying — not to mention hydrating. Can you tell I’ve found a new love? 😉

Oh, I love chia seeds. This reminds me I need to use them more!

I’ve never tried chia seeds, but have been curious. This post will helpful when I finally take the plunge! I hope you are doing well 🙂


Nicole, I highly recommend (do it, do it, do it…). 🙂

I haven’t quite gotten on the chia bandwagon yet, but I’m really excited about it! I hope you’re feeling well these days!


Thanks so much, Kasey! I’m in the final stretch (no pun intended) and am starting to really feel it. I’ll be happy when the little guy finally arrives. I really think you’ll like it, especially with all the cozy breakfast treats you make.

What are the chances?! I just made my first chia seed purchase today after reading about how good they’re supposed to be for you. I got them to sprinkle in yogurt but I might have to try this instead!


Too funny, Kathryn. Well, I have to say, they’re pretty tasty (my husband and I are both hooked). Let me know what creative ways you find to use them.

I have used chia when baking cookies and I have used it to add to my oatmeal at times. This sounds wonderful though and I will have to try it. Thanks so much for the post. Great idea!


Thanks, Anna! I’ll bet they’re really fabulous in cookies — I’ll definitely have to give that a try sometime soon.

Thanks you so much I like chia seeds.


Made this, star anise and all, absolutely delicious, thank you for the inspiration!

I think this is a real great blog post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

OMG This looks SO good!

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