Chia Seed Pudding – The Art of Recipe Testing


This week one of my struggles included trying to recreate the recipe for turmeric and ginger chia seed pudding that I had in Breckenridge over the summer. I searched online to find a similar recipe and thankfully found many. My first task was sifting through all the recipes in order to find one that spoke to me. This exhausting search and rescue operation in this era of information overload is a tricky one. Most of the time I just give up and reach for a book or a trusted and vetted source. For this odd recipe, that was not an option. Partly because I wasn’t looking for an exact taste. I was looking for proportion and general direction. How much chia seed to add to how much liquid to yield a pudding consistency? Flavor is something I could play with and find with my own palate.

First try: Too much liquid, good taste. Too runny.

Second try: Unsweetened almond milk, too much turmeric, good thick consistency, wrong flavor.

Third try: Getting closer to something healthy, filling and tasty for breakfast. Now to add the best combination of fruits and granola.

Hungryphil’s Morning Chia Seed Pudding

  • 1 cup chia seeds (course ground in coffee grinder)
  • 4 cups sweetened almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon of a mix of ground cinnamon and cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (and a pinch of black pepper to help bring out its goodness)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon rose water

Mix together with a whisk. Set overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with toppings of fresh fruit for brightness and granola for crunch.

I can see why conventional recipe testing wisdom dictates at least three. It was a philosophical task for me to notice these small differences in quantity or procedure that affect the overall taste and makes something different. It made me aware of the pungent bitter power of turmeric, the heat of ginger, the viscosity of blooming chia seeds, the lightness of almond milk, the notes of cinnamon, cardamom and rose water that sing over the soft sweetness of agave nectar. It is not the best thing I’ve ever tasted but it feels good to eat on mornings when chewing seems like such a chore. It brings me back to being on vacation, exploring coffee places in the morning with my nieces, and finding something odd and nourishing together. Am I recreating the emotional memory or the physical taste? Like most of what I cook,  I suspect both.

Here is another recipe that looks promising. The  yellow turmeric makes it soothing for the third  solar plexus chakra (Manipura). My yogi friend Debra talks about the chakras in her blog unfold-yoga.

My recipe is still a work in progress but I am happy with the basic consistency and flavor. My dancingtiya approves. Try it, tweak it and make it your own. Notice the details on the way.

Wishing you all a fulfilling bright and yellow weekend,


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