Monday, December 12, 2011


As the largest birthday celebration of all time inches a bit closer [who else gets a celebration that takes a month, or longer, to prepare?], my husband and I have begun to think about what traditions we would like to begin as a family. As a kid I couldn't wait until it was "okay" [ie. after 6am] to come bounding out of my room in my red footy pajamas [you know the ones] and dive into the stocking that hung packed on the stairwell railing. Some parents [I mean, Santa of course!] wait until the night prior to Christmas morning to fill their children's stockings but for some reason unbeknownst to my brother and I, my parents decided to fill ours all throughout December. The anticipation nearly killed us. I have to admit plotting with my brother on how to open the wrapping just enough to peak inside and then return it to its proper space, perfectly as it was.

Either way, Christmas morning brought an immense amount of excitement for us. We would sit beneath our stocking with uncontainable glee waiting until all were present. Once the tired was wiped from my parents eyes [a cup of coffee and crackling fire later] we would each open a present, in order of age, until all were unwrapped. My mom would then cook an amazing breakfast - one fit for the day. My dad would follow by reading the story of Christmas [one we couldn't hear enough]. After our bellies were stuffed to the brim, we headed [or maybe rolled] to the tree allowing it to reveal what it held beneath it's branches. The perfect morning. Years later that feeling of bliss still burns deep in my heart and I yearn for my daughter to feel the same way I did [and still do] on Christmas morning.

Food has always been a central part of most, if not all, celebrations. Many of life's most intimate moments and it's precious memories happen in the kitchen. Magic happens there. Miracles happen there. Life happens there. As you prepare and plan for your holiday feasts, take a moment and just be in the kitchen. Stop and take in all of it's smells and sounds. Travel through time and count all of the blessings that have happened, and have yet to happen, in that small space. Then go about the frenzy of feasting with a new found sense of gratefulness for all of this hustle and bustle. Acknowledge that you are in the process of making a memory.

My prayer is that, no matter what traditions my husband and I decide to begin, my daughter will look back and know that heaven still meets earth in wondrous and mysterious ways. That she feels the enchantment of Christmas morning in her soul, a feeling that goes far beyond gifts and meals and stories. This enchantment is eternal and that alone is enough to celebrate with gifts and feasting, traditions and tales.

This recipe has been a wonderful addition to my pre-Christmas mornings as I plan and prepare and bake and enjoy the moments my daughter and I share sitting on the floor eating together [we love many of our meals picnic style]. It's nourishing, warming and grounding. When it's winter-white outside I no longer crave the coolness of a smoothie yet I still crave it's nutrients. This breakfast pudding is so easy to assemble and is a more than adequate stand-in for it's icy cousin. Play with it, transform it, make it your own. Use what you have in the house and in your freezer and enjoy.


1/2 c. regular coconut milk [you can use a different non-dairy milk but this, in my opinion, tastes the best]
1 c. pure water
1 c. blueberries, frozen*
1/2c. raspberries, frozen*
1 - 2 tbsp. maple syrup [or to taste]
2 tbsp. coconut oil

2 tbsp. psyllium husk / seed
1 tbsp. chia seed
1/4 c. old fashioned oats
1/4 c. walnuts
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ginseng [optional]
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped [optional]

In a medium saucepan and over low heat, gently warm milk, water, berries, maple syrup, and oil until heated through but not hot.

Place all of the remaining ingredients in a blender. Pour in coconut milk mixture and blend on medium-high until very smooth. Pour into serving dishes and allow to stand 3 - 5 minutes [mixture should thicken to pudding-like consistency]. Top with berries [optional] and serve warm.

*I recommend frozen here because blueberries are no longer in season where I live. Frozen berries retain much more of their nutritional value whereas fresh berries that have traveled a great distance loose a lot in the process. This is the same for raspberries.

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