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  • Melissa Orquiza

Coconut Tapioca Chia Pudding, Garden Pictures & Happiness

Coconut Tapioca Chia Pudding. Contentment in a glass.

Coconut Tapioca Chia Pudding. Make yourself some happiness.

Coconut Tapioca Chia Pudding, Garden Pictures & Happiness

My father passed recently. Unlike an unexpected or surprise loss, I am extremely grateful we had a heads up. I relish the stories from our loved ones and most importantly, laugh at all the heart to heart conversations I had with him and how my daughter made him smile. I’m grateful to have a bit of distraction interspersed with grieving in order to navigate the loss.

Most of my friends are all going through new transitions: new marriages, ends of marriages, ailing relatives, starting new schools, starting new jobs. I am starkly aware of how challenges can either bring out the best or the worst in people and how, oftentimes, the behavior can be a reflection of their own feelings about a situation. No matter how emotionally difficult, the best decisions I’ve made have always been a balance of objectivity and emotion… but let’s face it. Tethering the balance between accountability, emotional reactivity, ethics, morality, and objectivity is easier said than done. The worst decisions are made when it comes from a place of emotional reactivity, hurt, envy, or pride, with no regard to practicality or functionality. Transitional periods are so highly reactive, I’m grateful for the wisdom and experiences gained from those around me, including the difficult periods I’ve had on my own. As much as I detest these kinds of emotional craziness, I also know that we’re all human, have limits, and because of those limits, suffering, pain, joy and happiness are the catalysts for the greatest art humanity has known.

When things get overwhelming, I like to run (my default), sit outside, read, call a friend, do something creative, and my favorite, play with my daughter. Here’s an episode from “The Science of Happiness” from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good about “Why You Should Be Taking Pictures of Nature” that truly resonated with me during this difficult time. Whatever transition, good or more challenging that you’re going through, I hope this helps make you laugh, smile, and approach life in a playful and meaningful way. Thanks for reading! Have a great week! Xo, Melissa

Coconut Tapioca & Chia Seed Pudding

I ordered a breakfast parfait that was very similar to this from the “Manresa Cafe,” from the Michelin starred restaurant in Los Gatos. It was a moment of pleasure, of peace, and gratitude eating the parfait with my daughter in our hotel room, watching “Peppa Pig” and working remotely. I love my dad and am so grateful he is in a better place, happy, healthy, and able to do everything he loves. Below is my version and I hope it gives you as much pleasure as it has for me.


1 can of coconut milk (13.5 oz)

1/2 cup of small pearl tapioca

1 1/4 cup of water

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Assorted fruits

Quince or membrillo paste (optional). I like to class things up for my own and my daughter’s pleasure.


  1. Place 1 1/4 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil. Add 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca, lower medium heat and boil until translucent. Please watch carefully and continue stirring constantly because it can gum up quickly. It took me about 5-6 minutes.

  2. Remove saucepan from heat. Place cooked tapioca in a heatproof bowl, add coconut milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla.

  3. Refrigerate overnight. (You could probably get away with 4 hours so I’d check on the texture of the chia seeds.)

  4. Cut out fun shapes from the membrillo paste. (I used cookie cutters. My daughter wanted hearts so that’s what I used.)

  5. To serve, scoop coconut tapioca chia seed pudding, add assorted fruits, and your beautiful, cut out membrillo paste. (Please take the time to enjoy making such a beautiful parfait). Enjoy!

#coconuttapiocachiapudding, @manresa, @thescienceofhappiness, #greatergoodberkeley

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