Your Shopping List

View Shopping List

Folks, This Ain’t Normal!


No Refrigeration Required 2Most of us know we live in a culture where we want our food to be convenient, fast and cheap.  So, to answer our wishes, many foods in the supermarket today have been developed to provide just that -- a quick hunger fix with convenience!  Plus, products are developed to cater to specific types of diets (like a low-fat diet).

A perfect example of this...ready-to-eat, shelf-stable pudding!  (Gotta love that "shelf stable" word!)  I mean, who doesn’t love pudding, right?  Plus, these handy little containers don’t require refrigeration…you can take them anywhere for a great, healthy snack!  (Smell the sarcasm?!)

IMG_2377You know where this is headed, right?  Have you stopped to look at the ingredients in these “Snack Packs?”  Here is an example:

Water, nonfat milk, sugar, modified corn starch, partially hydrogenated palm oil, less than 2% of cocoa (processed with alkali), calcium carbonate, salt, sodium stearoyl, lactylate, artificial flavor, color added.

So, if this pudding is truly made with milk, why doesn’t it have to be refrigerated?  Well, I may not ever fully understand this, but it is safe to say there is plenty of processing required to make this happen!

As you can see, these puddings contain ingredients that do NOT nourish our bodies — they likely cause more harm than good.  For those who remember our whipped cream blog, these puddings also contain trans fat (partially hydrogenated palm oil), even though the label says 0g trans fat!  Sneaky, right?  Remember, trans fats increase our LDL (bad) cholesterol, decrease our HDL (good) cholesterol and have other harmful effects on our bodies.  Plus, there is also over 3 teaspoons of added sugar in one little container.  Since there are about three spoonfuls of pudding in each container, that means over 1 teaspoon of sugar per spoonful!  Would you tell your kids, "Hungry for a snack?  Just have 3 teaspoons of sugar!"

Sure, these snack packs can be convenient, but at what cost?  Our health?  Is it really worth it?

It is super easy to make your own!  As an alternative, consider making homemade pudding using REAL ingredients!  You can make a homemade version with as little as 4 ingredients and 5 minutes!  We (including our kids!) recently taste-tested three homemade puddings that met our criteria of simple, great-tasting, affordable and good for you!  Here are the results:

IMG_2375The First Place Winner:  Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado (yes, avocado) Pudding!

We all loved the various levels of flavor and the texture of this one - the banana, chocolate and peanut butter…rich and creamy…delicious!  Don't tell our kids -- we have yet to spill the beans about the avocado!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding  (serves 4-6, adapted from minimalistbaker.com)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 avocados

1 banana

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (baking cocoa)

1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter

4 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or honey)

1/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened)

Directions:  

  1. Place everything in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour before serving.
  3. Store covered (with a tight lid or plastic wrap) in the refrigerator, it will keep for about 3 days.  Enjoy!

 

IMG_2376Second Place:  Banana Nut Butter Pudding!

Banana and peanut butter - yummy, smooth and even better with sliced strawberries on top!  Whether or not you are a tofu fan, it serves as a great base for this pudding.  But don’t freak out…no one will know…the banana and peanut butter flavors come shining through!

Banana Nut Butter Pudding  (serves 4-6, adapted from hungrylittlegirl.com)

Ingredients:

6 oz of tofu (1/2 of a package)

3 bananas

2 Tbsp natural creamy peanut butter

4 Tbsp almond milk (unsweetened)

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Sliced strawberries (for topping)

Directions:

  1. Place everything in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour before serving.  (Store in the refrigerator covered, it will keep for about 3 days.)
  3. Serve topped with sliced strawberries.  Enjoy!

 

IMG_2374Third Place:  Chocolate Avocado Pudding!

We had one vote for the simple chocolate flavor in this version to be the winner.  We liked the rich chocolate flavor, although some may be able to detect a small hint of the avocado…but probably not enough to even determine what it is!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding (serves 4-6, adapted from init4thelongrun.com)

Ingredients:

1 avocado

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa (baking cocoa)

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or honey)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips (optional, we used 60% cacao)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. If desired, stir the chocolate chips into the pudding until combined.
  3. Cover with a tight lid or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour before serving.  Store in the refrigerator, covered, and it will keep for about 3 days.
  4. Serve topped with a few more dark chocolate chips if desired.  Enjoy!

 

There are, of course, other homemade puddings, but many require much more time and aren’t quite as good for you.

What would a blog on pudding be without a shout out to whipped cream?!  Surely I am not the only one who loves whipped cream on my pudding!  Hopefully we have helped you master the art of homemade pudding, so don’t stop there…see our blog on homemade whipped cream at https://eatrealamerica.com/2015/02/cool-whip-cruel-whip/!

"Folks, this ain't normal" quote comes from one of our favorite authors, Joel Salatin.  

Leave A Comment


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *