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Folks, This Ain’t Normal!

Most 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 ultra convenience!  Plus, products are developed to cater to specific types of diets (like a low-fat or sugar-free diet).


A perfect example of this…ready-to-eat, shelf-stable pudding!

Who doesn’t love pudding, right?

Plus, these handy little containers don’t require refrigeration (and how is THAT possible?!)…you can take them anywhere for a great, healthy snack!  (Smell the sarcasm?!)


You 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, palm oil, less than 2% of cocoa (processed with alkali), salt, sodium stearoyl lactylate, natural and artificial flavors, disodium phosphate, yellow 5, yellow 6. 

So, if this pudding is truly made with milk (the package says “MADE WITH REAL MILK”), why doesn’t it have to be refrigerated?  Well, we may not ever fully understand this, but it’s safe to say there is plenty of processing required to make this happen!

Not to mention, there are 12 g (or 3 tsp) or more of added sugar in one snack pack pudding cup!  With 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?

Now, you may be thinking, “Whew, glad I always buy the boxed version and make my own!  Then, I know it has REAL milk in it!”  

We hate to be the bearer of bad news but, unfortunately, the “make your own” version from the box is not much better!  Its ingredients include:

Sugar, Modified Cornstarch, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Sodium Phosphate, Contains Less Than 2% Of Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Salt, Artificial Color, Mono- And Diglycerides, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1.



Are you ready for the good news?

It is super easy to make your own…with REAL ingredients!

(And, it’s delicious too!)

Believe it or not, you can make a homemade version with just a few simple ingredients and 5 minutes!  We have taste-tested (kids included!) and put together three homemade puddings that met our criteria of simple, great-tasting, affordable and good for you!  Here are the results from our taste test:


The First Place Winner:

Chocolate Peanut Butter 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!  Plus, the cacao nibs and nuts added a nice crunch!  Don’t tell the kids — we have yet to spill the beans about the avocado!




Second Place (a close second):

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!



Third Place:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding!

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!  You can easily adjust the amount of cacao and sweetness to satisfy your taste.




More Ideas!  Have you discovered chia seed pudding?

When added to homemade puddings with milk, chia seeds turn gel-like, similar to tapioca, and help create an incredibly delicious pudding!  So easy to make the night before, and then you have a grab and go super satisfying snack or even breakfast!

What are chia seeds?

These tiny seeds are the edible seeds of the chia plant.  Chia seeds are packed with fiber, high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids — a ton of nutrients in one tiny package!  They can improve digestive health and can help reduce the risk for chronic disease and diabetes.  And, because of their ability to absorb liquid and become gel-like, they can be used in puddings, baked goods, to thicken sauces, and can even be combined with water to make an egg substitute in some recipes.


We have several fantastic chia seed pudding ideas for you to try including:


Berry Chia Seed Pudding

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Mango Chia Seed Pudding


And, what would a coaching tip on pudding be without a shout out to whipped cream?!

Surely we are not the only ones who love a little spoon of whipped cream on our pudding!  Hopefully we have helped you master the art of homemade pudding, so don’t stop there…see our coaching tip on homemade whipped cream!

If you haven’t already, give homemade pudding a try and then share your successes and flavor creations with us!

We love hearing your feedback!


“Folks, this ain’t normal” quote comes from one of our favorite authors, Joel Salatin.  

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5 Responses to Folks, This Ain’t Normal!

  1. I get what you’re saying about the manufactured pudding, and I agree to a certain extent. I don’t like putting those chemicals in my body. However — I worked for a couple years at Melody Farms milk and dairy distributor in Livonia. One product we sold was hyper pasteurized milk. It didn’t need refrigeration, and had a shelf-life of months. The way they accomplished this was in the pasteurization process (heat) — it is/was heated longer or hotter or something. It’s still milk and still contains the nutrients you expect to find in milk. It’s extremely popular in third world countries where refrigeration is a luxury. But our managers always said that it’s difficult to sell it to Americans — for the reasons that your article states. Americans don’t trust that you can keep milk at room temperature.

    On another note — I’ve really been enjoying the overnight oats with blueberries (and/or raspberries!!) for my breakfasts. Those chia seeds are the bomb! Can’t wait to try them in pudding.

    Kathy Smith (Debbie Yates’s mom)

  2. We actually have the Chia Seed Pudding on our current banquet menu. We use them for our breakfast breaks and they are a hit. People seem to gravitate to them. I can’t get Chia seed from our master distributor so I am constantly running to the Vitamin Shop. When they see me walk thru the door they say more Chia seeds? Yep! 🙂

    Kathy I have used this ultra pasteurized milk before. It’s not a bad product, but like you said I think most Americans are afraid of it. Horizons makes a shelf stable milk probably thru the same process. Hyatt had it on their kids menu for many years. But I don’t see it as often these days.

    I also use powered milk in our house made yogurt, you don’t waste nearly as much if you were to use regular milk.

  3. Yes, it is called UHT (ultra high temperature) milk. We had this when we lived in Australia & it is fantastic. I could purchase a case at a time (3 gallons worth) which was great with a teenage son in the house. It did not take up so much space in the fridge as it is in 1 quart boxes, so I could chill 2 boxes & replace as a box was used. & I still bought some refrigerated milk when on sale. It was so nice to stock up, because in Australia grocery stores close at 2pm on Saturdays & nothing is open on Sundays or any holidays. The other thing noticed in travels is most countries do not refrigerate eggs.

  4. Fantastic comments about the UHT, Ultra High Temperature milk being a preservation method for milk that they likely used for this. But this product, has VERY LITTLE MILK in it since it has LESS than 1 gram of protein (milk has 8 grams per cup) and 12 grams of natural sugars per cup (and this has only 1 gram of natural sugars) SO….therefore, I estimate it is “MADE WITH 1 T (MAX) of REAL milk”. It’s mostly sugar, stabilizers, thickeners, artificial flavors… Despite the encouraging “made with REAL milk” claim on the front.

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