Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Favorite Homemade Pudding

I ADORE pudding! It's my go-to dessert when I crave something comforting and sweet. It's easy to just open a box of the instant (full of a lot of added chemicals), but this recipe with all the flavor variations is really simple and quick to prepare. It's delicious warm or cold, depending on your tastes...or whether you have the patience to wait! The cornstarch is used for thickening the pudding, but it also acts to slow down the glycemic response so that your blood glucose won't spike and fall. If you suffer from nighttime lows, cornstarch dissolved in a little milk is often recommended to slowly release carbohydrate into your bloodstream to prevent a crash. I think eating about a half serving of this pudding is a much tastier treatment!

Makes 4 servings

3/4 cup Splenda granular (not the baking blend)
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups 1% milk
2 or 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten (use 3 for a richer pudding or if making vanilla or eggnog)
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions: Whisk the sugar and the cornstarch together in a medium saucepan. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Add the egg yolks and salt and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, over medium heat until thickened enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon and just beginning to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in any flavorings (see below) and butter. Pour into a large serving bowl or 4 individual serving dishes. Let cool before placing in refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days, or until set and thoroughly chilled.

Flavor Variations:

For Vanilla Pudding: Use 3 egg yolks, as suggested for a richer pudding. Add 2 tsp. vanilla extract to mixture after cooking with the butter.

For Chocolate Pudding: Add ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder to dry ingredients and increase Splenda by 2 rounded tablespoons (before adding the milk). After cooking, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract to mixture with the butter.

For Eggnog Pudding: Use 3 egg yolks, as suggested for a richer pudding. Add 1½ tsp. vanilla extract and ½ tsp. ground nutmeg to mixture after cooking with the butter.

For Lemon Pudding: Add 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest to the mixture before cooking. After removing from heat, add ¼ to 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (or to desired tartness) with the butter.

Nutritional Information per serving:
1. Basic Vanilla (using 3 yolks): 175 calories, 20 carbs, 7 fat, .1 fiber, 7.28 protein.
2. Chocolate (using 2 yolks): 179.75 calories, 24.25 carbs, 6.25 fat, 1.78 fiber, 7.63 protein

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009

How does this recipe compare with regular pudding?
First, it's difficult to compare with purchased pudding because the flavor and texture of homemade pudding is so far superior to store-bought, there is no comparison! But, for the sake of comparing nutritional information, I will do it. My recipe is lower in calories and significantly lower in carbohydrates, plus much higher in protein. The average nutritional information for the same serving size of purchased chocolate pudding is 210 calories, 40.6 g carbs, 6.5 g fat, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

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