Friday, September 12, 2008

Shh...don't tell anyone but I love pudding snacks

It's well documented here that I enjoy baking and love high-end restaurant quality desserts. That's why it's such a dirty little secret that I love jello pudding cups, specifically the Splenda sweetened 60 calorie ones. Shameful, right?

Seriously, though, these things are delicious and let me get a little taste of dessert without guilt or worry that my waistline will pay the price. The boyfriend and I have sampled nearly all of the flavors - regular chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate-mint, caramel, dulce de leche, rice pudding, chocolate vanilla and a coffee inflected version. Yes, it's true, we're pudding gluttons.

In NY, our god-awful grocery stores only stocked one flavor at a time. So if it was dulce de leche, we loaded up, but if it was vanilla we stomped out of the store outraged! Now in Atlanta, our stores offer a veritable cornucopia of pudding options. Oh the sheer joy of having my pick of pudding flavors!

Just pudding alone isn't all that exciting, but when we add other delicious ingredients to it, suddenly we have a real dessert. I like to take frozen pie fruit, preferably mixed berries, and warm them up. Then I put the pudding on top and top it all off with sugar-free cool whip. Gourmet it ain't, but I swear it's delicious, low sugar and low calorie. The way the fruit juices mingle with the creamy chocolate and luscious whipped cream...heaven! Bananas are another delicious option.

The fruit mix works best with chocolate, dark chocolate or the chocolate-vanilla swirl. Dulce de leche might well be the most delicious version on its own and the coffee version and rice pudding were the only ones we didn't like.

It's not every day that I feel like baking, and more importantly, I try to limit myself to only occasional desserts (I'm vain if you didn't realize!), so pudding fills the gaps for us. Lately I am trying to avoid artificial food ingredients, so I've cut back on my pudding habit. Still, though, there are days when I simply cannot resist it's siren call.

Thank you Kraft foods for giving me a guilt-free but still yummy dessert option!

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