Feeling Pudgy? Try Microwave Low-Fat Chocolate Pudding
So, have you been indulging in too many chips during the shut-down? Are you missing the gym (or is your waist missing it, to be more precise)? Do you still want a comforting dessert that's easy to make? How about a new-fashioned, low-fat, low-sugar chocolate pudding that you can make using your microwave? Yes, you could get one of those little boxes of sugar-free instant pudding at the store, but those boxes are loaded with lots of bad things, and the puddings leave an aftertaste that's unpleasant. Ditch the store bought stuff. This pudding is just as easy (well, almost), and it's far better for you. This version also is smooth, loaded with nutrients, and the chocolate really shines through in the taste. It will leave you satisfied and with a very happy tummy. And you can top your creation with all sorts of good things because, after all, you were virtuous in making the pudding (well, sort of)! I like to top individual servings with crunched up chocolate cookies (Oreos will do in a pinch), sugared toasted walnuts, and whipped topping, but go for what you like--nuts, marshmallows, chocolate shavings or chips, strawberries...you get the idea.
Feeling Pudgy Pudding (Microwave Low-Fat Chocolate Pudding) -- Makes 4 servings
3 cups of low-fat milk, divided
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon of espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
Toppings of your choice, like crushed chocolate cookies, toasted nuts, chocolate shavings or chips, strawberries, raspberries, or other fruit, whipped cream or topping
Put 2 1/2 cups of the milk and the sugar into a microwave-safe bowl or measure (I use a quart Pyrex measure), stir them together, and microwave the milk/sugar mixture for 3 minutes until very, very hot. Whisk in the cocoa powder and the espresso powder and microwave the mixture again for 2 minutes. While the mixture is in the microwave, whisk the cornstarch into the remaining 1/2 cup of milk until thoroughly blended. Whisk the cornstarch/milk mixture into the cocoa mixture and microwave the mixture for 3 more minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to whisk the mixture vigorously but carefully (the mixture is hot, after all, so be careful!). DO NOT LEAVE THE MIXTURE IN THE MICROWAVE LONGER THAN 30 SECONDS WITHOUT WHISKING IT! That is, unless you need/want to clean out your microwave. The mixture may boil over (you don't want it to boil, by the way), and, if it does boil over, it will make quite a mess. I know. Trust me. It will. Once the pudding has thickened--it should be about the consistency of a waffle or thick pancake batter--pour it into individual serving dishes and cover the dishes with plastic wrap. Let the pudding cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it for 4+ hours. Or, you can eat the pudding warm, if you prefer, after about 30 minutes. The pudding is quite good warm, as well as cold. Top the pudding with whatever you like or eat it "as is" in all its simple chocolate glory.