So are you out of those boxes of instant chocolate pudding? No problem. Make your own better tasting, more nutritious version. Making your own pudding is easy, and "real pudding" lacks the weird stuff and excessive amount of salt that goes into the boxed pudding mixes. You will need to cook the pudding, and you can do it in the microwave. Although many people like to eat their pudding warm, with temperatures in our area in the mid-90s, I prefer my pudding cold. If you do, too, allow enough time for your pudding to chill in the refrigerator. How does the pudding taste? It's smooth, velvety with chocolate, not too sweet, and just right for an evening (or afternoon) snack. The homemade pudding is lower than the boxed version in sugar, fat, and other bad things. I admit, though, that the pudding is especially good when dressed up with whipped cream (or whipped topping, if that's what you have) and chocolate pieces, which tilts it more in the direction of indulgent. If you want to stay on the "healthy" side, the puddings are great plain or dressed up with fruit--like strawberries or raspberries. Enjoy!
Real, Healthy Homemade Chocolate Pudding -- Serves 4
2 cups of low-fat milk
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Whipped cream or low-fat whipped topping, chocolate pieces, fruit, nuts, etc. (optional)
In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk the first six ingredients well. Microwave the mixture in one-minute increments for four to five minutes, whisking after each minute. The pudding mixture should boil just a little, so, if it does, don't worry. Just whisk it vigorously. The pudding is ready when it has thickened enough to coat a spoon and leave a trail when you run a finger along the spoon (but beware--the mixture is hot). After you've finished microwaving your pudding mixture, stir in the chocolate chips and keep stirring until they melt into the pudding. You don't have to add the chips, but they'll make your pudding taste richer, sweeter, and more chocolatey. Pour the pudding into serving dishes and chill it for at least a couple of hours. Garnish the individual servings with whipped cream or topping, chocolate pieces, fruit, nuts, marshmallows, or whatever you'd like. Or just eat the pudding "as is." Yum.