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Craving Low Calorie Chocolate Pudding

Just finished a cup of My-T-Fine chocolate pudding (combine a box of chocolate fudge & a 2 serving pack of chocolate from the big box - makes 6 servings). I use skim milk to reduce the calories - not particularly Chow-worthy, but for my family, it does the trick.

I would love to make pudding from scratch, only it has to be low or no fat, and low or no sugar. Anyone every try it?

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  1. Most chocolate pudding uses a corn starch thickener. So that plus skim (or nonfat dry) milk, plain cocoa, and the artificial sweetener of your choice should do the trick.

    The last one that I made (from the Microwave Gourmet) also includes semisweet chocolate, eggs, egg yolks, and butter, so it doesn't fit your requirements - though it is rich enough that small portions are sufficient.

    paulj

    1. Honestly, since this is something I try to limit to a single serving, I find the sugar free or lower fat single servings from Jello or whoever just fine with a little fat free cool whip- totally not Chowy, but if I made something with better ingredients and time I would more likely eat a bucket full. Still- please post if you find a great recipe.

      1. healthy & delicious chocolate pudding

        1/4 cup turbinado or demerara sugar
        1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
        1/4 cup tapioca flour OR 1/4 cup arrowroot*
        2 cups skim milk
        2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

        sift together dry ingredients until throughly combined. transfer to medium saucepan, and slowly add milk, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, incorporating completely before each addition. cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until mixture begins to to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. stir in vanilla and remove from heat. chill thoroughly to set before serving.

        makes 4 servings.

        *note: i personally choose never to use cornstarch, but it will work if you don't have tapioca or arrowroot. HOWEVER, use only HALF the amount of starch called for - so if making one recipe, use 2 tbsp. cornstarch; if doubling, use 1/4 cup.

        6 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          This sounds interesting. Do you use regular or dutch process (like Drostes) cocoa? You use a lot of vanilla for the volume of pudding (not that that's a problem).

          I make tapioca (Minute instant) sometimes with ~1/2 the amount of sugar the recipe calls for. I do use the egg the recipe calls for, and skim milk. My family loves it - tastes like eggy custard.

          If I whirr tapioca in the food processor will that make it floury enough, or do I have to buy tapioca flour? Is there much of a taste difference between arrowroot and tapioca flour?

          Thanks for the recipe!

          1. re: amymsmom

            i use regular cocoa, but that's because i'm a nut about pure, unprocessed ingredients. you can certainly use dutch process if that's what you have, and in fact, it's more soluble so the milk will probably incorporate more easily.

            as for the tapioca, you should buy the flour if you can - i've never tried your proposed method of grinding it yourself, but i suspect it just won't do the trick. tapioca and arrowroot are so similar, that they're often mistaken for one another, so whichever one you can get will be fine, there won't be a noticeable difference in taste.

            re: the vanilla issue, thanks for catching that - it was a typo! it should be 1 tsp [i cut my usual recipe i half to post this for you, but forgot to change the vanilla volume].

            btw, there is one more ingredient that i typically add. since you're making it for your family [which i typically interpret to include children] i omitted it, but if you're okay with giving them a teeny bit of caffeine, 1/4 tsp. of espresso powder [e.g. medaglia d'oro] sifted into the dry ingredients will really enhance the chocolate flavor.

            let me know how it turns out!

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I found tapioca starch at my favorite oriental grocery store today - I assume it's the same as tapioca flour - seems to be a similar texture to corn starch.

              I probably will add coffee powder - my daughter's 15 and loves coffee. Have some decaf - for some reason my store didn't have espresso powder when I bought it.

              Now I'm dying to try your pudding recipe. Don't have time tonight or tomorrow. Maybe I'l find some time Sunday.
              - Judy

              1. re: amymsmom

                oh, yes! sorry, i meant to tell you that the flour & starch are the same thing. i don't know why the terms are used interchangeably when it comes to tapioca. fyi, in case you ever have a need to use either potato starch or potato flour, the same rule does NOT apply - they're VERY different.

                i hope you get the chance to try the recipe this weekend - i'll look forward to hearing how it goes.

          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Thank you goodhealthgourmet! Just tried your recipe - delicious! It tastes so much cleaner than the packaged kind. Probably since there are no preservatives like the package. I found a little jar of Medaglia D'Oro espresso powder - my decaf coffee powder is too stale - I should throw it out.

            I'll make one change the next time I try it...A pinch of salt helps everything, I always use it in hot cocoa. I think 1/8 tsp will be enough.

            Many thanks!

            - Judy

            1. re: amymsmom

              i'm so glad you liked it! and i have to apologize - i didn't realize i left out the salt when i posted the recipe. you're absolutely right, it should be 1/8 tsp.

          3. I make it with cocoa powder, skim milk (regular or evaporated), corn starch and Splenda. Basically, stir together and boil until thickened.

            Or, when I'm rushed for time, I mix cocoa and Splenda into plain fatfree yogurt.

            2 Replies
            1. re: piccola

              What are the proportions for your first recipe? I actually never made chocolate pudding from scratch, except at a cooking class. Don't think I'll try the second - never acquired a taste for yogurt.
              Thanks!

              1. re: amymsmom

                I usually eyeball it. The cocoa and Splenda are to taste; for the cornstarch, I use a ratio of 1 tbsp for each cup of milk.

            2. Now to totally contradict this whole conversation... Look at this recipe for home-made marshmallows.

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              I'm a bad girl!

              3 Replies
              1. re: amymsmom

                believe it or not, i've managed to make lower-sugar marshmallows using agave nectar!

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  That sounds great! Where did you get the recipe?

                  1. re: allyb

                    actually, i created it myself. traditional recipes usually contain corn syrup, granulated sugar and cornstarch - 3 ingredients i don't use. so i replaced the corn syrup & granulated sugar with agave nectar, and the cornstarch with tapioca starch, and voila! lower-sugar and allergen-free.

              2. Depending on how important "low sugar" is to you (me, I'd rather have sugar than Splenda any day), you might want to try this recipe for tofu-chocolate pudding - aka pie filling.

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39646...

                The only sugar is in the chocolate (use extra dark chocolate to reduce it even further), and the fat is limited to that in the chocolate and tofu (again, darker chocolate is better).

                Alton Brown has a fancier version - also billed as a pie filling - with extra sweeteners in the form of coffee liqueur and honey.

                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                Disclaimer - I haven't tried these recipes yet, because I can't eat chocolate after noon. But I've been meaning to make it as a breakfast pudding.

                Anne

                1. just in case you want an alternative recipe to mine, i was finally working my way through the rapidly growing mountain of magazines that has been sitting on the table for the past couple of months, and i came across this one in the december issue of cooking light...

                  http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

                  i'm a chocoholic, so i like that it calls for bittersweet chocolate in addition to the cocoa. if i was to make it for myself, i'd substitute tapioca [4.5 tablespoons, or 1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon] for the cornstarch, omit the sugar, and use 1/4 cup agave nectar [and a little less milk to compensate for the additional liquid]. but it sounds great as it is for someone who doesn't mind using cornstarch and table sugar. fyi, unmodified, each serving contains about 4 teaspoons of sugar [not counting the lactose from the milk].

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    I just heard about agave nectar this week. How do the sweetness and taste compare with sugar? Is it lower in calories, or just healthier?

                    BTW, I'm going to work out the calories (& Weight Watchers points) for your recipe with the tapioca flour - gotta make sure it will work in my food plan. Still haven't had time to make the pudding - maybe this weekend.

                    1. re: amymsmom

                      It's just a high fructose syrup, about 90% if I recall things correctly from the recent HFCS thread.
                      paulj

                      1. re: paulj

                        In other words, not worth trying?

                        1. re: amymsmom

                          agave is an unrefined, low-glycemic, diabetic-friendly sweetener from the cactus plant. and yes, it is still sugar, but it's gentler on insulin levels than refined sugars & other syrups [like brown rice or maple].

                          paul is correct that it contains a high proportion of fructose, but it's important to recognize that, unlike HFCS, the high fructose content is not something that results from altering a substance in a lab, it's the native form of the syrup when it's harvested from the plant.

                          at the end of the day, it's sugar, but i truly believe it's a better choice than processed and refined products. but as i said in an earlier post, i'm a purist, so it's just my preference. actually, my go-to sweetener for tea and for sprinkling on foods is stevia, but i use agave in baking and any other application that requires the bulk/volume or browning it contributes.

                          one more thing to note - agave is NOT cheap. but if you want to try it, you can find it at whole foods market or any natural foods store.

                          by the way, i'm glad my recipe is more WW points-friendly than the packaged crap...but i can't say i'm surprised ;)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            The degree to which this is 'natural' v. 'artificial' seems debatable. It still has to be heated to convert starches into sugars. Your own body uses enzymes to alter the sugar mix of the food that you eat. In any case it is the low-glycemic index that is its main health claim (for some people).

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave_syrup

                            1. re: paulj

                              I really don't care much about the health aspects of different sugars. IMHO, none are particulary great for you, none are poison. But I keep some Agave syrup around because it has an interesting flavor. It's also easy to squirt into cooking because it dissolves immediately and is not as thick and sticky as honey.

                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              just a note, the washington d.c. area trader joe's have it for something like 2.99 a bottle.

                              do you swap an equal volume for sugar? is the flavor the same?

                              1. re: chocolatstiletto

                                the flavor of light agave is a little more like honey, with a slight caramel finish. the dark amber agave has more of a mild molasses flavor [without bitterness].

                                agave is nearly twice as sweet as table sugar, so use half as much...and adjust wet ingredients accordingly, as you're replacing a dry ingredient with a liquid. volume-wise, it's pretty much the same as using corn syrup or simple syrup instead of granulated sugar, and in terms of viscosity, it's a bit thinner than honey.

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Just ran your tapioca starch & turbinado recipe thru Weight Watcher's system. It comes to 2 pts per 1/2 cup serving, compared to 3 pts when I use My-T-Fine. Now I'm psyched to try it!

                      3. this is my ancient family recipe for custard, aka pudding. You can leave out 1 of the egg yolks without disaster. I have never tried cutting back the sugar, but I assume you could half that without disaster either. I use Valhrona cocoa powder so it's really chocolate-y.

                        Multi purpose custard

                        ¼ cup flour
                        1/3 cup water
                        2/3 cup sugar
                        2 egg yolks
                        ¼ cup cocoa (optional)

                        1 ½ cup skim milk
                        1 Tbsp vanilla

                        Stir together 1st 5 ingredients in heavy bottom pan, making sure there are NO lumps. Add milk and cook over medium heat until thickened. Stir occasionally at first, then constantly after it begins steaming, remove from heat when you see the first bubble (do not boil). Add vanilla immediately, then stop stirring. Cover with saran wrap to avoid “skin”.