Friday, March 2, 2012

9 Pudding Recipes Better Than The Store-Bought Variety

In terms of cooking difficulty, pudding is one of the simplest desserts you can make -- though you would never know it from its silky, satisfying taste. But for one reason or another, we tend to opt for just a little more convenience by buying the store-bought kind (where all we have to do is mix the powder packet with milk, or better yet, just peel pack the foil seal).

Have you ever stopped to look at what's in your convenient pudding treat? We all know that it isn't just the simple combination of eggs, milk, sugar and cornstarch like when we make it from scratch. But you might be surprised by some of the ingredients that have made their way into your dessert. A typical ingredient list can include: non-fat milk, sugar, dextrose, partially hydrogenated palm oil, modified cornstarch, natural and artificial flavor, salt disodium phosphate, yellow 5, yellow 6, artificial color and BHA.

While most of those ingredients are fairly standard, there are a few on the list that aren't exactly harmless:

BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
BHA is a preservative that's used primarily in food, food packaging, animal feed, cosmetics, rubber and petroleum. (Yum, instant pudding shares a similar material to the gloves you may use for cleaning your home.) There's quite a bit of controversy surrounding BHA. Some studies have linked this preservative with an increased risk of cancer. It hasn't yet been confirmed in humans, but the state of California felt there was enough evidence to list it as an official carcinogen. Not exactly what you want to be ingesting with your dessert.

Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils -- which contain trans fats -- have been called out for some time now as an unacceptable ingredient in our processed foods. Many companies have removed it from their food products, but some store-bought puddings are behind the times -- meaning this undesirable ingredient can still be found in a number of our instant puddings. Trans fats have been linked to increased risks of coronary heart disease. Some studies have also suggested that it can elevate the risk of diabetes, obestiy and Alzheimer's -- just a couple of maladies off the long list of health issues resulting from trans fat consumption.


Sheila Garden Lady said...

I LOVE pudding! I have the time to make it myself..but also find myself buying the "convenient" kind. I always read labels and cringe..but you're right..there is absolutely no reason to do this..I am making a NEW resolution..NO MORE storebought pudding! Thanks! :o)

Mia said...

I'm so proud of you Sheila!

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