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Bringing Back Butterscotch in a Healthy, Organic, Low Calorie Pudding (that’s vegetarian and gluten-free, too!)

One of the toughest parts of the holidays is indulging in rich, high calorie desserts.  And you’ll be hard pressed to find a bakery with organic goodies on display.  But the most difficult, for me, is baking at home where the temptation to voraciously consume an entire bowl of gooey batter is too much to resist — but far too gluttonous a proposition to consider.

So, to satisfy my need for sinful sweets sans the fat and calories, I embarked on a journey to create a healthy yet decadent delight that is as easy to make as it is on the waistline.  It’s also no accident that it has a striking similarity in texture and taste to buttery cake batter.  You’re welcome.

I also managed to resuscitate the vastly under used flavor of butterscotch in the process, which interestingly, contains neither butter nor scotch. Does anyone else find that puzzling?

You can ponder quandries like that while shoveling heaping spoonfuls of butterscotch goodness into your mouth but given the endorphin overload that will likely result from this delectable dietary dessert, you may only be able to muster mono-syllabic “Mmmm”s.

Ingredients

1/2 cup pure cane brown sugar (only 15 calories per tablespoon as opposed to 35 in processed brown sugar)
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
2 tablespoons butterscotch powder*
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups vanilla soy milk
1 egg 
2 teaspoons almond extract 
2 teaspoon maple syrup (yes, maple syrup. it gives it a warm, toasty flavor; you can use any low fat option)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  • Combine brown sugar, corn starch, butterscotch powder and salt in a saucepan.
  • Mix milk and egg in a bowl.  Add in almond extract, maple syrup and cinnamon.
  • Gradually add milk mixture to sugar mixture and stir rapidly until it is creamy and has no lumps.
  • Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbling, stirring continually to keep mixture smooth and even.
  • Continue stirring for one additional minute after bubbling starts then promptly remove from heat.
  • Pour into serving bowls and chill for at least 1 hour. (Pudding will thicken more as it cools).
  • Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream (if desired) and sprinkle with cinnamon. (You can also top with cinnamon granola or cookie crumbles.)

While it can be eaten warm, I highly recommend waiting until the pudding is thoroughly cooled before devouring it for maximum ‘fluffiness.’  The result will be a melt-in-your-mouth treat that you can enjoy guilt — and gluttony — free.

*You can purchase Organic Butterscotch Flavor Powder that is Vegan, Kosher, Gluten-Free and Heat Stable at Nature’s Flavors.

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