So, I recently made this variety pack of homemade pudding snack packs, for my kids’ lunchboxes, and, they were such a huge hit that they didn’t even last more than a day or so. Even Mr. Allie got in on the action, and was eating pudding packs after dinner and sneaking them for afternoon snacks!
These are miles apart from that junk you can buy at the supermarket, which shall remain nameless, but begins with a “J” and ends with an “-ELLO.” Or that other junk that begins with an “H” and ends with an “-UNTS.” Or that other junk that begins with an “S” and ends with a “-WISS MISS.” Or that other junk that begins with a “K” and ends with an “-OZY SHACK.”
Sorry. You get the idea. They’re seriously yummy and you need them in your life. Now.
I developed this recipe for a YinMom YangMom recipe series, called “Lunch Lady Land.” If you missed the big intro, shame on you.
Just kidding! Haha. It is to laugh.
The series is basically all about homemade foods that are lunchbox friendly. It’s easy enough to grab a bunch of prepackaged stuff off the grocery store shelf, but it adds up to a lot of garbage in the landfill and a lot of questionable ingredients in your kids’ growing bodies. I’m finding that it only takes a little bit of time and extra effort (and love! Awww…) to create lunchbox foods that are soooo much healthier, and they taste so much better too!
If you are like me, and you often stare mindlessly into the fridge for way too long, hoping for a bolt of lightning to strike and inspire some genius food idea you can pack for your kiddies, be sure to check ’em out. They’re easy to keep on hand in the fridge, freezer, or pantry, and you can just chuck ’em in the old lunch box and know that your little ones are getting good nutrition and a little taste of some homemade deliciousness.
And for todays installment, you will first need some single-serving containers. I like this kind:
because they stack neatly and the lids snap together and to the bottoms of the cups, so I never have to hunt around my train wreck of a plastic-ware cupboard looking for a match. (One of these days I really need to organize that mess!) Also, they are BPA-free.
You will also need the following ingredients, which shouldn’t be too difficult:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 3/4 cups whole milk, or 2 cups lowfat milk and 3/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (buy here) or vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
1 additional tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup chocolate chips
In my house those are staples that we pretty much always keep on hand.
Making pudding from scratch may seem like a crazy idea to you, but, truthfully, it really isn’t any more difficult than making it from a mix! One day my boys were pestering me for pudding and I didn’t have a box on hand, so I just made it this way, and it was so easy and quick! Not to mention way yummier. It thickens up while it’s still hot so you don’t even have to wait for it to chill before shoveling it right in (I’m evil)…
Put the sugar and the cornstarch in a pot and stir them together with a whisk.
Then pour in the milk/cream in a steady stream while whisking.
Put it over a medium-high flame and keep whisking. Right as it starts coming to a boil, it thickens. Magic! Right before your very eyes.
Remove it from the heat and stir in the cold butter, and then add in the vanilla extract or paste.
Can we talk for a minute? It’s about vanilla bean paste. Ok, I bought this stuff on a whim, and it’s turned out to be kinda life changing for me. Seriously. It is a lot cheaper and easier to use than a whole fresh vanilla bean, but the flavor is every bit as intense! When you want some serious vanilla flave, (and let’s be honest here, when would you not?) this is what you should be reaching for.
Set up three small-ish bowls. Into one, place the additional tablespoon of sugar. Into another, 1/4 cup of butterscotch chips. And into the third, 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
Divide the hot pudding equally among the 3 bowls and stir to melt the chips into the pudding.
Place the contents of each bowl into the reusable containers and chill in the fridge.
I have a five-year old who tends to be a little bit uncooperative when it comes to drinking milk. This pudding is so silky smooth, thick, creamy, lightly sweet and delicious, he just can’t resist it.
And neither can anyone else in the family!
If you are a big pudding lover, (is anyone not?) I also did a little series earlier in the year called “More Pudding If You Please.” It was part of a story on 2012 Food Trends for the Home Cook. Check out these posts for some more great pudding recipes:
Thanks for reading! And stay tuned for more great ideas from Lunch Lady Land!!!