What do you do when your fridge looks like this? …
… and you just bought a gallon of milk (because you were at the store and you knew that you’d be out before you were back at the store) but still have about a quarter gallon in the old milk jug and can’t fit both gallon jugs in there?
Not a dilemma you often encounter because you have another fridge? Lucky.
Well, in this particular instance, on this particular day, I decided to make pudding. Not just any pudding … the best pudding! As proclaimed by my 3 toughest critics – one of whom has claimed, adamantly and without question, that he does not like pudding. But when he saw it, looking all creamy and delicious sitting there in front of him, the temptation was more than he could bear.
Can you blame him?
They ate it all, leaving me with the bowl. And I’m not too proud to tell you that I licked it. Clean. Every last delicious pudding morsel.
Fortunately, this is so easy that I can make some more.
Easy Protein-Packed Pudding
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup (or more) chocolate chips (I use this brand)
- dash salt
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, and corn starch.
- Whisk completely to blend in the egg yolks and dissolve any clumps of corn starch.
- Place over low-medium heat.
- As the milk warms, whisk every few minutes, making sure to scrape the edges of the pot (that's where the corn starch likes to collect). Some people will tell you that you have to whisk this constantly until it thickens... snore. Who has the time for that? I usually just give it a whisk every few minutes while it warms up.
- When it starts to thicken slightly, whisk constantly. This is a good time to catch up on email or Facebook, provided that you are an expert at the one-hand whisk.
- Whisk until thickened and just starting to bubble.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in vanilla, chocolate chips, and salt.
- Pour it into a separate bowl or smaller serving bowls, cover, and stick it in the fridge. If you cover it and it won't get that hard film on top. If you like the hard film, go ahead and just stick it in there.
To make vanilla pudding, leave out the chocolate chips. This seems obvious, but just in case, I figured I'd let you know. You could also add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, but we thought it was pretty delicious without it.
You can make this with tapioca or arrowroot but they don't seem to hold the firmness in the fridge as well as cornstarch. And you'll need to increase the amount if you choose to use either of them.
This will start to separate after a couple of days in the fridge. I usually pour them into popsicle molds and make pudding pops at this point.
If you don’t make pudding, what do you do when the fridge is jam-packed and you’ve got groceries that need to go in there?
Snack cake is a frequent visitor to our house after school. As you can see, it never stays for very long. I made this right before I left to pick up the kids and when we got home, most of it was gone in 3.2 seconds.
I find this is a good – and SUPER easy – filler for when we’re running out the door somewhere right after school. Big britches doesn’t love it, but he eats it. The No Fruit Guy of course scarfs it up – he would probably eat the whole pan if I let him. I always let them know that they have to have a fruit or veggie with it, listing the usual and customary options (bananas, apples, grapes, carrots). And of course, they jump for joy and clamor to the fridge pushing and shoving each other out of the way – a real fight to get there first. Yeah, no. They somehow always “forget” or “don’t have time.”
Of course, I know that I should “offer those things first” (said in the most irriating of imitating voices). Here’s the thing: when we have a quick turnaround in the afternoon, I don’t have the time or enough sanity to fight that battle. And they HAVE to eat. My children + starving = veeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy U.G.L.Y. Which means that I then turn into that mom. And I do my best to keep her contained inside the walls of our house. You’re welcome.
This recipe was born from this recipe for Nut Butter Brownies that I found years ago. I modified it to make it a bit less expensive to make and to make it less nut heavy.
- ½ c almond butter
- ¼ c honey
- 2 eggs
- ¼ c butter, melted
- 1 T vanilla
- 1 c spelt (or ¾ c whole wheat or sprouted spelt)
- ½ tsp soda
- ¼ tsp powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks (or chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the almond butter, honey, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Whisk until well blended.
- Add dry ingredients to bowl and mix well.
- Pour into greased 8x8 pan.
- Sprinkle chocolate chunks (or chips) on top. With a spatula or a spoon, gently press the chunks into the batter. (I find that this helps the chips from falling off.)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Someday I’ll make this and they’ll run in, push it aside, to eat the giant plate of freshly sliced peppers that are also waiting on the counter.
Sigh. A girl can dream, can’t she?