Love Us Some Chocolate Puddin’

Yesterday was our last day of the after school Fall session at Katonah Elementary. A dozen little girls all excited to be doing something they enjoy doing — a teacher’s dream come true.

We only have an hour with these classes, but we’ve made some awesome snacks: Spring rolls with cellophane noodles and cooked chicken and cucumbers; caramel sauce and apples; chocolate chip cookie dough you can eat!

What fun we’ve had the entire time — and we topped it off yesterday by making chocolate pudding! And it wasn’t even out of the box! This waspudding easy peasy and everyone helped. Read the list of ingredients on the box of pudding and you’ll find 15 minutes to make it from scratch too. I enjoy showing the kids how it’s often not much more difficult to make things in a more wholesome way, i.e., no preservatives and coloring. Of course, no one will call chocolate pudding health food, although it does have quite a bit of calcium since it has quite a bit of (whole) milk in it.

Personally, I believe that unless your children need to watch their weight or their sugar intake (e.g. they are at risk for diabetes) whole milk is a good, wholesome choice. Recent studies have found the fat in milk gives a feeling of fullness that skim or 1% does not. For kids’ growing bones and brains, I tend to opt for whole milk for them to drink. However, with cheese I sometimes use a mixture of low fat and whole. Read more about this subject in a story from Time: Why Full Fat Dairy Might Be Healthier for You Than Low-Fat.

Back to the pudding. This is a great dessert for the kids to make and bring to a holiday dinner. It’s a simple way to foster their pride in creating something and also in seeing others enjoy what they’ve made.

Here is the recipe. We crushed Newman’s O’s (organic Oreos) and poured the pudding on top. (The cookies also come in a “hint of mint” flavor, which would be nice for Christmas.) Served in individual cups, it cools very quickly. Enjoy and eat!
Ingredients

• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup cocoa (we used Hershey’s)
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2-1/4 cups milk
• 2 tablespoons margarine (butter works too)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 12 Newman’s O’s for crushing

Directions

1. Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan; gradually stir in milk.

2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into individual dessert dishes.

You can make this in the microwave, too:

1. Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in large microwave-safe bowl; gradually stir in milk.

2. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 7 to 10 minutes or until mixture comes to full boil, stirring every 2 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into dishes. Enjoy and eat!

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