I was planning on starting this fine Monday with a fabulous recipe. A recipe that I alluded to in yesterday’s post (about Turkish coffee…you should check it out if you missed it, it’s a doozy). But here’s what: I forgot to take pictures (*slaps self on hand*). I’ll do that today, before I finish them off, and I promise that will be coming your way tomorrow.
And if you missed Science Saturday, check that one out here. Another doozy. (But, really, aren’t they all? *crickets* Right guys? Hey guys? Are you there?)
So. Pudding. (Again, my amazing command of the English language and segue prowess are put on display.)
Whenever I hear the word “pudding” I think of Bill Cosby.
Whenever I think of Bill Cosby, I think of Theo Huxtable. Man, I did love me some Cosby Show growing up. I had the major hots for Theo…oh, that ear piercing…the ‘tude…the square top haircut. Be still my heart.
This was the one where Vanessa (or was it Denise?) was supposed to make him a super cool shirt and she just messed it up completely. I remember his voice cracked when he got all upset…
But anyway, that is completely beside the point. (And let’s not focus on the fact that I know that much detail about that episode of The Cosby Show. Or all of the episodes, for that matter. I was a really cool kid, I swear. I just watched a bit of tv. Don’t even get me going on Saved By the Bell.)
So what was my point again? Oh, right, the pudding.
I used to eat a crap-ton of that jello pudding in the little plastic cups growing up and even into college. My mom used to by the boxes of instant pudding and make it for dessert in these cute little Tupperware (I’m guessing) brand dessert cups. I have fond memories of those things…except for that unexplainable film that always formed across the top…what was that?!?! (That, Katie, was a hint that what you were about to eat was probably not what Michael Pollen would call “food”.)
I still eat pudding, it’s just not really “pudding”. It’s more food-that-is-pudding-consistency. Like Averie’s Chocolate Avocado Pudding, or Gena’s version, or Heather’s version, or the Twins’ take, or…you get the idea. I even threw one of my own into the mix, just for good measure.
But, I have a secret for those of you averse to avocado for whatever reason (crazy people that you are). You don’t need avocado to make a creamy, no-cook, non-dairy pudding. You just need a good blender, some fruit, and something creamy to take the place of avocado.
Because I’m the scientist here, I took matters into my own hands and I’ve done some experimenting for us. (You can thank me later.)
Pudding Version 1: (pictured above)
Spinach + banana + pureed canned butternut squash (or pumpkin). This combo is my personal favorite these days. I usually add in cinnamon and maple syrup if I’m in a dessert mood. And when I say “if”, that means “all the time” because I am always in a dessert mood.
Pudding Version 2:
Strawberries + beets + carob powder + guar and/or xanthan gum.
In this case, the gums give it the pudding consistency. I topped it with rice whip (which sucks, don’t bother) and chocolate chips.
Pudding Version 3:
I was actually going for yogurt here. I mixed almond milk with guar and xanthan gums and some lemon juice for the tang. As you can see, it wasn’t really thick, but it did taste sort of yogurt-y. At least for someone who hasn’t had yogurt in months, it did.
After careful analysis of the results and further investigation, I can conclude that butternut squash contributes significantly more creaminess to smoothies lacking the gums. Banana is a close second, though the p-value indicates only minor significance. The gums, however, were an additional variable that ended up throwing the whole experiment off, as I didn’t control for their effect in the first trial. Thus, my experiment will need to be repeated for verification purposes.
*That last paragraph is for the science nerds out there. You know who you are.
What’s your favorite pudding? Do you still eat the stuff out of the plastic containers or the mix and serve stuff?