Alt-Baking Bootcamp

This Low-Sugar Banana Pudding Is the Perfect Nostalgic Dessert

Kells McPhillips

Consider this your guide to healthier baking. Chef Mia Rigden and Jenny Dorsey team up to show you how to revamp some of your favorite baked goods to make them healthier and loaded with better-for-you ingredients—without skimping on flavor. See All

Looking for a hit of nostalgia? Try this delicious banana pudding recipe.

Once upon a time, a savant of sugar looked at pudding, vanilla wafers, and bananas and thought, "Hey! What if we married these three?" The rest is history. Banana pudding now has a place in the dessert hall of fame alongside chocolate chip cookies, lemon bars, and brownies. And on this week's episode of Well+Good's Alt-Baking Bootcamp, chef Mia Rigden remixes the dessert into a gluten-free banana pudding that also happens to be lower in sugar than your standard box mix.

"A classic banana pudding has layers of vanilla wafers, banana, and vanilla pudding," says Rigden. "Today, we're going to be making a gluten-free vanilla wafer and a vanilla pudding that doesn't have any dairy. Both the wafer and the pudding are going to be lower in sugar—today, we're going to be using agave—and bananas are just bananas." While bananas are pretty self-explanatory (they're high in potassium and contain three grams of fiber), Rigden skillfully tweaks both the vanilla wafers and the pudding to give them a lower-sugar treatment.

For the pudding, Rigden starts with agave: a sweet sap that hails from a succulent found in the Americas. Because it's mostly comprised of fructose, Rigden says agave won't affect your blood sugar levels the same way as plain old white sugar does. To give the pudding its creamy texture, Rigden opts for soy milk instead of cow's milk so the pudding can be dairy-free. (It also lends a unique flavor to the pudding for some complexity.) After some magic—and a dose of vanilla, of course—the pudding's ready to chill for a couple of hours while you whip-up your gluten-free wafers.

And how does Rigden manage to keep the cookies GF? That's a mighty fine question—and it all comes down to using alt-flour duo almond flour and coconut flour. As Rigden explains in the video, coconut flour has a cake-like consistency that allows the pudding to really sink in and make itself at home. (Read: You'll get that delicious banana pudding mouth feel.) And while the almond flour may seem like nothing special at first blush, it contains about six grams of protein per quarter cup.

To see how Rigden pulls the rest of the recipe together, watch the full video (and make sure to subscribe to Alt-Baking Bootcamp for all your sweet needs.)

 

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