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I would like to make fat-free pudding like Jello fat-free pudding mix, but I don't want to use a box mix. Is there a way to make fat-free pudding from scratch?

For example, chocolate pudding recipes tend to include both cocoa powder and milk, so I don't see any obvious fat-free substitutions.

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cocoa powder and skim milk are both (almost) fat free. –  Sobachatina Jun 6 '11 at 22:08
    
Note: this question was inspired by this question from Yahoo Answers, which got no good responses. I assume StackExchange can do better. –  Thom Blake Jun 6 '11 at 22:11
    
It seems like several of the answers there are decent. Of course, the accepted answer is a low-fat recipe, not fat-free. Homemade pudding is often starch and egg yolk- so you need a replacement for the egg yolk and not the milk and cocoa. Hopefully people here smarter than myself can make suggestions about alternative thickening agents. –  Sobachatina Jun 6 '11 at 22:17
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@TFD It was a question about substitutions in a specific context, which I thought was on-topic. I certainly didn't request a recipe. –  Thom Blake Jun 7 '11 at 14:19
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@rumtscho- Every homemade pudding I have ever seen was closer to a stirred custard with a lot of added starch. Browsing on my usual recipe sites it is rare to see an egg free recipe at all. –  Sobachatina Jun 7 '11 at 16:31

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A very common type of pudding is a pudding made from liquid thickened with starch. It is usually made with milk, but you can use other liquids as you see fit. Fruit juice will probably work best. For starch, use plain potato, corn or wheat starch. The "absolutely no fat" condition is very detrimental to the taste. A trick to make it taste richer would be to include some whey powder. Any sweetener will work - sugar, baking sweeteners like honey or agave syrup, or artificial sweeteners (keep in mind the max temp for artificials). You can enhance the flavor wit the usual suspects - vanila, cinnamon and other spices - and/or serve with syrup poured over. Adding food coloring is also a good option, as it affects the perceived taste too.

To prepare the pudding, use a base ratio of 1 part starch to 10 parts liquid (you can change that later, depending on your preference for firmness). Mix the dry ingredients (sugar, cinnamon) with the starch in a small bowl. Stir in some cold liquid, around 1 tbsp per 25g starch, until you have a slurry. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the slurry. Return to the (reduced) heat and let simmer for some minutes, stirring contantly. Stir in the liquid ingredients (e. g. honey, molten caramel). Pour into the form(s) and leave it to cool, at best overnight. It will set and should be firm enough to slice. Alternatively, it can be eaten warm (and still soft) from bowls.

You mention Jello. I don't consider gelatine jellies to be a "pudding", but maybe this is a language problem on my part. You can make a gelatine "pudding" with powdered gelatine, just follow the instructions on the package. Gelatine itself is pure protein and does not contain fat.

It is also possible to use modern thickening agents to thicken a juice or another liquid to a more or less pudding-like consistency, but this is unusual in home cooking. If you are interested, look up guar gum or xanthan gum. There is a free e-book oh hydrocolloids often linked here on SA, but it probably goes much beyond what you need. Still, you can search for it if interested.

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Thanks! Yes, 'absolutely no fat' is kindof a silly condition, but it was a bit of an academic question (that's what happens when a philosopher starts cooking). I had a hunch xanthan gum would turn up somewhere in the answer - I'll have to look into some thickeners and come back with anything useful I turn up with. –  Thom Blake Jun 7 '11 at 14:22
    
Glad to hear you liked the answer. If you really want to do the thing and are willing to experiment a bit, try combining additives. A small amount of gelatine in a starch pudding (not enough to thicken it) should give it a richer mouthfeel. Adding lecithin could also make the texture smoother, imitating pudding with egg-yolk. (Lecithin has lipides, but not actual fat). The book I mentioned is available here: blog.khymos.org/recipe-collection, good luck with experiments. –  rumtscho Jun 7 '11 at 14:56

There are historic recipes for blancmange which are almost fat-free, being prepared with almond milk. Nowadays, most recipes use milk which has been used to soak almonds, but there are ways to prepare a "milk" from almonds in similar ways to that used to make soya milk. I went to the effort of doing it once - it was very tedious.

I did that to make a low fat trifle for a special meal (vegetarian, no soya, no sugar, low fat). The blancmange was the top layer, with cornflour custard in the middle and jelly (jello) on the bottom. The jelly packet came from the Halal butcher, and is made with carrageenan. It was a popular dish, but I'm sure it would have been a lot easier to make with soya milk.

Is that the sort of idea you seek?

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almond milk is made from ground almonds, and almonds contain lots of fat. Random Googled sources suggests that almond milk typically has 1% fat. Skim milk from a cow, on the other hand, only has 0,18% fat (data from the USDA nutrition db). So I don't see how almound milk is a good solution for the question asked. Of course, I can imagine an almond-milk pudding tasting good in its own right, but it is nowhere near fat-free. –  rumtscho Jun 7 '11 at 15:01
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@rumtscho - why bother nit-picking about this? So almond milk has 1% fat - that is not LOTS of fat, and will result in less than 1% fat in the finished blancmange. It is possible to make oat milk, which would be even lower fat than skimmed milk, and is just as tasteless. I'm trying to point to a technique that has worth in itself, at the same time delivering a low-fat pudding which is neglected in favour of "easy answer" packets nowadays. So you can use something that has only 0.18% fat - but lacks flavour. 1% fat is "naff all" fat, 18% of naff all is still naff all. –  Debbie A Jun 7 '11 at 20:36

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