Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding

| 3/25/2019 9:05:00 AM

It's easy to make pudding from scratch. 

Without a catchy intro, I’ll get straight to the point: Those four-pack puddings smell and taste nasty, like rancid milk with a sickly, tangy aftertaste. You know the ones I’m talking about, those pudding packs meant for snacking (wink, wink). Now, I don’t think I’m necessarily a food snob, and these pudding packs are deemed perfectly safe to eat, but prepared foods like this make me grumpy.

It’s the quality of the prepackaged foods that is so frustrating. It’s like those fancy food companies just keep adding more and more sugar and salt to carrageenan, hydrogenated oil, and wood pulp and wrap it up in a brightly colored bag or box, and we’re just supposed to eat it. And if they slap the words “natural” or “farm fresh” on it, then kudos to them because it means more consumers think that these items are healthy or were actually harvested yesterday or some such nonsense.

Sigh… The sad fact is, many of us do eat these items. And like so many of my peers and those in the younger generations, we have no idea what the original versions of these heavily marketed convenience foods taste like. It’s kinda soul-crushing when I think of my kids’ friends (and probably their parents) and the likelihood that they’ve never eaten anything truly homemade. And no, making a mix from a box doesn’t count.

Now, I know you’re thinking: “Jeez, calm down, lady. It’s just pudding.” You are right. It is just pudding. And I can’t understand why more people can’t take 15 minutes to make something as simple as pudding (and not that instant powdered junk from a box). Then again, we’re now living in a society in which marketers are telling us we’re too busy to do our own meal planning and grocery shopping or to go to a restaurant, and we need these home-delivery services. So, of course, not too many of us cook from scratch anymore.

What I’ve found is that taste has been the biggest factor for my family to make better food choices. Because I cook most meals from scratch, when my son and daughter do have the occasion to eat those convenience food items, they recognize that the flavor is of no comparison. My kids do not like boxed macaroni and cheese because they say it tastes like cardboard. My son, Fletcher, refuses to eat bottled ranch dressing. And he will likely scrape off the mound of vegetable shortening and heavily dyed icing off of a cheap birthday cupcake because it tastes so bad.

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