Guilt-Free Classic Banana Puddings

Family Savvy contributor Iris O’ Brien (read her profile here) is on a mission to create lighter versions of some our favorite Southern desserts. Today, she shares her guilt-free version of classic banana puddings. These are lovely and delicious without sacrificing flavor. What’s not to love about that?


Iris O’ Brien

I have often heard friends say that they love our classic southern desserts but can’t afford to indulge unless it’s a special occasion. This sent me on a quest to take our beloved family favorites and cut the calories so we can once again eat like we did when we were kids. We can eat guilt-free without losing the flavors in these favorite desserts that mom used to make!

Guilt Free Classic Banana Puddings

20 reduced fat vanilla wafers, divided
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups (2%) low-fat milk
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas, each peeled and sliced into 12 slices
Whipped refrigerated light cream (I use Land O’ Lakes)

Crush 16 vanilla wafers in a small bowl, reserving 4 wafers; set aside.

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan.
Combine milk, egg and vanilla in a small bowl.
Gradually add milk mixture to sugar mixture.

Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Cook for one additional minute after bubbling starts, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; pour into a bowl. Place plastic wrap on surface; cool to room temperature.

Place 2 tablespoons crushed wafers in the bottom of 4 (6-ounce) serving dishes glasses. Top each with 1/4 cup pudding mixture. Add 3 slices of banana. Repeat layers with 2 tablespoons crushed cookies, 1/4 cup pudding mixture and 3 slices banana. Top each with reserved cookies and dollop with whipped cream.
Yield: 4 servings.