I was first introduced to banana pudding, a traditional southern dessert, during the holidays when I moved to Virginia from North Dakota. It tasted great, but I remember leaving the dinner table with an uncomfortable, heavy feeling in my stomach. I decided to try and make the pudding lighter so that I could still enjoy it, but without the overstuffed feeling.
I must admit, I was skeptical about swapping all of the full fat ingredients for either reduced or nonfat versions. I was afraid that the taste would suffer and not resemble my favorite banana pudding recipe. Boy, was I wrong! I was surprised how good the “makeover” pudding tasted.
In addition to using reduced fat or nonfat ingredients, one of the biggest changes that I made was replacing the sweetened condensed milk with low-fat vanilla yogurt. The end result was a creamy tasting banana pudding. Adding ginger snaps and a touch of cinnamon give the pudding a holiday flavor.
My banana pudding parfait now has about a third of the calories, less saturated fat, and half the sodium compared to a portion of the traditional recipe.
I will always have fond memories of eating my first banana pudding. However, this updated version has found a new place in my heart and in my recipe box. Jean’s Banana Pudding Parfait is proof that you can “lighten up” dessert without giving up on taste!