You Heart What You Eat: Puddingless Pudding Pops |

You Heart What You Eat: Puddingless Pudding Pops

A refreshing treat anytime of the year

— If you were a child of the eighties you’ll surely remember the infamous Bill Cosby Jell-O commercials and even more so the pudding pops he promoted in his classic character voice. I’d be a liar if I said I never whined to my parents about buying those delicious frozen puddings on a stick and even more so if I said I didn’t fall in love with them at first bite. Now, as an adult unable to quickly metabolize all the wonders I happily consumed as a child, I’ve learned a thing or two about reading the required nutrition facts located on nearly every product sold at our grocery stores. For starters, pudding pops have about 90 calories, 3 grams of fat, 15 grams of total carbs (10 of which are sugars), and absolutely no nutritional value. So, with a heavy heart, I have learned to live without these guilty pleasures for nearly a decade until the summer of 2013.

Before you dismiss this recipe based on the 7 simple ingredients below, let me clarify a few things. First, I loved Jell-O pudding pops. I loved their texture, I loved their flavor and darn it, I even loved the way I imagined myself imitating Bill Cosby while I munched away this nutritionless treasure. Still, when I gave the puddingless pudding pops a go, I was beyond skeptical but desperate to find something to capture my sweet tooth during our hot days of summer. Once I took that first bite, I was in pudding pop heaven. However, before I bothered to make another batch, I checked out the nutrition content just to be sure and discovered the following: Each pop contains approximately 107 calories, 8.4 grams of fat (the good fat from the coconut and avocados), 315 mg potassium (which helps your metabolism and lowers the risk in high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease), 9.9 grams total carbs (4 dietary fibers, 3.8 grams from sugars), 1.5 grams of protein, and 5% iron. Yes folks, this is a B+ rating according to the nutritional grade of health but more importantly an A+ according to my taste buds and nostalgia. So, eat away!

Puddingless Pudding Pops

  • 6 dates (no pits)

  • 3⁄4 cup water

  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted

  • 1⁄2 cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbs. honey
  • 1 cup whole milk (or canned coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1⁄4 tsp. sea salt

First soak the dates in the 3⁄4 cup of water for a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour to soften them. Next, pour the dates and water into the blender and puree until smooth. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.

If it’s too thick add a bit more milk. Now, if you’re a lover of pudding as is, you can eat this decadent dessert without freezing (I certainly won’t tell on you), but if your goal is to make the pudding pop, then pour them into your popsicle molds, tap to rid all air bubbles and off to the freezer they go.

They will need at least 4 hours, but once frozen, run the molds under some warm water briefly to free them of their captivity and devour at a happier than normal rate. Enjoy!

YOU HEART WHAT YOU EAT is a weekly blog offering a twist of healthy alternative tips and recipes for some of our most coveted comfort foods. From decadent desserts to main dish favorites, you’ll surely look forward to our next edition. Questions or suggestions you’d like included in one of our future blogs should be directed to Tera Johnson-Swartz via email at

Tera Johnson-Swartz is a mommy first, but also enjoys working one of her many, many side gigs whether it be freelance writing, music, massage therapy, independent childbirth, lactation or health educating. She is eternally grateful she is able to follow her passion each and every day and loves her supporting husband and their two young children  and couldn’t imagine living a better life outside the city limits of Steamboat Springs.

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