Jackie loves to experiment in the kitchen and share the results with her readers.
So Easy and So Delicious!
I've always loved 5th Avenue candy bars, so I thought I'd invent a recipe for a dessert that tastes just like it. They are so simple and easy that a child could make them and probably have a pretty good time doing it! Wouldn't it be fun for a child to make the family dessert? They could do this. Honestly.
No sharp or dangerous utensils are needed, and this could also be put in a plastic container. The beating only takes two minutes and can be done by hand, which is what I do rather than use a mixer and have to wash all that mess up. Just a whisk or fork works fine. A child could go from start to finish all alone and be so proud of this fantastic and delicious dessert recipe.
|Prep time||Ready in||Yields|
6 servings (~3/4 cup each)
- 1/2 small box fat-free vanilla wafers, whole
- 1 large or 2 small banana, sliced
- 1 box instant vanilla or banana pudding, whipped
- ~1/2 cup whipped peanut butter, spread on wafers
- 2 cups cold 2% milk
- ~2 tablespoons vanilla wafers, crumbled or crushed
- Prepare in medium bowl with at least saucer-sized flat bottom to place wafers to build around the edges and halfway up the bowl.
- Add whipped peanut butter to a flat side of wafer and place facing up. Make sure there are some left over to put on top (8 or 10).
- Once your wafers are halfway up the bowl (just one layer) and you have extra ready for the top prepare your instant pudding.
- Use a mixer or simply beat or whisk by hand 2 cups of cold milk into the dry instant pudding for two minutes. The pudding will continue to thicken on its own.
- Pour immediately onto the wafers with peanut butter and be sure to scrape all your pudding into this and spread to cover any side wafers.
- Put remaining wafers evenly on top with the peanut butter side down. These can be left flat on top or pushed down into the pudding to raise up over sides as seen in the photo.
- Optional to sprinkle crumbs from the box or crush wafers yourself to coat uncovered pudding on top. Make sure no banana is uncovered to turn dark. (Bananas stay so fresh in this, which is really great because I often make this dish to keep bananas from going to waste. In the pudding, they're good for at least two days; I don't know past that since it is gone by then even without company around!)
Instant vs. Cooked Pudding
I never liked instant puddings when they first came out and well after that. The only time I would use them was in a cake mix. When I used cooked pudding in these recipes, I did not like them as much, so I thought I would try the instant ones knowing others in the family liked and used the instant ones. I am so glad I did.
This recipe, in my opinion, is not near as good with the cooked pudding. To each his own, you may prefer the cooked. To me, this is just quicker and tastier. I have a new appreciation of the instant and plan more experiments with it.
Crunchy or Creamy
Everyone has their own preference on things so these could be changed around I am sure and be just as delicious. If eaten within the first few hours the wafers will still be crunchy which is how I love them (especially the 5th Avenue) but many in my family like the wafer soft so that really makes it easier on me when I want to make them up ahead. I can easily eat either way. Especially when it saves me time in the long run!
Banana or vanilla pudding are both good in this recipe, so use whichever you like. Any traditional or regular banana pudding I have eaten for years had both. When I was a child growing up it was always vanilla because everyone made their own puddings (which of course would be vanilla) just filled with bananas once it was cold. I could never stand a banana pudding where the bananas had turned dark! That has never happened in this instant pudding recipe! That's one reason I love it so much. You can shop for low-fat and/or low-sugar items to use in these. I have bought the sugar-free pudding but have not tried that yet. Maybe soon.
Put pudding dessert covered in the fridge and as soon as it is chilled through it is ready. Usually, about one-half hour to one hour, depending on your fridge's coldness or possibly where you place it there. You can put your two cups of milk in the freezer about 15 minutes to fix the puddings and have them ready even quicker. Your pudding just needs some minutes to thicken on its own and it is ready. To be honest many do not make it to the fridge if I am making it for the sole purpose of a snack! Especially the 5th Avenue Pudding! Yum.
5th Avenue Pudding Tastes Just Like the Candy Bar!
The whipped creamy peanut butter is so good. It is better in everything I think and especially in these recipes, making it as easy to swallow as the pudding and keeping the consistency the same. I try never to pay more than $2 for a jar of peanut butter (which is getting to be a harder feat) and of course I want a name brand; usually Peter Pan, sometimes Jiffy, etc. Just a few days ago I found Peter Pan at $3 but it was BOGO so I paid $1.50 each. I made sure I got the maximum allowed of those!
The Same but Different
This pudding is made the same as the peanut butter banana pudding above minus the banana and using chocolate instant pudding.
This is my favorite. I plan to crush the wafers or chop them lightly one time after the peanut butter has been spread on to see if distributing the crunch and peanut butter flavors make it even better.
If you liked 5th Avenue candy bars though I know you are going to be wowed by the resemblance.
So much better for you than candy for sure!
A Family Tradition Gone Modern
Banana pudding has always been a Southern tradition and its origins are very southern and I do take pride in that but I see nothing wrong with taking a good thing to make it better for us.
The great thing about both these recipes is the lower fat, calories and ease of making them without a loss of fun or flavor eating them.
As I pointed out in my "Have Your Cake and Eat It Too" article, we can have some fantastic foods to eat; we just have to use our imagination and pick the best things for us that still taste great. It really is our future and I look really forward to it. So far it has been so much fun learning.
Hope you give these two pudding recipes a try! I am sure you will be glad you did. Please share if you like it.
Healthy Banana Puddings Video
The video below shows two different recipes that look very delicious. How about fat-free yogurts, sour cream and whipped cream in our puddings? Sounds very interesting to me and I am very sure I will be getting some new ideas to try very soon.
© 2016 Jackie Lynnley