Dear fellow bloggers and readers,
A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving as we did at our house. Our daughter, who is an avid cook herself, takes charge of the Thanksgiving menu every year and has been doing so from the time she was in her mid teens, about 6 years ago. Let me tell you that I am truly thankful to be relieved of the burden. My husband, our son (her older brother), and I then get assigned “sous chef” responsibilities while “The Chef” efficiently and passionately directs the production of a mouthwatering feast prepared from scratch.
We all work as a team, laughing and sharing the kind of camaraderie that bonds and brings families together. We had a moment yesterday when we could not locate the attachments for the hand-mixer, and had no option but to manually beat the eggs for the meringue. This is laborious work as many of you might know, and hence just when you felt that your arm was going to fall off from the rigorous stirring, we would gratefully pass (make that desperately dump), the wire whisk to the next person in line. To me that is the true spirit of Thanksgiving-families coming together, sharing moments of gratitude and joy, but more importantly extending this spirit throughout the year, not just on turkey day.
Anyways, thank you for indulging me on my TG reflections:). Now back to the business of blogging on nutrition matters….
With the holidays almost upon us, (where did 2015 go??!), most of us are looking for one of those quick, no-fuss recipes that can be made in a cinch. This classic bread pudding recipe fits the bill as it can be whipped up in minutes, and the waist watcher version does not add unwelcome pounds either! I reduced the total fat (mainly saturated fat from butter), and “empty” calories from sugar in the recipe by about a third to create a dessert that looks and tastes decadent, but in reality is not that rich after all! Your friends will be all over this, pleasantly surprised (and thankful), to learn that it is significantly lower in calories than the traditional version!
Servings : Approximately 15 servings.
For the custard sauce:
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp butter
- 1.25 cups 2% milk
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- In a small, thick bottomed saucepan, combine all ingredients except the vanilla extract.
- Whisk the ingredients in the pan briskly over low to medium heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk for about 9-10 minutes until thickened. Sauce should coat the back of a spoon, but you may adjust consistency as desired.
- Turn off the heat and stir in vanilla extract until well blended.
For the pudding
- 4 slices day old, thickly sliced regular, whole wheat bread
- 4 slices day old, thickly sliced country white bread
- 2 tbsp butter melted + 1 tsp to grease baking pan
- 1/3 cup combination of raisins + cranberries + 1 tsp of cranberries for garnish if desired.
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2.5 cups fat free milk
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 tsp powdered sugar for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 13″ by 9″ pan with 1 teaspoon of butter.
- Slice the white and wheat bread length wise, then breadth wise to form cubes.
- Line the pan with the bread cubes.
- Pour the melted butter all over the bread.
- Beat eggs, milk, white sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin spice and vanilla in a medium bowl until combined well.
- Add dried fruit to the bowl and pour over the bread in the baking pan until completely covered with the egg-milk mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes until top springs back on touching and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cut pudding into squares
- Warm up the custard sauce slightly in a small, heavy saucepan.
- Pour over bread pudding.
- Sprinkle bread pudding with powdered sugar and sprinkle with reserved dried fruit.
A Registered Dietitian’s tip:
For those of you who may be concerned about saturated fats from butter, or cholesterol from eggs, note that small amounts of saturated fat (about 7-10% of total calories in the context of an overall healthy diet, is acceptable). Also, saturated and trans fats have a greater impact on your cholesterol levels than does dietary cholesterol. For most folks, experts advise up to 7 egg yolks per week. Please refer to my posts and podcast on saturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids and types of fats for more information on this crucial topic. As always, please check with your Physician or Registered Dietitian for recommendations individualized to your unique needs.
Nutrition facts label: Please note a glitch in the software analysis for this recipe. Even though I used 4 slices of high fiber whole wheat bread and dried fruit which contributed some amount of fiber to the recipe, the amount of fiber per serving should be less than 2 grams, not the 9 grams as suggested.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored for your unique needs.