A friend recommended a chocolate-chip recipe that several women in our online group think are wonderful, so I was anxious to try them. When I looked at the ingredients, though, I noticed that one thing called for was a box of Instant Vanilla Pudding.
I sparked an interesting conversation on my Facebook wall when I asked folks who might know how to make pudding from scratch – “What would I substitute in this recipe to do this naturally?”
The long and short of it, we decided, was that there are lots of (relatively) healthy, natural ways to make pudding, and even pudding mix… But they won’t work in that recipe without the “Instant” – which is simply something not found in nature.
What is it, you ask?
Well, the ingredients in a box of band-name Instant Pudding include a bunch of things like sugar and cornstarch, their various “natural and artificial” flavors and colors, and…
Disodium Phosphate (for thickening)
That’s exactly how it is listed in the ingredients – like they know it’s a weird thing, so they felt the need to explain…
Now disodium phosphate, it turns out, is not as un-natural, or as scary, as I had though the “secret ingredient” might be.
It is actually commonly used for such purposes, as well as sometimes in cheese making.
People even take it straight as a health supplement (especially for the liver, gallbladder, and overall pH balance)!
It’s also used to prevent calcium deposits in steam boilers… Hmmmm.
I feel better knowing.
But I think I’ll stick with pudding from scratch ingredients I have in my kitchen… And stick with my old favorite chocolate chip cookies, too.