I love banana pudding, as any good southern woman should. I remember my grandmother had this special dish (a large ceramic pot) that was just for banana pudding. she’d line the sides and bottom with wafers, then pour in the pudding and bananas and put meringue on top and bake it in the oven. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of meringue. I can tolerate it on my grandmother’s chocolate pie but it belongs there. So when I started to make my own banana pudding I wanted something that was a bit different. I came across Paula Deen’s recipe and decided to alter it a bit for those of us who don’t need so much sugar or fat in our lives. This is my creation. It’s pretty simple and since I was in a hurry today I decided not to take step by step photos but just show you the completed version.
Lighter Side Banana Pudding
6 small(ish) bananas, sliced
1 Box Reduced Fat Vanilla Wafers
2 Boxes sugar free instant vanilla pudding
3 cups skim milk or coconut/almond milk (I prefer coconut milk for this)
1 brick fat free cream cheese, softened
1 can fat free condensed sweetened milk
1 tub light cool whip
This is literally so simple. Line the bottom of a rectangle casserole dish (like the one pictured) with vanilla wafers. The OCD in me makes sure the flat surfaces are all on the bottom so it looks pretty even on the bottom side. After that, top the vanilla wafers with the sliced bananas. You can use less (and the original recipe does) but I like a healthy amount of fruit in my pudding so there you go. Set that aside and it’s time to assemble the pudding.
I use two bowls and a mixer for this, with a silicone spatula as my best friend. In the first bowl I combine the pudding and milk, then beat it on high for about two minutes. After that, set it aside and work on the second bowl. It’s best to use a pretty big one because you’ll need the room – trust me. In the second bowl cream together the condensed sweetened milk and the brick of cream cheese. The softer the cream cheese, the easier your time will be. Once it’s fully blended you’re done with the mixer. Fold in the cool whip using your best friend the spatula, and when it’s mixed well transfer the pudding over in and fold, fold fold. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, pour it over the bananas in the dish. It’ll just flow down like ribbons and be delightfully good. When you’re done? I won’t tell if you lick the bowl or the spatula. It’s that good.
After it’s level in the dish all that’s left to do is add another layer of wafers on top. You’ll most likely have some left over but I like to snack on them at random. Hopefully you enjoy this as much as me and mine do! You definitely can’t tell it’s low fat or sugar at all.