- Pudding is a classic favourite and has many variants.
- Ingredients commonly used in puddings are gluten free.
- Different brands in the US produce gluten free puddings, but you must check the labels to be sure
- You can also make pudding at home using gluten free ingredients
If you have a sweet tooth, you probably love pudding. A spoonful of the sugary goodness can be a delicious snack or the perfect ending to a great meal.
Creamy, smooth, and sweet, puddings are a favourite among Americans – children and adults alike.
And, you can get various instant pudding varieties in the market. They are really easy to make, take just about a few minutes to prepare.
However, the question is, is instant pudding gluten free? Thankfully, there are plenty of brands that offer instant pudding mixes with no gluten content.
But, what is pudding, exactly?
Well, this question can begin a debate. This is because there’s no fixed definition of ‘pudding’.
If we look at all the food items that are christened “pudding’ in different parts of the world, you’ll realize that the word is rather vague, especially outside America.
Across the world, there are different types of desserts that have the name ‘pudding’. While some variants of it are thick and gooey, others are firmer and creamier.
Besides consistency, they may vary in texture, too, depending on the ingredients used and the techniques used.
Take, for instance, the Yorkshire pudding, which is something of a cross between a muffin and a pancake. Then there’s the black pudding, which is made from pig blood!
And did you know that some varieties of Yorkshire pudding are meaty and savoury?
And, while these pudding variants are full of gluten, there are many variants that don’t. The American version of “pudding” is a deliciously thick and sweet dessert, having an egg base, and made with gelatin or some other thickening agent. Usually, they do not contain grains.
How to Pick the Right Instant Pudding
You don’t have to be an expert at making desserts to stir up gluten free pudding at home. There are plenty of instant puddings available in the market.
All you have to do is be careful while shopping and take a thorough look at the list of ingredients on the label.
Whether the pudding is gluten free or not depends on the brand. But it matters what the brand is. You can get in touch with the manufacturer to get complete information.
They can help simplify the list of ingredients to you and explain whether it’s safe for you if you’re allergic to gluten.
You will also be able to find out what kind of flavouring or colouring agents are used in the instant pudding from the label.
These may add gluten content to the pudding. Often, modified cornstarch, which has gluten, may be present in the pudding.
In most countries, a food item or a beverage is allowed to label itself as gluten free if the gluten content is less than 20 ppm.
So, whether you want to keep your gluten intake to the bare minimum and pick such a product, or take a strictly no-gluten route, the label is your friend.
Whether the pudding is gluten free or not depends on the brand. But it matters what the brand is.
You can get in touch with the manufacturer to get complete information. They can help simplify the list of ingredients to you and explain whether it’s safe for you if you’re allergic to gluten.
Reasons Why Most Pudding Is gluten free
The moment we get diagnosed with an allergy for gluten or celiac disease, we are forced to make remarkable changes in our lives, especially our diet.
For most of us, gluten grains like wheat, barley, or rye are an essential part of our diet; and getting rid of them takes a lot of effort.
Eliminating gluten from the diet means that we have to be extra careful about every food item or beverage that we put in our mouth.
And, since most desserts have wheat flour, we have to be extra cautious about ending every meal on a sweet note.
Now, the main ingredients in good old American pudding are eggs, dairy, and sugar. This means – no gluten! The firmer, thicker variants use corn starch.
Other thickening agents used in puddings are tapioca and rice. All these are gluten free, and so are flavourings like vanilla essence or cocoa powder.
If you’re allergic to gluten or have celiac disease, it means that any food or grain that has gluten content in it will harm you. And, this can be a cause for concern, as you can face some serious effects.
From bloating, headache, stomach ache, inflammation, diarrhoea, and more, to iron deficiency, liver or thyroid conditions, neuropathy, or even cancer – there may be as many as 300 symptoms.
The disease affects individuals in different ways. And, gluten intake can trigger such problems. So, it is essential for you to consult a doctor, get tested, and adopt a no-gluten lifestyle.
This will help you in the long run and prevent discomfort, as well as the chances of health deterioration. And, the stricter you are with your food choices, the better it is for you.
So, you have to be careful about picking the right instant pudding mix for yourself. Just like all other products, you have to look at the label to find out if it’s gluten free.
You also need to be extra careful about the risk of cross-contamination.
Cross-contamination is something that can be difficult to avoid when it comes to store-bought food products. Even if the item is free from gluten content, small traces of gluten may be present in it.
This can happen if it is processed in a place where gluten-rich foods are also prepared or packaged.
This may lead to cross-contamination, as gluten gets infused in a naturally gluten free item because of close contact with gluten-rich items. It can actually happen at any level.
Instead of the main ingredients, cross-contamination may come from coloring or flavouring agents, or other additives.
Best Gluten Free Instant Pudding Brands
Several instant pudding brands allow you to enjoy your favourite dessert without having to consume gluten!
Let’s take a look at the best possible brands of gluten free instant pudding that will allow you to make a safe and delicious dessert!
There are several instant pudding brands available in the market, and most of them are not made from gluten grains. However, not all of them are completely gluten free, since they may have modified cornstarch and flavouring agents which contain gluten.
However, here’s a list of our favourite instant pudding mixes that you can easily find in local and online stores:
1. Boost Nutritional Pudding
This gluten free instant pudding is a product of Nestle, a brand that’s trusted by consumers for two centuries. Rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, this pudding is a nutritious addition to the diet.
You’ll have two delicious flavours to pick from – chocolate and vanilla. It is also a smart choice if you’re lactose intolerant or follow a PKU diet.
2. Mom’s Place
Mom’s place is a dedicated 100% gluten free brand that offers a large number of products, including instant pudding in two flavours – chocolate and vanilla.
The mix is made from a blend of gluten free flours like cornstarch, potato flour, white rice flour, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum. It’s also a fat-free pudding option that has no added sugar in it.
3. Simply Delish
If you’re looking for a gluten free pudding mix that’s also low in fat and sugar, then your search should end at Simply Delish. It’s a healthy option for children and adults alike.
You can even make a dairy-free dessert with this mix by using almond, soy, or coconut milk. It has three classic flavours – vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
It is probably understandable from the name itself that this pudding mix can fit smoothly into any strict diet, even if you’re looking to shed a few inches or pounds.
It’s not only gluten free but also low carb and rich in protein. And you get seven amazing flavors that will leave you asking for more. It’s a guilt-free solution to your sweet cravings.
5. Organics Pudding
If you’re an impulse cook with little time or few ingredients in the pantry, then Organics instant pudding by European Gourmet Bakery can be your new best friend.
This gluten free pudding comes in two flavours: vanilla and chocolate. But that’s all you need in life to keep you sane on your days of deep cravings. Add this cornstarch mix to some milk and egg yolks – and you’re good to go!
Is Jell-O Instant Pudding Gluten Free?
Another name that often comes up while discussing the best brands of gluten free instant puddings is that of Jell-O. The product is generally assumed to be gluten free, but this status is debatable.
The primary red flag is that the product’s package does not mention that it is gluten free.
In addition, it contains artificial flavorings and modified cornstarch, which, as we know, may contain gluten. And, while it doesn’t contain artificial sugars or corn syrup, it does have artificial flavourings.
So, there is no confirmation that this product is safe for you if you’re sensitive to gluten.
Gluten Free Instant Pudding Recipes
If you want to avoid store-bought pudding mixes, you can also gather the ingredients and make them on your own.
Rest assured that these are also quite easy to make and they are so delicious that you and your friends and family will enjoy them with you.
1. Vanilla Pudding
Vanilla pudding is a classic favourite, and there’s very little that can beat this one. Whether you want to end a regular week-night dinner on a sweet note or want to earn some extra brownie points from your guests (without actually making heavy gluten brownie), this is a simple and delicious answer.
- Sugar – 1/3cup
- Cornstarch – 2tbsp
- Salt – 1/8tsp
- Milk – 2cups
- Egg yolks (large) – 2, lightly beaten
- Butter – 2 tbsp, softened
- Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
1. In a 2-qt saucepan, add cornstarch with sugar and salt. Start stirring the milk in gradually.
2. Set the heat to medium and let the mix cook. Stir constantly, as the mixture starts to boil and begins to thicken. Keep stirring for another minute.
3. Place the egg yolks in a separate bowl and add around half the hot mixture in. Do this slowly and keep stirring constantly.
4. Now, pour this eggy mixture back to the mixture boiling in the saucepan. Stir constantly and stir constantly.
5. Add vanilla essence and butter and give it one last stir before you remove it from the heat.
6. Pour the pudding into serving bowls and cover with cling film so that you can prevent pudding skins. Put the bowls in the refrigerator for an hour.
Your delicious, soul-soothing vanilla pudding is ready to serve. Remember that this gluten free pudding tastes best when it’s chilled.
2. Chocolate Pudding (Eggless)
This is a popular pudding that you can cook with ingredients that are commonly available in your kitchen, especially if you love to cook desserts at home.
Whether you’re in the mood for some self-indulgence or planning to host guests, this pudding is perfect!
- Cocoa powder (unsweetened) – 6 tbsp
- Sweet rice flour or flour blend (gluten free) – 2 ½ tbsp
- Granulated sugar – ¼ cup
- Fat-free milk powder or almond flour – 2 tbsp
- Kosher salt – ¼ tbsp
- Milk (excluding non-fat) – 2 cups
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Chocolate shaving and whipped cream for garnishing
1. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk properly to mix them well. Transfer the mix to a glass container, seal it, and set it aside for some time.
2. Take a heavy-bottomed saucepan of medium size and transfer the dry mix to this saucepan. Add ½ cup milk and whisk properly to form a smooth blend. Now, drizzle in the remaining milk slowly, and keep mixing to avoid clumps.
3. Turn on the heat and set it to medium. Place the saucepan with the mix on it and let it start simmering.
4. Put in the vanilla flavouring and keep whisking, till the mix starts to thicken. This will take around 4 min. The best way to understand if the pudding has reached the right consistency is to use the whisk and form an “8” in the pan. If you see a prominent trail, the pudding is ready.
5. Pour the pudding in serving bowls, cover with cling films, and allow them to sit at room temperature so that they cool down. Now, refrigerate the pudding and let them sit for around 1 hour, during which the pudding will set and will get chilled.
Once the pudding is chilled, you can add whipped cream, along with some chocolate shavings, to garnish the dessert before you serve it.
3. Dairy-Free Instant Pudding Recipe:
Now, let’s take a quick look at how to make some delicious vegan dessert using one of the instant pudding mixes available in the stores. It’s rich, it’s delicious, and it’s super-easy to cook – if you can call it cooking, at all! And, you can pick any flavour for this dairy-free dessert.
1. Instant Pudding Mix – 1 small box
2. Coconut milk – 1 can
3. Water – 3 tbsp
Mix the pudding mix and coconut milk in a mixing bowl. Make sure to whisk properly so that there’s no lump. Add water if you want the mix to be a little runnier. Transfer to separate bowls and cover them.
The dessert is ready to eat! You can also refrigerate it if you want to serve it chilled.
It is natural for a gluten allergic person to wonder which desserts fit into a gluten free diet. After all, most of the sweet foods or desserts that we know and enjoy, like cakes, cookies, and doughnuts, all have wheat flour in them, which can be quite harmful to you.
Well, the good news is that the instant pudding that’s popular in America is naturally free from gluten content.
Whether you buy an instant pudding mix or decide to make it from scratch, you won’t need to scourge the shelves in the stores. That’s because you’ll easily be able to find the ingredients or the instant pudding mixes.
You won’t need to find alternative recipes or substitutes to replace gluten grains in the desert. And you’ll have a delicious dessert that everyone can enjoy!