CAPSULE REPORT: Kozy Shack has added new flavors to their line of Splenda-sweetened versions of their pudding cups. At just 70 calories and 11g of carbs per half-cup serving, these portion-controlled cups provide a good comfort-food fix. They also serve as worthy ingredients for more elaborate desserts. Aside from the Splenda, the line is all-natural, gluten-free, low sodium, low cholesterol (made with 1% milk) and certified kosher. The products are approved by the American Diabetes Association and American Dietetic Association (and, if it matters, are marked as a “good source of dietary fiber”).
You’ve probably seen the the Kozy Shack line of puddings, packaged in individual cup containers and larger sizes, in the dairy case of your supermarket.
Packaged for convenience, the puddings are slow-cooked in kettles complete with fresh milk and natural ingredients. While we wouldn’t call the basic line “specialty food,” the No Sugar Added line definitely counts as “diet gourmet.”
In a world of artificial-tasting diet foods, these natural-tasting puddings are a comfort food respite. They contain no artificial flavors or colors, no trans fats or preservatives; if it weren’t for the Splenda, they could be called all-natural. For those who seek a bit of pudding* comfort, the portion-controlled, 113g cups (a half-cup of pudding) provide a satisfying pudding fix for 70 calories (the rice pudding is 90). While the Butterscotch was the standout of the original NSA flavors (including Chocolate, Rice and Tapioca Puddings), three new flavors bring new excitement to the line.
*The No Sugar Added version, which does not contain eggs (as the regular pudding does), is not called pudding but "Naturally Flavored Dairy Dessert.” It does have milk and cornstarch (ingredients of pudding), looks like pudding, tastes like pudding and is virtually indistinguishable to the lay person from the regular pudding product. But apparently, the USDA code requires eggs to be used, in order for it to be called “pudding.”
New Kozy Shack No Sugar Added Flavors
There’s no indication in flavor that these are artificially-flavored. Despite the absence of the egg, the consistencies are almost identical to the regular line.
No Sugar Added Apple Pie A La Mode Pudding. We predict that this flavor will be the universal crowd pleaser. The equivalent of a cinnamon-spiked apple pie filling is added to a vanilla pudding base. The fruit is on the bottom of the cup (as with all the flavors), and it tastes just as good if eaten from the top down or mixed in.
No Sugar Added Black Forest Pudding. Much more interesting than either the regular Chocolate Pudding with sugar, or the No Sugar Added Chocolate (both of which tend to be light on chocolate intensity), this Black Forest is our favorite chocolate flavor. Vibrant pieces of black cherries and some almond extract significantly enliven the basic chocolate pudding. It’s festive, tastes like a special-occasion, and is the epitome of a chocolate treat.
No Sugar Added Cherries Jubilee Pudding. Here, the black cherry topping is added to the vanilla pudding base. It’s missing a seasoning, though. Unlike the Apple Pie A La Mode, which has cinnamon, and the Black Forest, which has almond extract, this cherry stands alone—and it isn’t enough. Please, Kozy Shack, go back to the formulation room and add a little something extra. Classic Cherries Jubilee sauce is made of cherries plus sugar, brandy and cornstarch. If brandy flavoring isn’t deemed appropriate for a “family” dessert, we’d take more of the almond extract.
In addition to enjoying them straight from the cup, you can incorporate the puddings into more elaborate desserts. You can flavor whipped cream with non-caloric sweetener or use a non-dairy diet topping, as your food plan allows.
Black Forest Cherry Dessert
Makes 4 servings.
8 individual cups Kozy Shack Chocolate Pudding or Black Forest Pudding*