The Perfect low-sugar pudding for your family?

The Perfect low-sugar pudding for your family?

21 Feb 2017 Posted by: Stuart Willis

For someone that doesn’t do much cooking, I am very pleased with my low-sugar pudding. Really pleased in fact. I’ll be making it again for all the family!

It was tasty, it was well less than half the sugar of a normal pudding and it had more Natural Sugars than the bad Free Sugars.


Family-favourite Bread and Butter Pudding with a difference

On Saturday morning I noticed the chunks of bread left over from the melted camembert my eldest daughter and I had shared on Friday night.

Not much to do with chunks of bread other than dip them into boiled eggs like we did as children, spread them out in the garden for the birds or use them to make Bread and Butter pudding.

And let’s face it, who doesn’t like Bread and Butter Pudding?!

My Mum used to make the most amazing bread pudding with old bread but I’ve never made that and you need quite a lot of bread.

I have made Bread and Butter Pudding before though. The first time was in platters as big as a cooking stove for over 1,200 people when I was a student working in a canteen.

On that day, many years ago, I added a humongous lot of refined white sugar. It makes me cringe now!


Saturday’s Family Experiment: 3 tips for less sugar

So with these chunks of bread I decided to make a small pudding with three sugar tricks:

1) I used the tiniest weeniest bit of sugar – just over one teaspoon in fact -  for the whole of this bowl.  This works out around 6g of sugar compared to Delia’s recipe which is around 12g of sugar for the same volume of pudding. So less than half.

2) I added other flavours to replace the sweetness we have grown to expect: a little vanilla extract and a little nutmeg. I’m not a huge vanilla fan but a tiny drop did give a good flavour. Next time I’ll add more nutmeg and maybe a little cinnamon too.

3) I replaced custard (mmmm, I truly love custard) with an organic apple puree found in an independent deli-type store the weekend before. I bought the puree to make a low sugar cake and that experiment is still to be done.

Custard and brown sugar

As a lover of custard, I was amazed how good the apple puree was and it didn’t feel like a poor substitute at all. It tasted fabulous: smooth, not over-powering and quite a treat.

Interestingly I used brown sugar instead of white. This gives a slightly different taste and some people say that brown sugar does have some nutrients through the molasses added and others pooh-pooh that.

With a bit of quick research, it seems that brown sugar does have potassium, calcium, magnesium and other minerals in it, but not in huge quantities. So sugar is still sugar and added sugar is still a not-so-good “Free Sugar”.


Not sugar-free but definitely good to ween the family

For some families, giving up sugar overnight is easy. That’s true for people giving up alcohol and smoking too and you’ve got to hand it to those families and people.

Other families, like ours, find it easier to “ween” themselves off sugar over time. This weening can be really helpful in changing the taste expectations of your children without them realising it.

So you can suffer a lot less kid or even partner tantrums in the process.

For example, If you always make muffins on Saturday, and stopping that will cause a family melt-down, then do it gradually.

Each week, add less sugar to the recipe you have always used- so maybe 90% of what the recipe says then 80% then 70%.... and take it as low as you can.

Half the sugar and more natural too

With this one Saturday treat, my daughter and I each had 8.5g of sugar compared to 23g-28g with Delia’s recipe and custard and instead of an almighty 39g from my old-time Starbucks muffin.

How that was calculated

  • In the whole bowl, I added 6g of brown sugar, there was around 9g of sugar from the apple puree (I didn’t weigh the puree but 100g has 9g of sugar and I definitely had less than 1/7th of the 700g pot) plus there will have been 2g from the bread as most breads have sugar to encourage the yeast to do its rising magic. So this bowl had 17g of sugar and I had half.
  • This was instead of: 12g of sugar by eating 1/4 Delia’s Bread and Butter Pudding recipe, 14g of sugar in 125g Ambrosia custard (= to one pot, normal or low fat) and 2g of sugar from the bread. So one quarter of Delia’s recipe would be 28g or one 6th of her recipe would be 23g (both with the custard). LINK to Delia recipe:

Note: to keep it simple, I’ve ignored the berries/sultanas but they do add a little extra natural sugar too.

How that compares to an adult’s daily sugar eating recommendation


As a female teenager or adult, it is recommended that we eat no more than 50g of sugar a day of which a maximum of 30g of “Free Sugars”. Free Sugars are the sugars added into food and not naturally occurring.

So in reality, we each ate:

  • 4g of our 30g Free Sugar allowance
  • 8.5g from our total 50g allowance

Not bad for a Saturday afternoon treat with our posh, old-fashioned, charity shop cups and enough sunshine to sit in the garden to eat it.

How that compares to a child’s daily sugar eating recommendation

The proportions for children are a little different, especially for free sugars.

  • A child aged 4 to 6 is recommended to eat a maximum of 19g free sugars and 85g total sugar,
  • A child aged 7 to 10 is recommended to eat a maximum of 24g free sugars and 85g total sugar.

Source: Free Sugar Recommendations from The Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) in 2014.

So if an 8 year old child had eaten the other half of the bowl, like me, they too would have been well under the daily recommendations for free Sugars and total sugars.

Conclusion: is this pudding good for your kids?

This pudding is not a no-sugar option and has a little Free Sugar.

BUT it could become a family favourite as a reduced sugar treat for your kids and family.

This pudding is perfect for families who “have to” eat a desert. We know lots of families like that, especially on Sundays after a roast dinner. It’s a hard family habit to break.

This pudding was also a gorgeous Saturday afternoon treat instead of the usual chocolate cake or muffin that I might nip into a café to eat.

My Challenge to you for Your Family

This was such an easy experiment and I challenge you to reduce the sugar in your favourite meals too.

After all, my 8.5g replaced the 39g of sugar I would have eaten with my normal Saturday treat (a Starbucks choc chip muffin).

Fancy joining our Pioneer Families in a 12-week challenge?

Join In!

What I used to make this family favourite

  • Old bread, lightly buttered
  • A tiny weeny bit of brown sugar
  • An egg and some milk
  • Some dried blueberries
  • A drop of vanilla extract
  • A dusting of nutmeg
  • Organic and pure apple puree to replace custard


You might also like:

What About the Girls?

9 Sugar Substitute Ideas for Your Kids

This entry was posted in Things to do, Kids health and food and tagged sugar smart, healthy eating, recipe .

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