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Classic bread pudding recipes can have over 600 calories and 30 grams of fat per serving. If you’re using doughnuts and buttery croissants instead of bread, you’d be lucky to keep things under 1000 calories.
The basic recipe is simple, combine bread with custard and bake. To lighten things up, use smarter ingredients at each stage of the recipe and keep portions to about ½ cup per person.
Dense or sweetened breads will undoubtedly have more calories and monster portions just aren’t necessary. Consider using whole-grain bread for tummy-filling fiber and figure on 4 to 5 cups of cubed bread for 8 servings.
Replacing half-and-half with low fat milk saves 200 calories and 25 grams of fat per cup. Don’t worry about the thinner consistency of the milk, eggs help thicken the mixture and allow it to bake without separating. For every 2 cups of liquid, add 2 eggs and ½ to ¾ cup of sugar.
Boost flavor (sensibly) with any of these embellishments:
• Add 2 cups of fresh fruit or ½ cup of dried fruit
• Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar before baking
• Mix in ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
• Add 2 tablespoons of rum or orange liqueur to the custard
Tell Us: What’s your favorite bread pudding recipe?
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Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »
Order this classic dish at a restaurant and you’re in for a 900-calorie meal (that’s without appetizers or dessert!). Opt for frozen and you won’t do much better at around 700 calories a pop. For both options, fat ranges from 40 to 60 grams and sodium can double the recommended daily amount. Instead, cozy up to a homemade version Healthy Eats style.