Butterscotch Pudding For What Ails Ya

Butterscotch Pudding from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[A bowl of pudding, a cup of herbal tea, and forget about what ails ya.]

I don’t suppose that butterscotch pudding is the first food that comes to mind when one thinks of foods that can be eaten “for what ails ya.”

Then again, it might be. . . if, when you think of butterscotch pudding, you think of Jell-O instant puddings. And when you think of Jell-O pudding, that might lead you to think of Bill Cosby, their former spokesperson, talking about puddings and kids and fun in one of his many unforgettable commercials.  And then, if you happen to continue to think of Bill Cosby, that would lead you to think of all the TV shows in which Mr. Cosby has featured, such as I Spy, Fat Albert, Kids Say the Darndest Things, and the exemplar of all family sitcoms, the eponymous The Cosby Show.  And when you think of The Cosby Show, you might then think of the protagonist of the show, Cliff Huxtable.  Who, when you think about it, was a doctor (albeit an obstetrician) on the show.  And then, once you’re thinking about doctors, you might be thinking that a doctor is a person you’d need to see, say, if you felt ill.  And if you’re thinking about feeling ill, well, you might think about what you’d eat. Bringing it all together, you’d go on to think about “what you’d eat + Dr. Huxtable + Bill Cosby + pudding” sort of all mushed together in one thought.   So, in the end, “food to eat for what ails ya” could, indeed, bring you to “pudding.” [Ricki’s note, 2018: Now that time has passed and Cosby has been in the news for much more than TV or pudding, we might not feel quite so warm and cozy at the thought of Dr. Huxtable. Let’s hope that doesn’t take anything away from the pudding.]

(Yes, my mind works this way).  Pity the poor HH.

Butterscotch Pudding from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[Yes, it tastes as rich and creamy as it looks. And just as butterscotchy, too.]

In my own case, this pudding is a creation I came up with as a result of a specific health condition; I’m eating it as part of my treatment. (No, really.). And whether or not you’ve got something that ails you, well, this pudding will make you feel much better. It’s creamy, it’s light, it’s velvety, and it tastes like afternoon tea and reading in front of the fireplace and knitting in a rocking chair and maybe a silky camisole thrown in as well. . . .but it’s filled with heart-healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients, too. All at 90 calories per serving.

As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, my mom died fairly young (aged 62) from complications of diabetes and heart disease.  In fact, she suffered her first heart attack at age 55.  Because I’m a hypochondriac health conscious, every year at my annual physical, I ask my doctor to conduct all the necessary tests to ensure that my heart is in tip-top condition.  I’ve had my cholesterol, triglycerides and homocysteine levels measured regularly (all are great, thankfully). I take a treadmill stress test every other year.  I sometimes undergo an EKG at my physical.  And in recent years, I’ve repeatedly requested a C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test in my blood work, since it’s a good marker of inflammation in the body. Normally, my doc’s response has been, “Not necessary. Everyone has some kind of inflammation, so it doesn’t really tell us very much.”

When I started seeing my new naturopath last year, though, she wrote to my allopathic doctor and asked her to include the CRP test based on my family history. Finally, she complied. . . . and guess what? Tests revealed that my levels are elevated–gasp! I must admit this result annoyed me more than anything else. . . I mean, I eat a plant-based diet! I exercise regularly! I drink green tea ever day! My dad is 91 and in perfect health!! Why did I have to inherit my mom’s genes in that area? Et cetera, et cetera.

At the same time, I do suffer from several conditions that cause chronic inflammation. . . . definitely part of the problem. Not to mention that stress is a crucial factor that can also increase CRP levels.

Butterscotch Pudding from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[Quick–grab a big spoonful of this and lower those stress levels!]

Of course, my naturopath’s first words about this situation were, “Now, don’t get all stressed about it [she’s obviously gotten to know me a bit by now]–there is a lot we can do to combat the genetic component here.”  Aside from the need for stress reduction (must. get. back. to. meditation. daily.) and increasing my exercise (my regimen has definitely suffered since I pulled a tendon in my foot and haven’t been up to walking as much), she suggested taking turmeric (for general artery health and anti-inflammatory effects) as well as using lecithin (ditto).  Well, I can do that. (In fact, you may have noticed that I added lecithin to my Veggie-Full Sweet Smoothie a while back).

While lecithin is a major component of most cell membranes and a key factor in heart health, it’s important to note that not all lecithin is created equal. In fact, there seems to be a bit of controversy about it on the web, with proponents on both sides of the issue. Whether pro or con, everyone seems to agree that if you do use it, you must avoid GMO soy at all costs, and that the granular form is superior. I use NOW granules.

What lecithin does in prepared or packaged food is create a rich, creamy, emulsified texture (though that type of lecithin is usually genetically modified). I tried this pudding without, and while it’s still very tasty, the lecithin is what elevated the mixure from “puree” to “pudding.” I’d highly recommend giving it a try if you can. The pudding is also super-quick to make (in fact, I daresay it takes even less time to prepare than Mr. Cosby’s instant variety).

While I may need to be more careful about what I eat from now on, it doesn’t seem so bad when I can enjoy desserts like this one, with fiber, healthy fats and even a hit of protein in every serving.

Gee, I think I’m feeling better already.

How about you? Have any of you tried lecithin? Are you in the “yea” camp, or the “nay”?

Butterscotch Pudding from Diet, Dessert and dogs

Last Year at this Time: Cara’s Caramelized Onion, Shaved Butternut and Goat Cheese Pizza (gluten free; ACD  Stage 2 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Coconut Ice Cream–No Ice Cream Maker Required! (gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond )

Three Years Ago: Faux Pepperoni (gluten free; ACDStage 2 and beyond)

Four Years AgoNava’s Sweet and Sour Cabbage and Bread Stew (can be gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Five Years Ago: A North American’s Anzac Biscuits (Or My Ode to the Antipodes) (not gluten free; ACD  Maintenance)

© Ricki Heller, RickiHeller.com

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to RickiHeller.com via email. You’ll get recipes as soon as they’re posted, plus cookbook updates and news about upcoming events! (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”

[Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission from the sale.]



  1. Wow Ricki this is another awesome recipe. I was totally expecting to see Lucuma in this – isn’t it butterscotch-y? I’d love to get my kiddies to try this. I need to find this squash first. Have you tried Delicata squash? It’s begging to be used in a dessert too. Sorry to hear you’ve got some inflammation. Please do get back to that daily meditation thing 🙂 xo

    • Guess I’m pretty transparent with my lucuma now, eh? 😉 Yes, it’s very “butterscotchy”! I haven’t tried Delicata–can’t seem to find it in the local store! Will keep looking, though. 🙂

  2. Interesting. I’d never heard that lecithin does anything good for ya. I’ll have to do some more reading about that. I’ve seen sunflower lecithin, which is the way I’d have to go since I don’t do soy. Hm…..

    The pudding looks amazing, by the way.

  3. I’m so angry I have to wait until Friday to make this (Thursday evening is grocery day in our house and I don’t have squash!)

    How many servings for this bad-boy?

    Thanks for a great recipe and interesting information, Ricki!

    • Sophie, it’s worth the wait! 😉 The servings are listed in the last line of the recipe instructions–4 servings. 🙂 Glad you like the look of it!

  4. this looks ridiculously delicious Ricki!!!

  5. Amazing!!!

  6. Wow… butterscotch pudding used to be my all-time favorite. Definitely will be trying this, thanks!

  7. Ooh butterscotch pudding! It’s been ages since I’ve had any, and your recipe looks amazing.

    I’ve been curious about the health benefits of lecithin for awhile. I guess I have an excuse to buy some and try it out now!

  8. I saw this pinned all over my pinterest feed and thought wow that looks great, too bad its probably full of junk. Then I actually took to the time to see WHO was posting it and read the caption! I was soooooo excited to see that it is healthy and I can’t wait to make it. Do you think two Tbsp would be a good sub for lecithin or should I just leave it out all together?

    • 2 Tbsp chia seeds… sorry!

      • Jesse, I made it this way, too, just to see the difference. It’s a little more “gluey”, not as smooth and creamy, but the chia does thicken it up. I’d actually add more nut butter before I’d add more chia. If you can have xanthan gum, that might have a similar effect. . . maybe 1/4 tsp? (I’m guessing here, but worth a try).

        • I’ll try adding more nut butter and let you know how it goes. I’m hesitant to buy lecithin because I’m already a bit of a supplement junkie, it sounds like it does really add to the texture. I bet Irish moss would work as well, I have never used it but I have always wanted to!

          • Oh, yes, I bet Irish Moss would do the same thing! It also has nutritional qualities. . . but seems to take a lot longer to use (soaking, etc. . . )! 😉

    • Thanks so much! See my other comment re: lecithin. 🙂

  9. Oh my gosh. I can’t believe that something so healthy could look so delicious! I normally steer clear of ‘healthy’ desserts but… you know what? I’m going to give it a go and sample it for myself!! I definitely understand what it’s like to be genetically predisposed to certain things. Both of my parents have medical issues and… well, I’ve kinda inherited from both of them. It’s amazing what good food can do for the body though; I’m learning as I go along. Thanks for your lovely recipe.

    • Laura, thanks so much for your comment and for stopping by! I guess I no longer steer clear of “healthy” desserts because that’s all I eat these days–and I LOVE dessert! 🙂 I agree, good food is an incredible healer. It’s made a huge difference in my life over the past 3 years.

  10. Keep in mind, CRP can temporarily elevate, too. Sometimes if you have an underlying infection, sometimes from temporary inflammation with an unknown cause. If you get it checked regularly and it stays up then you may have some chronic inflammation that is reflecting in the CRP, but all of us have elevated CRP at times, so she is right, don’t stress too much about it yet!

    But, if it gives you an excuse to eat butterscotch pudding – go for it 🙂 Love the use of kabocha squash here!

    • Thanks, Alisa. She did tell me that, but apparently there’s a heart-specific type of CRP that she had tested, which is different from the “regular” one. It’s a good motivator to stay on track, so I’m not complaining! 🙂

  11. It is so refreshing to see a recipe posted which is so completely different from the usual vegan blog recipes. Kabocha squash is so incredibly sweet and how creative to use it in a butterscotch pudding! Can’t wait to give it a try! Btw, I have never seen white chia seeds, but maybe I haven’t been looking closely for them.

  12. I think of those silky smooth foods to be good for you when you are sick and need something cool and easy to eat – so I can see this is for what ails ya! Actually I liked your reasoning about why it seemed so to you because I often think like that but when I explain it seems so convoluted.

    Good luck with the inflammation – hope the lecithin helps. The one use I know for lecithin is bread because when I first was friends with a vegan years ago we had to check the bread ingredients to check the lecithin wasn’t animal derived – that is what I think i remember but could be wrong – I think our bread was lecithin and soy and so we used to call it lecky bread

    • Love it, Johanna, “lecky bread”!! 😉 And I hadn’t thought of silky smooth being easy to eat, but of course it is (and with all that flu going round the States right now, I bet it would come in handy). So glad you can follow my convoluted logic, too! 😀

  13. So the other day I sliced and roasted half a kabocha squash, but they didn’t come out as well as they usually do (I kinda forgot about them while doing other things). So when I saw this, I knew just how to salvage them! I made this, without lecithin (although I’ll probably scope out some next time I’m at Whole Foods), subbing raw almond butter + lucuma for the walco-nut butter. Oh. My. Word. SOOOO good, Ricki! Ive already put kabocha on the list to buy again this weekend so I can make more!

    • Yay!! So glad you liked it, Alta! And I’m telling you, if you do include the lecithin–well, that’s a whole ‘nother level of deliciousness! 😀

  14. I’m having trouble imagining that anyone could be more careful about what she eats than you, Ricki. I understand your fears, though. I remember lecithin from way back in the “olden days” of healthy eating. I had a big old jar of granules in the cupboard that I eventually disposed of, as it was getting so old and it wasn’t getting used up. It’s one of those things that was developed to make use of an unsavory waste product — not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. (Fluoride started that way too, and there are people on both sides of that issue.) I’m not inclined to use lecithin, but I don’t have a naturopath who told me I should, and her knowledgeable opinion is something to consider. However, I am inclined to try the pudding! I’ll have to think about emulsifiers. 🙂

    • Nice of you to say, Andrea. 🙂 While I do think that I am very careful about what I eat, there’s always the problem of how much I eat. . . which can still be a big problem. 😉 I had never heard about lecithin being used in a therapeutic way such as this (not something we discussed in nutrition school), but I’m happy to go with it for now and see if there are results. I’d say you could use more nut butter, or even a drop of xanthan gum (maybe 1/4 tsp for the whole recipe) and see if that works!

  15. I cant ever find kobocha squash. Where do u get it and can other squash work?

    • Hi Stacy,
      I often use buttercut squash instead of kabocha–they are both a bit starchy and very sweet. If you can’t find either, you can go with butternut or acorn squash, but you might need to increase the sweetener and decrease the liquid. OR, use sweet potato–also good! 🙂

  16. MMM kabocha and coconut milk – two of my favorite things!

  17. I’m probably answering my own question…but if one is ‘intolerant’ to soy beans…should they avoid granulated soy lecithin as well?

    • Yes, I’d say you answered your own question. 🙂 I’d avoid soy lecithin, but I’ve heard now from several readers that you can get sunflower seed lecithin, too–so I’d try that instead if you can find it!

  18. Iron Goddess says

    My supportive husband is going dairy free too and Butterscotch pudding is his favorite so I’m making THIS as a “thank you” tonight. As a New Englander living in Hawaii, I’ve been missing Hubbard squash (which I think would work well here too) but our Co-Op has been getting some beautiful Kabocha. I have some already roasted in my freezer. Thanks for another great recipe, Ricki

    • Fabulous!! And so glad you have the kabocha–it really is my favorite with this recipe (though I’m pretty sure I’d be willing to give it up forever if I could live in Hawaii). 😉

      • Iron Goddess says

        LOL I’m here for another 7 months-come visit! Made your “Butterscotch Pudding For What Ails Ya” and it was great. I think it would make an INCREDIBLE Sweet Potato/Squash Pie filling too!

        • Yes, I agree–it would work beautifully that way! So glad you both liked it! (And whoah, would I EVER love to come visit. . .!!!) 😀

          • Iron Goddess says

            On a different note re:inflammation- I recently had a thermogram done. It was an eye-opener and the results astounded, scared, disappointed, energized, motivated and renewed me-in that order. What I love about thermography is it tells you where the “hot spots” are (literally) which is where problems may be STARTING. My inflammation was in some unexpected places and I realized what I thought was “old age” was really my body speaking to me. If your insurance would permit, a thermograph might be a handy tool to put in your Naturopath’s hands. It’s taken my health journey in a new direction and I highly recommend it.

          • Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Iron Goddess. I actually have a thermogram every year as I trust them more than mammograms, but never thought to mention this on the blog! It’s not covered here by insurance, but it’s an investment I make in my health. 🙂

  19. LOVE Butterscotch, but gave it up due to new food restrictions. Can’t have soy, so used 1/4 tsp xanthan gum = creamy! Too much work for me to make Walco Nut Butter, so used a 1.19 oz. packet (a little over 2 Tbsp) of Artisana Walnut Butter, which is made w/ walnuts & cashews, + 1 tsp Lucuma Powder. Tasted great, but not quite butterscotchy enough. DOUBLED recipe today (use tall Vitamix container) – 2 Cups (2.55 lb.) Kabocha squash puree, 1.5 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 2 Tbsp White Chia Seeds, 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum, 4 Tbsp Cashew Butter, 1 Tbsp Lucuma Powder (to increase the butterscotch flavor), 2 tsp Cinnamon, 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract, 20 drops Vanilla Stevia liquid, 25 drops ENGLISH TOFFEE Stevia liquid (in hopes of increasing butterscotch flavor), pinch sea salt. Tastes wonderful! Like my double better than the first try. Thank you, Ricki, for giving me back butterscotch pudding!

    • Yay, Kelli, SO glad you liked it! I use the English Toffee, too–love that stevia. I happen to have some baked kabocha in the fridge–I think I need to go make some myself! 😉

  20. Followed recipe. instead of walco used almond butter and lucuma.
    None of us four tasters could detect any butterscotch flavor.

    • Hi Katherine, not sure why you don’t think it tastes like butterscotch. It may simply be a difference in palates. Alternately, not sure what your lucuma tastes like, but mine definitely confers butterscotchy flavor! You could try adding more lucuma and see if that makes a difference. Hope that helps!

  21. Hortense jones says

    Am allergic to soy, among other allergies Does all lecithin come from soy? Thank you! Eager to try the pudding. Am stationed in Middle East & no butterscotch here!

    • Hortense, some lecithin comes from sunflower seeds. There’s a brand here called NOW nutrition that makes it. As for the lucuma, it’s a dried fruit (from South America). You can get the powdered fruit for this. If you can’t find lucuma, try half as much carob powder. It’s not exactly the same, but still very good! 🙂

  22. Hortense jones says

    What is lucuma, please?

  23. Wow, 2013, before the world was aware about the truth of Bill Cosby. That shook me up quite a bit as a kid growing up in the 80s watching the Huxtables.
    Anyway, this looks like the perfect treat for the snowy, rainy & cold Polar Vortex week that kicked off today here in Southern Oregon. Ugh! Your pudding, a good book, some hot chai tea and my snuggly chaise by the fire and I can get through it a little easier and happier! Thanks for yet another delicious recipe, Ricki! 🙂

    • Yikes, Tricia–thanks for pointing out that out-dated reference! Methinks I need to revise this particular story. 🙁 In any case–glad you liked the pudding! And I do hope it serves to get you through that Polar Vortex.

  24. How the world changes, right? I didn’t know what to think when I was reading your backstory, and I always do read them, they usually always make me laugh! You are a great story teller. 🙂 So, when reading this one I was like huh?! Is is possible that Ricki is the very last person on earth spared from that nasty and sad case? Then I thought, hmmmm, let me check the date of the post and that was the aha moment. I debated whether or not to even point it out but I figured you probably didn’t want that nasty, disillusioning bit of business in your post. The rest of it was fantastic and entertaining as always! Thanks again for all the hard work you do and most of all for being you, you are an awesome lady and I truly look forward to your e-mails. I hope your dad is farther along on the road to recovery than he was the last time I messaged you. Take care, Ricki. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Tricia! I do try to avoid the news these days, but even I knew abou the Cosby case! lol. And thanks for asking about my dad. He’s been moved to a nursing home and he actually seems much happier and more lively than before–so maybe on the road to recovery! 🙂


  1. […] Diet, Dessert, and Dogs shared Butterscotch Pudding […]

  2. […] As for dessert? There are literally thousands of recipes online for grain-free truffles, chocolate, puddings, and more.  […]

  3. […] Amazing Butterscotch Pudding with fiber, healthy fats and even a hit of protein in every serving. Give It A Try! […]

  4. […] Heller uses squash in her recipe. I think this would be a very tasty […]

  5. […] Heller uses squash in her recipe. I think this would be a very tasty pudding. Photo credit goes to Ricki […]

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.