South Beach Living Pudding Cups


I received some free samples of Kraft South Beach Living pudding cups from a PR rep for the company. As I have an interest in low-cal products that I share here on this site, I'll share my take on this new product.

The packaging makes a boatload of claims: 60 calories! Sugar free! Good source of fiber!

Fiber? In pudding?

Both puddings I tried came infused with inulin, a fiber plentiful in plants such as chicory and jicama. Wikipedia says it's a soluble fiber that may lower cholesterol, but recent reports suggest the isolated fibers added to processed foods may not carry the same benefits as those in whole foods. However, inulin, being indigestible, doesn't add to the calorie count, and the only possible problem that might stem from its consumption (in large amounts) is a little indigestion.

Speaking of indigestion, these treats manage to achieve sugar-free status through the use of the sugar alcohols xylitol and maltitol, in addition to sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium (Ace K). Taking in too many grams of sugar alcohols also can lead to digestive upset, so take care not to binge should you indulge in sugar-free products. On the upside, xylitol helps prevent tooth decay.

Fiber, fake sugar, and plenty of water explain each cup's svelte 60 calories. Starch, rather than fat, provides the thickness and silkiness; the Dark Chocolate Vanilla Marble has 1.5 grams of fat, and the Milk Chocolate Truffle has 1 gram. The fat is saturated, likely because of the cream listed in the ingredients.

That cream, along with the Dutch-processed cocoa and salt, are the only ingredients in this pudding that you could buy yourself at the supermarket. If you're looking for all-natural foods . . . well, by now you've probably already looked elsewhere.

Taste? These cups taste much like other pudding cups I've tasted from the grocery store. They're creamy and rich-tasting, despite the lack of sugar and fat. The size and texture make for a satisfying dessert for me, though my husband, Scott, opted for two. The cups come four to a package.

Scott's favorite was the Dark Chocolate Vanilla Marble, which he enjoyed for the contrast in flavor between the chocolate layers and the center vanilla layer. I found the vanilla layer unassertive; it mostly tasted of milk, not vanilla, and the dark chocolate dominated this subtle flavor. It provided some relief from the chocolate, but don't choose this looking for a vanilla hit. It tastes a lot like chocolate chips.

I preferred the Milk Chocolate Truffle. I guess I'm just a sucker for that buttery, chocolaty flavor I associate with those creamy Lindt truffles. There's no contrasting flavor or subtlety here, just straight-up richness. I moaned a little.

Should you buy these cups? If you don't mind all the additives and fake sugars, sure. They're tasty and, at 60 calories, a perfectly reasonable dessert. If you balk at the idea of ingredients you can't pronounce, go with my longtime favorite prepared pudding, Kozy Shack, in moderation. Nothing beats some tasty tapioca.

More on South Beach Living:
South Beach Living Packaged Meals

Photo: Colleen Fischer

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