B-A-N-A-N-A-S Banana Pudding

Thanks to Gwen Stefani’s song “Hollaback Girl” we all know how to spell “bananas.” In this particular catchy yet emotionally-detached song, bananas means “the sh#t.” Rachel Zoe, reality star of a caffeine- and fashion- induced BRAVO show, also uses the word “bananas” in a similar context. So, if you ever find yourself in spelling bee and your word is bananas, think Gwen: “B-A-N-A-N-A-S,” and if you are still drawing a blank, think of the word usage in a sentence by Mrs. Zoe, “That’s bananas!” All this talk of bananas has gotten my potassium down and my stomach churning from hunger.

Summertime brings out the sweet tooth in me, and smooth, chilled desserts are a necessity when it comes to combating the dripping South Carolina humidity. When you begin to think of all the cool, refreshing treats available during the summertime, the healthy alternatives are few and far between. Though some might argue with me, I’m going to go on the record and say that banana pudding isn’t the worst dessert you could choose to indulge a sweet tooth hankering. However, what type of banana pudding and what ingredients you use does make a huge difference in the calorie/fat department. I was going to avoid making a cliché summertime + bathing suit= 😦 reference. However, since I’ve been watching a lot of Jillian Michaels screaming the pounds off of people in order to motivate myself when running* on the tready, I feel obligated to say that moderation is the key to being diet free. I just made that up. However, I do feel as though at any moment Jillian could come barging into my apartment, rip the bag of Cheetos out of my hands and yell, “Processed foods will kill you!”

I confiscated this particular recipe from the Southern Living vault years ago, and it has become a go-to recipe for friend and family gatherings during the summertime. It’s easy and mighty tasty. Also, you can buy reduced-fat or fat-free alternatives to most of the ingredients (i.e. fat-fat sour cream, Cool Whip lite, etc.). I recommend reduced-fat rather than fat-free products, but that’s just my personal taste preference. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own whipped topping by whipping together 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and a teaspoon vanilla extract. You can also double this recipe for entertaining a larger group and make it fancy by preparing it in a trifle dish or in individual fluted glasses. As the emaciated Rachel Zoe would so eloquently put it, this banana pudding is “Bananas!”

SIDENOTE: I happen to love Gwen Stefani, and No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom is definitely one of my favorite albums of all time. I also shamelessly watched the first season of The Rachel Zoe Project and lapped up every “I die!” and “That’s bananas!” statement made. As far as Jillian Michaels is concerned, she has pretty hair, and I don’t eat Cheetos…ever**!

*running= walking

**blatant lie

Bananas Banana Pudding

1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

½ cup sour cream

1 ¾ cup milk

Vanilla wafers

3 medium bananas, sliced

1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

  1. Beat together pudding mix, sour cream, and milk at a low speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  2. Line the bottom of a 2 ½-quart bowl with vanilla wafers. Alternate layers of bananas, pudding, and whipped topping. Repeat layers beginning with vanilla wafers and ending with whipped topping. Yield: 4-6 servings


  1. John said

    What kind of bananas are best? Under ripe, just right, or battered and beaten?

  2. Well, John, just right bananas are best, neither green nor bruised. Think of it as a banana that has reached its prime.

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