I am not a big fan of pudding. My favorite way to eat it was always the Jello Pudding Pops – frozen and delicious. I’m just not so much interested in blobby stuff – Jello, pudding, tapioca, mousse, you get the picture. So why did I buy the Instone High Protein pudding? Well, because I have to eat so damn many grams of protein per day, and I get tired day in and day out of the same old protein bars and the nuts and the bites of cheese. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
So, to start with the basics, one can, which is just over 6 ounces, costs $1.99 at GNC. There is one serving in the can, and 100 calories in the serving. There are 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs (yay) and no sugars or sugar alcohols (Yayyyy!). And, in this one can, there are 20 grams of Soy protein. Now, you may say, but I need Whey protein to properly absorb it into my system. And you can shut up and stop reading. I find it REALLY hard to find enough Whey protein products that I can even get past my lips, let alone finding enough of them in one day to provide the necessary amount of protein I need to eat. I’m branching out.
Here’s the thing with this pudding. Do you know when you make pudding at home – not the already made cups of Jello you find next to the cheese in the dairy aisle of your supermarket. I’m talking about the mixing the milk in the bowl with the powder kind. Or perhaps you are a gourmet and you use the heat and set kind. Whichever one you make at home – you know how if you leave it a day or two in the fridge, the top gets that protective skin on it? It’s kind of a rubbery substance that forms on top of the pudding and tastes yucky. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, this whole can of pudding reminded me of that rubbery protective skin that old pudding gets. Maybe this was an old can. It says on the bottom it’s good until June 15th, but it may have been sitting on the shelf at GNC since June 2003 for all I know.
I deal with the consistency issues, and I take a bite of the pudding. To be sure I was giving it a fair review, I took a second bite. I can’t take a third.
I do taste the vanilla. It’s a fairly strong flavor, sort of like it’s trying to hide something. I don’t think there’s anything real about the vanilla – more like a synthetic vanilla. For $2 a can, they could have splashed a little of the real thing in here. I’m not looking for Tahitian vanilla, but maybe a little McCormick’s? But something I taste in here that I thought I had gotten used to is an after-taste. It’s sort of the taste you get when you aren’t used to drinking diet soda, and you take a sip, and you get that weird taste after the soda goes down. They seem to have gone overboard on the artificial sweetener on this.
The pudding contains Carageenans – which are basically thickeners – and they recommend eating the pudding chilled (although it is out on a shelf at our GNC). Carrageenans are used to make things gel, and I think part of the problem I had with this pudding is it did “gel” as opposed to being smooth and creamy in texture. It was just weird.
Now, if you have a craving for something sweet, and you don’t mind odd textured food, I think this would certainly satisfy a sweet tooth. And it also gets 20 grams of protein into ya – not sure how much you’ll be able to absorb of that 20 grams if you’ve had WLS, but I think you’ll get some benefit out of it. It does not seem to have that protein smell or taste anywhere – which can be a GOOD thing. I just really had a hard time getting past the texture, and found that with my limited access to sweet things, the sweetness in this was too much.