I hear most of you saying “of course banana pudding is gluten free”. Not true my glutinous friends. The common vanilla wafer or cookie is not GF and, believe it or not, some pudding mixes and whipped toppings say right on the box “may contain wheat”. But my family thrives on banana pudding so a few simple swaps let us continue to enjoy this traditional southern treat.
Swap One : The Cookie. I have tried several different variations and by far my favorite vanilla wafer substitute is the Kinnikinnick K- Kritter. It has a great flavor with the pudding and a similar crunch to softness in the pudding that the vanilla wafer usually offers. However, these are very popular and often sell out. So in a pinch, I have used the MI-DEL Arrowroot Cookies. But be prepared, the MI-DEL cookies, even though sealed tightly, often have a stale texture. But this is easily masked (literally) in banana pudding.
Swap Two: I always use JELL-O Brand vanilla pudding. I still read the label to guarantee my safety. Many store brands say “may contain wheat” or “processed in a facility that also processes wheat”. And every time a store label changes, I have to start all over again. So name brand it is for me.
Swap Three: I always use Cool Whip brand (KRAFT always lists glutens on their labels) whipped topping for the same reasons as stated above for the pudding. Now why on earth there would be wheat in whipped topping is beyond me. But as the adage goes “Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die”.
And here is the family favorite recipe for a 9×13 pan of bodacious banana pudding:
8 ounces of sour cream
8 ounces of Cool Whip – thawed
5 ounce package of JELL-O instant vanilla pudding
2 cups of whole milk (2% will work okay but not skim – this is not health food!)
1 box of Kinnikinnick K-Kritters (plain, not graham or chocolate)
3-4 large bananas
In a large bowl combine the milk and pudding mix. Add in the sour cream and beat until all lumps are gone. Add in the Cool Whip and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
Layer the cookies in the bottom and along the sides of a 9×13 pan. Slice the bananas and place on top of the cookies. Pour all of the pudding mixture on top and refrigerate.
This is best when refrigerated overnight. That being said, I have had no complaints when it only had a one hour chill time.
Hope you enjoy!