Stepping into our Food Fight ring this week are two rich, fudgy and decadent contenders- No Pudge Original Fat Free Fudge Brownie and Betty Crocker Low-Fat Fudge Brownie. Are brownies a health food? No! Do you need to indulge occasionally? Yes! And when you do, shouldn’t you do it responsibly? Yes!
Betty Crocker is of course the beloved baked-goods-at-home-made-easy brand. It was the only brand at the grocery store that offered a low-fat variety, making it my only choice for competition against No Pudge. They do not mention this product on their Web site.
No Pudge has been taking the fat out of this dreamy dessert since the 90s.
Round 1: Nutrition Facts
Serving size, as printed on the package, is a 32g serving of cooked brownie (1/12 of package for No Pudge, 1/18 of package for Betty Crocker). Nutrition Facts are for prepared mix.
Calories: NP = 120, BC = 140
Fat: NP = 0g, BC = 3g
Sat Fat: NP = 0g, BC = .5g
Trans Fat: NP = 0g, BC = .5g
Cholesterol: NP = 0mg, BC = 10mg
Dietary Fiber: NP = 1g, BC = 1g
Sugars: NP = 24, BC = 20
Protein: NP = 3g, BC = 2g
Obvious kudos go to No Pudge for being fat free, having no saturated or trans fats, zero cholesterol and more protein. That’s an impressive lead that gives Round 1 to No Pudge.
Round 2: Taste and Ingredients
If you served these side by side with no explanation of which is which- no one would recognize that one is fat free- or that one is lower in fat. Both No Pudge and Betty Crocker get points for having a moist, rich, fudgy and truly cravable brownie without a lot of the extra fat and calories. No Pudge has a richer chocolate color and is not as overwhelmingly sweet as Betty Crocker- which has a classic chocolate brown color and a lot of sugary taste.
I give them some credit for having the only low-fat brownie mix on the shelf. An A for effort.
We would call this round a tie- except that Betty Crocker’s ingredients leave a lot to be desired. Enriched flours, processed cocoa, partially hydrogenated oils (the trans fat source), artificial flavors and a lot of other stuff. To make the batter, you add an egg, vegetable oil and water. The No Pudge has only all natural ingredients- a simple list including pure cane sugar, unbleached wheat flour, dutch cocoa and egg whites. To make this batter, you only had no-fat vanilla yogurt.
No Pudge comes in other Fat Free flavors like Cappuccino, Raspberry and Mint.
No Pudge clearly wins this round.
Round Three: Cost and Accessibility
Betty Crocker is available nationwide in probably every grocer you can imagine. This one pound box was $2.69. It’s also available in a case of 12 from Amazon for $21.60. There is no mention of this product on its brand Web site.
No Pudge is also available nationwide in most every grocer as well. They have a store finder on their site. This 13.7oz. box was $3.69. It’s available for sale on their Web site for $3.35 (a case of 6 is $18). No Pudge is also available on Amazon, a 6 pack is $17.91.
No Pudge claims round three as well.
A clear winner from the first turn of the mixer, No Pudge Brownies are an ideal alternative to the traditional fat-filled brownies, for anyone craving those chewy, gooey treats while still trying to maintain healthy eating habits. Betty Crocker gave a valiant effort, but at the end of the day, the fat content, poor ingredients, trans-fat and low access will leave it resting on the shelf.
July 29th, 2008