Sometimes You Just Have To Get Imported Ingredients

Birds Custard PowderOn my last visit to my mom’s house, I presented her with a couple of Eat-More candy bars from that I had ordered for her. The candy bars sparked a discussion of some of the things from Canada we miss, and as we reminisced, my mom mentioned, Nanimo Bars. Nanimo Bars are a layered dessert cake that feature a base layer, a layer of custard, topped with a layer of chocolate. The legend has it that the dessert was created by a housewife from Nanimo, British Columbia who decided to name it after the town. How true that is or not, I don’t know, but in any case, it’s kind of a well known dessert in Western Canada.

Well my mom, pulled out her recipe book from Canada from which she used to make the recipe and I decided to make a photo copy of it and thought I would see if I could make a sugar-free version of it to be complaint with Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program. And it presented some interesting challenges. A couple of the ingredients were going to present a challenge, but I was up for the challenge.

One of the more challenging items in the ingredient list was custard powder. According to the recipe, Vanilla pudding mix could be substituted. So in my quest to find the ingredients, I ended up at several supermarkets and everywhere had vanilla pudding mix, but it’s loaded with sugar. A couple of the stores had sugar-free versions, but they were loaded with Aspartame (otherwise known as NutraSweet and Equal) and since that’s a dangerous Neurotoxic chemical, I didn’t really want to use it. I reluctantly purchased a package of the Jell-O brand sugar free Vanilla pudding mix, hoping I’d find some custard powder so I wouldn’t have to use it.

One of the other supermarkets I went to actually had Custard flavored pudding mix, also made by Jell-O, but it too was loaded with sugar. And that unfortunately was unacceptable for my needs. So I was a little disappointed. I figured there had to be a better option.

When I got home I did some research online, and it sounded like my best option was to find some Bird’s Custard Powder mix from the UK as the information I found online indicated that it was sugar free. After having seen the pudding mixes here, I was doubtful of the information, but since I knew Major Market, in Escondido carries imported British goods, and with a slight diversion from my usual path home from work, I could stop there and see if they had it, I’d check it out.

Sure enough Major Market had the Bird’s Custard Powder and not only that, they had two different sizes of the Custard Powder mix. I got to love those Brits, it is sugar free, the powder was designed to be mixed with sugar separately! And when I called my mom to tell her I had found a way to make the recipe sugar free and I told her about the Bird’s Custard Powder, she said that’s the brand she used to use in Canada when she used to make the Nanimo Bars. So she was excited to hear that Major Market had it, so she will likely be stopping there the next time she’s in Escondido too.

So, now for the challenge of making the Nanimo Bars, as I’m still figuring out how I’m going to replace the graham crackers with something sugar-free. Wish me luck.



2 thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Have To Get Imported Ingredients”

  1. Just wanted to let you know that you’re a lifesaver. I’m a half Canuck and grew up spending summers in Vancouver, and eating plenty of Nanaimo bars. Have been craving them recently and couldn’t find any Bird’s custard to make them. Thanks a bunch!

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