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Touring Hildebrandt Farm with Illinois Farm Families and the Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Touring Hildebrandt Farm with Illinois Farm Families and the Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Today I am excited to tell you about my visit to the Hildebrandt Farm and to kick off a series of posts sponsored by Illinois Farm Families.

Illinois Farm Families Hildebrandt Farm 5

Illinois Farm Families® is a group of people from various farm organizations focused on fostering a dialogue with consumers. Illinois Farm Families includes all types of farmers, and together they work to debunk myths about farming. They are a transparent, educational resource and one of their objectives is to remind consumers that their food is grown and raised by local farmers.

Illinois Farm Families Hildebrandt Farm 3

Thanks to my partnership with Illinois Farm Families, I got to go on a fieldtrip to see how my food is locally made. I ventured up to South Beloit, Illinois to tour the Hildebrandt Farm, a dairy farm that is home to over 1,000 cattle!

Illinois Farm Families Hildebrandt Farm 4

Upon arriving at the farm I was greeted by Amy Hildebrandt, one of the family members on the farm. She explained that now that some of her children have studied agriculture and have returned home to work they have expanded the farm. I couldn’t believe how big it is! It has grown a lot since the farm got its start with 150 cows in the 1970s.

Illinois Farm Families Hildebrandt Farm

Amy made it clear that she and her husband didn’t want to pressure their children into taking on the family business, but that their children have chosen to continue the family tradition. The thing that I loved about the farm is how happy everyone was – even the cows!

Hildebrandt Farm

The cows get milked three times a day, and they like it so much that the cows line themselves up to be milked in the milking parlor. They chew their cud while they are being milked – it is kind of like chewing gum and it’s a sign that they are content.

Illinois Farm Families Hildebrandt Farm 6

Before this trip I only had a vague idea of how the milk makes it from the cow to the bottle at my grocery store. It turns out the process is easier than I thought! The milk never touches human hands. Once the cows enter the milking parlor, the milk goes straight from the udders through pipes where the milk is cooled and put right into the truck that takes the milk to be bottled.

One thing that surprised me is how much science is used at Hildebrandt Farm. They have computer records going back for 30 years tracking everything from the lineage of the cows to their health records. A veterinarian visits the farm every two weeks to check the health of the cows, and a nutritionist makes regular visits to help craft the perfect diet for the cows.

Science also ensures that antibiotics don’t make it into the milk. Each milk truck is actually tested to make sure that the milk is free of these things before it is bottled.

Hildebrandt Farm 2

I loved getting a behind the scenes look at the Hildebrandt Farm. There is such beauty in the way the family upholds tradition, and they have so much compassion for their cattle. I also got to see how the food that I buy at the grocery store is much more local than I thought. The milk from the Hildebrandt Farm is bottled by Dean’s in Huntly, IL – I had no idea that the milk that I have been drinking for years come from just 2 hours outside the city!

Illinois Farm Families Hildebrandt Farm 8

We joined the Hildebrandt family for lunch, and of course they had some milk for us to try. I am a big milk drinker, but I hadn’t had chocolate milk since childhood. You guys, it was so good. It was rich and chocolaty without being overly sweet. It reminded me of chocolate pudding.

After the farm tour I couldn’t get chocolate pudding out of my head. It was something that my sister and I would often make when we were kids. We loved licking the spoons with the warm pudding, and Kelly especially loves the thick layer that forms on the top of the pudding once it sets. She gave this the very technical name of “gooey goo”.

From Scratch Chocolate Pudding | This is the best recipe for chocolate pudding. It is rich, creamy, and easy to make.

Inspired by my trip to the Hildebrandt Farm and my fond memories of making chocolate pudding with Kelly I decided to learn how to make chocolate pudding from scratch – using chocolate milk.

From Scratch Chocolate Pudding | This is the best chocolate pudding recipe, it is rich, creamy, and easy to make!

This chocolate pudding recipe comes together quickly on the stovetop and then goes into the fridge to set up. I used the same Dean’s Chocolate Milk that the milk from the Hildebrandt Farm helps to make.

From Scratch Chocolate Pudding 3

The chocolate milk makes a rich creamy milk chocolate pudding. If you want to add an extra burst of chocolate flavor you can add in ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips. I recommend serving the pudding with freshly whipped cream and maybe some chocolate sprinkles on top. This is a classic dessert that your family will love.

Yield: 6 servings

Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe

From Scratch Chocolate Pudding 3

This from scratch chocolate pudding is made with chocolate milk! It is rich and creamy and your family is going to love it!

Active Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Pudding:
  • ¼ cup Corn Starch
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 3 cups Whole Chocolate Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • For the Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla

Instructions

Pour the corn starch, sugar, and salt into a saucepan and whisk together. Slowly whisk in the milk, being sure to break down any clumps.

Heat the mixture over medium low heat, stirring frequently. Once the milk begins to steam start stirring more frequently to prevent clumps from forming.

Bring the mixture to a slow and steady simmer. Whisk constantly while the pudding thickens. After about 4 minutes the pudding should be thick enough. Add the vanilla and whisk to incorporate.

Pour the pudding into a large bowl or individual serving bowls, cover, and let set up in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours.

Just before serving the pudding combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on a medium-high speed for about 3 minutes until thick.

Serve the pudding with a generous scoop of the whipped cream. You can garnish with chocolate sprinkles or fresh mint.

From Scratch Chocolate Pudding | This is the best chocolate pudding recipe, it is rich, creamy, and easy to make!

Thank you to Illinois Farm Families for partnering on this story.

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