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The Green Monster of the Midwest

January 22, 2011

The Midwestern Gentleman was shocked, shocked, to learn that I have lived in the Midwest for over a year now without sampling that renowned staple of Midwestern potlucks, church dinners, and holiday family gatherings: Green Fluff.  “What,” I asked innocently, “is Green Fluff?”  He listed the ingredients.  I made a face.  “That sounds disgusting,” I confessed.  “Oh, just you wait…,” he grinned.

There are apparently as many recipes for Green Fluff as there are waving stalks in an Iowa cornfield, but this recipe is the Midwestern Gentleman’s favorite.  It contains Jell-O Pistachio Pudding mix (although some folks prefer Lime Jell-O mix) and coconut (which some folks prefer to do without) and multi-colored, fruity mini marshmallows (although plain will do in a pinch).  According to the Midwestern Gentleman, this recipe’s best feature is the cottage cheese, which cuts the cloying sweetness of all the Cool Whip and marshmallows.  Eww, I shudder just writing those ingredients together in one sentence.  In spite of the fact that my rational brain finds this combination of ingredients a no-go, in spite of the awful grimace I made while spooning up my first bite… oh, you guessed it.  This stuff is addictive.  I could hear it beckoning to me from the refrigerator all night, taunting me with its strange, fluffy texture and vaguely fruity essence.  The pleasant, friendly  facade of the Midwest hides a seductive, sugary evil, and its name is Green Fluff.

Green Fluff

1 (8-oz.) container Cool Whip

1 box Jell-O brand pistachio pudding mix

1 (12-oz.) cottage cheese

1 (10-oz) can pineapple tidbits (+ small amount of pineapple juice)

1-2 cups mini marshmallows, to taste

1-2 cups shredded coconut

Pour the Cool Whip into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle the dry pistachio pudding mix over the Cool Whip, and beat them together until smooth.  Stir in the cottage cheese.  Gently fold in the pineapple, mini marshmallows, and coconut.  Chill for at least an hour.  Serve to non-Midwesterners with no apologies.

  1. Cathy permalink
    January 22, 2011 8:00 pm

    That’s fascinating! I think Jell-o pudding is gluten free…Cool Whip is too. I may need to try this.

  2. January 22, 2011 10:32 pm

    Yes! Also, I have added the Gluten-free tag to this post — hee hee — let me know if you make it!

  3. January 22, 2011 10:50 pm

    Oh, yeah baby! I love that stuff. However, “Grandma June’s Pink Fluffy Jello Stuff” is better. I still can’t make it correctly, but luckily my sister mastered it before grandma passed away. I think it’s partly the graham cracker crust and partly the fact that it’s like you’re eating air, and partly the almost flourescent color…

  4. January 23, 2011 12:21 pm

    Wow — apparently there is a whole genre of Fluffy Desserts for me to explore, lol. Grandma June’s masterpiece sounds intriguing!

  5. January 24, 2011 6:59 am

    Being a Methodist and no stranger to church suppers, I must tell you that here in New England, we call this ‘stuff’ ambrosia … it’s yellow though … pineapple, orange segments, coconut, Coolwhip, and lemon-flavored or orange flavored Jello – like you said … a million different recipes for a lighter than air concoction!

    It’s been a while since I’ve visited Yankee girl! Happy New Year!

  6. neysa permalink
    January 24, 2011 7:33 am

    you have finally arrived…

  7. January 24, 2011 9:51 am

    Susan, I was born in New England and lived there for 30+ years… and I never once had “ambrosia.” However, my family were all Italian and Portuguese immigrant stock, so I guess we hadn’t quite caught on to the Jell-O based desserts, lol.

  8. January 24, 2011 9:51 am


  9. January 29, 2011 10:11 am

    Thanks for making me laugh! Never have tried the stuff but perhaps I will now! 🙂

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