Oh my goodness, these healthy Halloween dirt cups are so good, you will NOT believe that they are also good for you. Get ready to be transported back to your childhood, but in a much healthier – vegan, gluten free, low sugar – kinda way. 😉
Did you ever have dirt cups as a kid? Or maybe you called it dirt pudding, or worms in dirt. It has a number of different names, but they are all referring to the treat that combines chocolate pudding with a layer of crushed Oreos and gummy worms.
Truthfully, I don’t know that I had dirt cups all that often as I was growing up, but I do remember loving them every time they were presented to me. I mean, what kid doesn’t enjoy eating sugary slimy worms that are emerging from the sugary dirt and mud?
For some reason, I tend to associate these with Halloween. I’m not sure where that came from, other than the fact that eating dirt and worms does seem a bit ghoulish. Or, as my daughter would say, “Very Oscar the Grouch.”
So, I have made these for my kids a couple of times around Halloween. My daughter has been asking for them recently, but since I changed up my diet after my diagnosis, I was reluctant to make them in their traditional form. The standard recipe calls for instant chocolate pudding, cool whip, milk, Oreos, and gummy worms. I can’t even really wrap my head around the amount of highly processed, un-natural ingredients and sugar in all of those items.
Therefore, I decided I needed to come up with a healthy, low sugar version of the Halloween dirt cups. And let me tell you, you won’t be disappointed. My daughter loves it, and in all honesty, so do I! My daughter requested some tonight after dinner. As I was putting her dirt cup together, she asked, “Are you going to have some, too?” Yep, you bet I am!
What You Will Need For the Pudding
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- Nut Butter (smooth)
- Cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- Maple syrup
- Coconut milk
Are you surprised that avocado is the first ingredient? Don’t be scared. I promise you won’t taste it!
A few years ago, I found a recipe for an avocado chocolate pudding. I made it for my kids a number of times. They seemed to enjoy it, but I wasn’t overly impressed with it. You definitely could taste the avocado in that one…
When I decided to try my hand at a healthier version of dirt pudding, I tried to find that original recipe, to no avail. So, I ended up totally winging it, and it turned out so much better than that original recipe I used!
The great thing about this recipe is that it can easily be changed to suit your taste. Want it a bit sweeter? Add another tablespoon of maple syrup. Too thick for you? Add another couple of tablespoons of milk. Not enough chocolate? More cacao powder. (Although the cookies do add a nice chocolatey crunch!)
Don’t be afraid to play around with it, so it is exactly how you like
Health(ier) Dirt and Worms
After doing a lot of looking, and a little taste testing, I found a couple of different store bought chocolate cookies that are not only low sugar with whole ingredients, but they also taste great as well. My two favorites are HighKey Chocolate Brownie Cookie Bites and Siete Grain Free Mexican Chocolate Cookies.
I think the Highkey make a better dirt for this particular treat. It’s a darker chocolate (so it looks more like dirt), and they crumble a bit easier. However, these are not vegan and they use a sugar alcohol, which I typically try to avoid.
The Siete have an awesome ingredient list – all whole ingredients, as well as vegan and grain free. These don’t look quite as realistic as dirt, but I think the ingredient list is better and I prefer the taste. Plus, you get a bit more for your money with these (in store, that is…).
I also used Black Forest Organic Gummy Worms Candy for the worms. These are obviously not low sugar. So, to keep this a low sugar treat (as I do for myself), just omit the worms. 😉
I use my Vitamix to make this pudding. I have never tried to make it in a regular blender, but I’m not sure how well it would work. If you don’t have a high powered blender, you may need to thin the pudding out a bit with a little extra milk, in order to get it blended smoothly. Even with a high powered blender, you will need to use your tamper to keep the ingredients moving, as the pudding it quite thick, and the riper the avocado, the better. Again, you can always thin it a bit with an extra tablespoon or two of milk.
You can also add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup if you want it a bit sweeter. I (and my daughter) think it’s sweet enough with 3 tbsp., but feel free to add a bit more to your own taste.
I hope you enjoy these Healthy Halloween Dirt Cups as much as we have been!
Healthy Halloween Dirt Cups
- High Powered Blender
- 1 avocado
- 1/3 c. smooth nut butter
- 1/3 c. cacao powder
- 3-4 tbsp. maple syrup
- 3 -5 tbsp. coconut milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Add all ingredients to high powered blender
- Blend on medium speed, using tamper to keep ingredients circulating until smooth
- Serve and enjoy!
- I think that 3 tbsp. of maple syrup makes it plenty sweet enough, but if you want it a bit sweeter, just add one more tbsp. of maple syrup.
- You will likely need to use a tamper to help keep the ingredients moving through the blender, as it is quite thick. For a thinner pudding, just add another 1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk.
- You can easily substitute cocoa powder for cacao, and any other type of dairy free milk, instead of coconut milk.
- I prefer to eat these chilled. So, stick them in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.
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