Halloween Recipes: Vegan Worms & Dirt Pudding

You’ve likely seen the Dirt Pudding Recipe floating around the internet. It always pops up on my pinterest feed around Halloween, and in several instances. Variations include gummy worms, or cookie tombstones, but the base is always chocolate pudding with Oreo cookie crumbled on top. Back in the summer, I discovered the most DELICIOUS vegan chocolate pudding recipe from The Bojon Gourmet, so I just knew I had to make the perfect vegan version of the Halloween Dirt Pudding. Given that I love that creep factor in my Halloween everything, I decided to opt for the worm version, and see if I could discover a good vegan gummy worm recipe.

If you search the internet, you will find a few attempts at vegan gummy worm recipes, with relatively poor reviews. They are all valiant attempts, but the fact is that the gummy consistency is just difficult to recreate without animal products. Most vegan gummy worm recipes use agar powder, which creates a hard, jello consistency without the chew. If you aren’t used to agar recipes and are expecting gummy, you will likely be disappointed.

That said, these vegan worms are more suitably considered jelly worms. They do not have the chew of gummy worms, but they certainly have the wiggle. These guys also look a lot more convincingly like worms, and don’t include any animal harm.

For the Chocolate Pudding, simply follow the recipe here, as it is perfect.

For the worms, I drew the basic concept of egg whites from baked in‘s Vegan Deviled Eggs, which I have made many times with great success. Combine this recipe, with the popular tactic of filling straws as worm molds, and that is my process for these jelly worms. Of course, the worms need to taste sweet to accompany their pudding counterparts as a winning dessert. See below for the final recipe.

Vegan Jelly Worms/ Gummy Worms (without the chew)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups minus 2 tbs almond milk (or another non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tbs maple syrup (or vegan, liquid sweetener) * If eating without pudding, increase sweetener by another tablespoon or so.*
  • 1/4 tsp beet powder/ vegan red food colouring
  • 2 tsp agar agar powder

Directions

Measure out 2 tbs maple syrup into a 2-cup measuring cup, and fill up the rest of the 2 cups with non-dairy milk. Pour this, along with beet powder (or vegan food colouring), and agar powder into a small saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk to combine.

While the liquid heats, prepare your straw mold. grab several straws and bind together with an elastic band (without bending the straws). Place straws into a cup, or — better yet — a mug, without squishing them out of alignment. There will be overflow, no matter what, so don’t fuss too much with completely filling the space in the mug with straws.

Please excuse my messy kitchen background… I was in party prep chaos.

Heat mixture on medium high heat, stirring regularly, until it reaches a low boil. Allow the mixture to cool only just below a boil (too cool, and it will solidify) and pour into straw molds. As I stated earlier, the mixture will overflow from the bottom into the mug, but will cool as it does so and provide a plug for the straws to fill. Once filled, place the mug with straws and mixture into the refrigerator to cool and set. It should only take 30 minutes for the worms to set.

Once the worms have set, peel off the extra mixture, and start to empty the straws. You should only have to squeeze on the upper end of the straw to push out the worm. Keep squeezing, or grab and pull.

Refrigerate worms until ready for assembly. I added some agave syrup to the container of worms to add a bit of extra slime and sweetness, but this isn’t necessary.

Vegan Dirt Pudding & Worms Assembly

We decided to do individual pudding cups instead of a big dish, but you could do either.

Serve pudding in desired portions, and add worms so that they poke out of the pudding slightly. Finally, sprinkle Oreo cookie crumbles on top, for the perfect dirt affect. (Oreos are known to the vegan world as “accidentally vegan.” They aren’t the healthiest, and likely not the most ethical. If you can find an alternative, please do.)

Now, watch your guests freak out over the creepy deliciousness!

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