Easy Halloween Pudding Cups coming at you just in time for the fall season! Read on to find out how I got these fun little Halloween treats to be green – without using artificial dyes!
There’s a good chance you’re reading this because you are curious as to how I got these tasty little Halloween Pudding Cups to be green without using dye.
And rightfully so.
Curious minds want to know how to take a traditional Halloween party treat and update it to make it healthy, kid-friendly, and lick-the-cup good. Or is that just me?
In any case, it can be done, friends. For the semi-crunchy among us, we can make these spooky Frankenstein Halloween pudding cups without using traditional food coloring.
Remember pudding? Something about it just feels so lunchroom circa 1996, but doesn’t it just feel so right? I’ve updated this classic vanilla pudding recipe to be lighter and healthier, but still with all the thick, creamy pudding flavors you remember from when you were a kid.
A couple of years ago a teacher down the hall from me gifted me a fun Halloween-themed pudding cup. It was electric green and decorated with a fun Frankenstein’s monster face drawn on the cup.
Since then, I’ve always wanted to make my own version with healthier ingredients, and today friends, I’ve done just that.
To be honest, when it comes to fall, I’m as basic as it gets. It’s the pumpkin-spiced life for me.
Last year I threw a little Halloween party for my toddler and her friends. They decorated a spooky haunted house, made their own mini pizzas, and I served these fun Halloween pudding cups to top it all off.
So how exactly do you make pudding green without using food coloring?
The answer is…spinach!
Hey, don’t knock it till you try it. I mean, think about it. People add spinach to their smoothies for a little veggie boost and it works because once the spinach is blended up with the other ingredients, it’s virtually tasteless.
When thinking about this recipe, I figured if it worked for my Banana Yogurt Melts, it had to work here. And luckily, it so did.
Easy Halloween Pudding Cups
Naturally-Dyed, Dairy-Free Option
Yield: 4, 9oz pudding cups
- Clear plastic cups (I used 9 oz Solo Cups)
- A thick Sharpie
- A Blender (I swear by the Ninja Blender)
- Plastic Wrap
- Large Ziploc Bag
- Rolling Pin
- 3 cups full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh baby spinach
- 1 ½ cups cane sugar (I like Wholesome or Florida’s Natural Crystal)
- ¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 whole vanilla beans (or 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract)
- 2 TB softened butter (use Earth Balance to make recipe dairy-free)
- 12 chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Back to Nature)
- In your blender, combine the coconut milk with the spinach and blend on high power until the spinach is completely dissolved into the milk. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add in the (very) green milk and the egg yolks. Whisk everything until combined.
- Slice the vanilla beans down the center and scrape out the seeds. Take a second and smell that fresh vanilla, because it’s incredible. Put the seeds and the pods in the pan.
- Now, turn the heat to medium and whisk gently as the pudding heats. Give it about 5 minutes to start heating up and getting bubbly. Don’t rush it by turning the heat up otherwise you’ll scorch the bottom of the pudding.
- Once it starts to bubble, let it bubble for about a minute and then remove from the heat, take out the vanilla bean pods and gently fold in the butter.
- While the pudding cools in the pan for a minute, draw the faces (or have the kids draw the faces!) on the plastic cups.
- Divide the pudding among the cups (I used 4, 9 oz cups).
- Cover with plastic wrap, being sure to press against the surface of the pudding so it won’t develop a skin.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. While the pudding is chilling, throw the cookies into a Ziploc bag and crush using a rolling pin.
- Once the cups are cooled, top with crushed cookies, and serve to excited children (or parents).
This pudding recipe is slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Dinnertime Cookbook (so you know it’s good)
- The PW uses 3 cups whole milk in her recipe. I used full-fat coconut milk because I like the flavor/texture it provides.
- If you want to get super crunchy, you could use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch. It works the same way to thicken the pudding. I also used Back to Nature “oreos” – but Newman O’s are also a fav.
- On the flipside, you could also totally use regular old food coloring and Oreos, it is Halloween after all. You could probably even use store-bought pudding mix with either method (spinach or dye).
- Whole vanilla beans can be expensive, but sometimes you can find them at TJ Maxx or Homegoods.
- These are best served the same day, although they still tasted good the day after. Plan to make them in the morning so the cups have time to cool, and then add the cookies at the last minute so they don’t get soggy.
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