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Store-bought marshmallows can be a fun treat, but they are riddled with corn syrup and other unwanted ingredients. This healthy marshmallows recipe shows you how to make delicious marshmallows at home without all the extra junk.
It may seem like it’s not worth it to go through the trouble of making your own marshmallows, but I’m here to tell you, it’s as easy as making a simple batch of cookies. And if you make them yourself, you can do so without adding any of the corn syrup or other unhealthy ingredients that come in the store-bought variety.
According to the National Confectioners Association, Americans buy 90 million pounds of marshmallows each year. And each summer more than 50 percent of all marshmallows sold are eventually toasted over a fire, with the majority of all marshmallows being sold during October and December.CandyUSA
Believe it or not, marshmallows are actually fun to make. As I mentioned above, it’s very much like making a batch of cookies, only you don’t have to actually turn on the oven. All you need is an electric mixer and a casserole dish, and you’ll have homemade marshmallows in no time!
What Are Marshmallows Made Of?
Generally speaking, homemade marshmallows consist of water, gelatin, and sweetener. Everything else is just flavoring.
Can You Make Marshmallows Without Corn Syrup?
Absolutely! As long as you have another liquid sweetener such as honey or maple syrup, it will work just fine.
Are Marshmallows Healthy?
Not the store-bought varieties, no. They are generally full of “shelf-stable” preservatives and corn syrup. But homemade marshmallows are another story altogether. While they are certainly a treat, they don’t have to be made with bad-for-you ingredients. You have two things to consider with homemade marshmallows.
- The sweetener – You can opt for honey or maple syrup. Those who eat low carb can use a low carb, liquid sweetener. Nature’s Hollow has a great xylitol-based honey. (Not paid to promote them)
- The gelatin – After the sweetener, the next important consideration is the gelatin you use. Gelatin is a processed product. There is no way around that. However, there are better quality gelatins out there. The best one I’ve used is the Great Lakes brand. They’ve been around a long time and have a dependable, good quality product. (Not paid to promote them, it’s just what I usually use).
- Everything else – Other ingredients can be pure extracts or pure spices.
Benefits of Grass-Fed Gelatin
Gelatin can actually be quite beneficial to the body if it’s of good quality. Some of the benefits can be:
- Better digestion
- Better intestinal health
- Better joint health
- Better cartilage health
Need some help choosing the right gelatin? This article is very helpful.
How To Cut Homemade Marshmallows
The key to successfully cutting homemade marshmallows is starch. I use arrowroot powder because it’s the easiest on my blood sugar. But you can also use cornstarch or tapioca starch if that’s what you have handy.
Use this liberally. Dust all sides of the marshmallows before cutting and after. Dust your work surface and even your knife. The more you use, the easier the cutting will be. (It’s not difficult, just sticky without the starch)
Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free?
I can’t vouch for store-bought marshmallows. Like most things, you’d probably have to look for a package that is labeled gluten-free. But this particular recipe is gluten-free if you make sure you purchase gluten-free ingredients.
Dairy Free Marshmallows | Eggless Marshmallows | Fat Free Marshmallows | Gluten Free Marshamallows
This recipe for homemade marshmallows is dairy-free, eggless, fat-free, and gluten-free. And if you use a low-carb sweetener, they can be sugar-free too!
How To Make Marshmallows Vegan
To make these marshmallows vegan, you’ll have to substitute the gelatin with agar flakes and substitute the honey for maple syrup.
Can I Roast These Healthy Marshmallows?
Yes, you can! You can roast these like you would roast any other marshmallow!
Marshmallow Recipe Substitutions
The only things you can change about this recipe are the sweetener and the flavoring. Outside of that, all elements are essential. See below for flavoring suggestions.
Are Homemade Marshmallows Better Than Store-bought?
If we are talking about flavor, in my opinion, they are definitely better. Most homemade things are.
If we are talking about texture, that depends on what you mean by “better. Homemade marshmallows are naturally a bit softer and spongier than store-bought. But otherwise, exactly the same.
Why Are My Homemade Marshmallows Sticky?
Surprise! Marshmallows are sticky! That is until you dust them with lots of starch. Do not underestimate the need for starch. This can make or break your finished marshmallows.
How To Make Sugar-Free Marshmallows
As I mentioned earlier, you can absolutely make sugar-free marshmallows if you don’t mind using a sweetener that is processed. While the focus of my recipes always has been, and always will be, on whole foods and recipes made from scratch, sometimes we make exceptions to suit our own lifestyle and needs.
I make this exception because of my blood sugar. So when I make these, I use xylitol-based honey made by Nature’s Hollow. It works great and I can enjoy my marshmallows without my blood sugar skyrocketing. If this doesn’t suit your eating plan, stick to honey or maple syrup. Do what works for you!
Can You Use These To Make Healthy Rice Krispie Squares?
You can! Simply purchase puffed brown rice from a health food store and stir it in before you let it sit and gel in the casserole dish.
Marshmallow Flavor Variations
If you want to play around with the flavors a bit, you can try one of the following:
- Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows – Add 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice to this recipe
- Chocolate Marshmallows – Add 1 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder to this recipe.
- Peppermint Marshmallows – Add an ⅛ to a ¼ tsp. peppermint extract to this recipe.
- Lemon Marshmallows – Add ¼ to ½ tsp. lemon extract to this recipe. You can also add 1 tbsp. of fresh lemon zest if you wish.
- Orange Marshmallows – Add a ¼ to a ½ tsp. orange extract to this recipe. You can also add 1 tbsp. of fresh orange zest to this recipe.
- Banana Marshmallows – Add a ¼ to a ½ tsp. of banana extract to this recipe.
- Rum Marshmallows – Add a ¼ to a ½ tsp. rum extract to this recipe.
- Maple Marshmallows – Substitute the honey for maple syrup and add a ½ tsp. of maple extract to this recipe.
What You Need To Make Healthy Homemade Marshmallows
6 tbsp. water – Filtered water is best.
2 packets unflavored gelatin – If using gelatin that comes in bigger containers, use 5 teaspoons.
1 cup honey – This can be any type you like. Or you can substitute with another liquid sweetener such as maple syrup.
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract – I used bourbon vanilla, but any vanilla will work as long as it’s the real stuff. Avoid vanilla flavoring.
How to Make Homemade Healthy Marshmallows
Stir gelatin into the water in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds.
While that’s in the microwave, pour your honey into a stand mixer mixing bowl. Add vanilla and the warm gelatin mixture.
Blend with the whisk attachment for 12-15 minutes until the mixture is white and fluffy and has quadrupled in size.
Coat a casserole dish with cornstarch.
Scoop marshmallow mixture into an oiled and well-starched casserole dish and smooth top so it’s level with a spatula. Let it sit for a minimum of 6 hours. Overnight is best. It will be sticky but spongy to the touch when it’s done.
Turn out onto a surface dusted with cornstarch.
Slice into the desired size. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Recipes For Using Healthy Marshmallows Without Corn Syup
Healthy Marshmallows Recipe Card + Video
Healthy Marshmallow Recipe
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- 1 Electric mixer
- 6 tbsp. water
- 2 packets unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used bourbon vanilla)
- Stir gelatin into water in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds.
- While that's in the microwave, pour your honey into a stand mixer mixing bowl. Add vanilla and the warm gelatin mixture.
- Blend with the whisk attachment for 12-15 minutes until the mixture is white and fluffy and has quadrupled in size.
- Coat a casserole dish with cornstarch.
- Scoop marshmallow mixture into an oiled and well-starched casserole dish and smooth top so it's level with a spatula. Let it sit for a minimum of 6 hours. Overnight is best. It will be sticky but spongy to the touch when it's done.
- Turn out onto a surface dusted with cornstarch.
- Slice into desired size. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted on 10/2/2009.