I must confess: when it comes to food I can resist almost anything except marshmallows. I love their soft, sweet, marshmallow-y goodness. But most packaged varieties contain excessive amounts of sugar and are full of junk ingredients like preservatives and, surprisingly, colors–even in many white marshmallows. So I scoured the web to round up healthier homemade options.
I found recipes that claimed to be healthier but were still full of unhealthy ingredients. Some contained corn starch or corn syrup, both of which are typically derived from genetically-modified corn. Others contained soy protein isolate which also tends to be from genetically-modified soy and, as with most protein isolates, typically contain the nerve toxin, monosodium glutamate (MSG).
At one time marshmallows were named for their primary herbal ingredient: marshmallow root, which has been traditionally used (and scientifically-proven, multiple studies in The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine) to improve gastrointestinal complaints, asthma, bronchitis, urinary tract pain and inflammation, and many other health problems. Obviously today’s packaged (and most homemade) marshmallows offer none of these health benefits and may actually be harmful to health thanks to their suspect ingredients.
But here are five of the healthier marshmallow recipes I found, including ones that contain REAL marshmallow root:
Rich in Real Soothing Marshmallow Root
Herbalist Yarrow Willard, ClH, shared his recipe for marshmallows made with plentiful amounts of lung-, GI-, and urinary-tract healing marshmallow root powder. This dairy-free, corn-free, soy-free recipe contains eggs.
Probiotic-rich marshmallows? Seriously. Wellness Mama offers this corn-free, non-vegan (it contains gelatin) recipe that is rich in health-promoting probiotics.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cinnamon Marshmallows
While the recipe from Texanerin Baking calls for corn starch, it offers the arrowroot or potato starch option instead. The marshmallows are untraditional looking with their dusting of cinnamon powder, but offer the delicious taste and nutritional benefits of cinnamon (blood sugar balancing, antibacterial effects). Substitute arrowroot for the corn starch and you’ll have a corn-free, dairy-free, gluten-free recipe for marshmallows. Contains gelatin so it is not suitable for vegan diets.
Honey-Sweetened Rustic Marshmallows
Again, not a vegan option due to the gelatin and honey, these honey-sweetened marshmallows are gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, and egg-free, making them a good option for non-vegans with many food sensitivities. The site also shares detailed instructions and troubleshooting tips to help you make perfect marshmallows.
While this vegan recipe contains corn syrup, it is free of animal products like gelatin.
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