Marshmallows are a favorite for everyone. They are in camping trips, hot cocoa, thanksgiving classics, and desserts, these yummy sugary treats won’t do you a good favor.
Even with being fat-free, they are jam-packed with refined sugar. Just one marshmallow has 4 grams of added sugar, but many of us don’t eat one single marshmallow. For an example, one cup of mini marshmallows for a dessert recipe or for hot chocolate contains 29 grams of sugar. This converts to over 400 empty calories that over-exceeds our recommended daily amount of 10 grams. Not so good!
Health Risks of Refined Sugar
Studies have correlated diets high in refined sugars to negative effects on the brain such as lowered memory ability and declining neuroplasticity. Additionally, the more your diet is filled with large amounts of sugary foods, the less you have room for vegetables, whole grains and fruit. Refined sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrupp have been linked directly to long-term health problems. When you consume too much processed sugar, you become at risk for the following:
Several cancers, like pancreatic cancer
Insulin resistance and diabetes
Healthy Marshmallow Recipe
This homemade recipe will give you all the flavor but none of the harmful health effects of eating refined sugar. You can make these in coconut or chocolate flavored based on recipe plans and preferences. This nice recipe will make you wish you met this recipe earlier. Be sure to be aware that sugar comes from honey or fruit is still sugar, so eat them as a small treat, not a regular snack.
1 1/2 tbsp. grass-fed gelatin (or agar agar for a vegan option)
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup honey
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Lightly grease a loaf pan. Then cover with parchment paper (with enough to hang over the sides of the pan one way), then grease the parchment paper.
- Put ¼ cup of water in a medium bowl (or in the bowl of a mixer with attached whisk) , and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Set aside to soften.
- In a small pot, place the honey, salt, and the other ¼ cup of water. Heat on medium heat. Using a candy thermometer, bring the mixture to 240 degrees. (Because this is such a small amount of liquid, I had a hard time getting an accurate temperature. You can also test it by dribbling a little of the liquid into a bowl of ice cold water. It should be in the candy stage of forming little soft balls when cooled in the water and taken out. It takes about 7-8 minutes to reach this temperature. ). Remove from the heat as soon as it’s at the right temperature.
- Using a hand mixer on low, very carefully mix in the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture by pouring the hot syrup in a drizzle down the side of the bowl. Once it’s all combined, add the vanilla and increase speed to high. Beat for 12- 15 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and fluffy (it will look like marshmallow fluff). Scrap into the prepared pan and leave, uncovered, for 4-12 hours to dry. It’s just about perfect in my climate when left overnight. Cut into squares, serve as is.
Coconut Version: Toast about ½ cup of coconut flakes, unsweetened. Sprinkle ½ of it on the bottom of the pan, scrap in the marshmallow mixture, and sprinkle with the rest of the coconut flakes.
Cocoa Version: Roll finished and cut marshmallows in cocoa powder.