These days anything can be considered 'unhealthy'.
I recently read an interesting and funny article on why kale, America's beloved superfood, might be detrimental to our health. It went on to claim that the high oxalate content present in kale (and foods like chocolate and nuts) may be damaging to the thyroid and the digestive system, among other things.
While this type of post may bring us back to the old adage, 'everything in moderation', I maintain that among all the different diets and styles of eating that exist today, one thing is certain for me: I always want a lower amount of sugar.
Be it in the form of honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup, one of my everlasting goals for this blog is to decrease the amount of sugar in a recipe without sacrificing taste, which is exactly what I've done with these fluffy, melt-in-your-hot-cocoa pillows of delight.
Healthier Honey/Stevia Marshmallows (Paleo)
- ½ c. cold water
- 3 packets gelatin or about three tablespoons
- ¾ c. water
- ½ c. honey or maple syrup
- ¼ t. sea salt
- 2 t. vanilla
- 20-25 drops liquid stevia
- Oil and 'flour' an 8 x 8 baking dish. Use arrowroot or ground coconut sugar for the 'flour'. If you're not paleo, you can use any all-purpose (GF or not GF) flour you'd like.
- Pour the cold water into the bowl of a standing mixer or a bowl that you can use a hand mixer with.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let stand while you prepare the honey syrup.
- In a medium saucepan (mine holds about nine cups), gently heat the 3/4 cup of water.
- Stir in the sweetener and salt just until combined.
- Bring the mix to a low simmer (you should see bubbles forming, but not rising). DO NOT STIR THE MIXTURE AT ANY TIME WHILE IT IS SIMMERING.
- Allow the mix to reduce for about 11-14 minutes until it reaches the 'soft ball' stage (see picture below instructions). Along the way, the mixture may begin to rise as it reduces. If this occurs, just gradually reduce the heat until it lowers back down.
- Once it reaches the 'soft ball' stage, turn your mixer on low and begin adding the syrup SLOWLY to the gelatin/water mix.
- Once all the syrup is added and incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium high and allow it to run for about seven minutes* until the marshmallow is fluffy and thick. It will almost be stiff-looking.
- During the last minute of the mixer running, add in the stevia and vanilla.
- Use a spatula to scrape the marshmallow into the 8 x 8 dish and spread it to fit. I like to use an oiled spatula so that the mix doesn't stick.
- Set in the fridge until marshmallow is set (you should be able to lift the entire square out of the dish). This usually takes about an hour for me.
- Use an oiled pizza cutter or knife to slice the whole square into as many marshmallows as you like (usually about 36 big ones or 288 small ones).
Adapted from this recipe
Soft ball stage:
I believe these can be made without the use of a candy thermometer if you have both patience and diligence. When the honey/water/salt mixture is simmering, have an ice-cold cup of water and a spoon ready by your side. At about 11 minutes, drop a tiny spoonful of the syrup into the water. If you see a ball form (as in the picture above) you are in the 'soft ball' stage and can remove the syrup from the heat. If you do not see the ball shape, keep trying every 30 seconds or so until you see it. Mine almost always comes between 13-14 minutes.
This is not a 'hands off' recipe by any means. It is important to stay close by in order to have your marshmallows turn out well, especially if you're not using a candy thermometer, like myself.
Though I haven't tried these in s'mores, they are mad tasty in my Thick and Creamy Hot Vanilla recipe!
What's your favorite way to enjoy marshmallows?
Love your marshmallows to sweeten hot chocolate but I find them to sweet by themselves, how do I half the honey/maple ? I assume I have to increase the gelatine ? I tried to sub sweetener with arrowroot, it didnt work.
Also I think you will find this useful it compliments this recipe if you want to expand on it :o)
I hope you can watch it where you are I know I will be experimenting.
I do not like or tolerate stevia very well. Horrible after taste. Which brand do u recommend? I had read about a very "clean" stevia but cannot recall the name. Thx
Hi Donna, I like the NOW brand powdered Better Stevia. It has zero additives and a great taste, in my opinion. 🙂
I saw that article on kale as well. It was actually a joke the author was doing to show that anything can be made to sound "unhealthy". She did a follow up post a couple days after explaining that. Nonetheless, these look great and I am definitely going to try them. Question though does the gelatin flavor come through? I use Great Lakes gelatin which is great (I put it in my coffee) but I made fruit snacks with it and the flavor was so strong they actually tasted bad. Bummer too because it took a whole bag of organic strawberries and organic honey :(.
The gelatin doesn't come through to me...
I am aware that the author of the kale post was being facetious. I too was just poking fun at the fact that it seems every food has some downside.
Great recipe! I've made The Urban Poser's marshmallow recipe several times and I remember the first time I made it I was amazed at how easy it was and how the marshmallows tasted just like store bought! We took them camping and made smoores. It's encouraging to know how easy it is to make from scratch. I've tried to make rice crispy treats with homemade marshmallows but I did something wrong and it didn't turn out quite right. Maybe you will come up with the magic recipe. Ha ha.
I look forward to trying your version.
And since she is allergic to vanilla ... what if I add extra maple syrup? Or peppermint oil! She loves peppermint! Perhaps in the same amount required of the vanilla?
I bet peppermint would be delicious!
Looks perfect for my 5 yr old dd who has many allergies! Could I double or triple the recipe? I'd like to freeze them for treats when she attends parties. I'd also like to mold them using silicone molds. Thanks!!
I definitely think you could double the recipe, but I'm not sure how much luck you'd have getting them into molds. The 'batter' is really sticky. Perhaps you could use cookie cutters after they set?...
Mary @ Fit and Fed
You are so inventive, Lauren! These marshmallows do look healthier than most. I have not yet tackled homemade marshmallows because I'd be making them vegetarian (no gelatin) so I'm a bit daunted. I'm sure I could eventually work out a recipe with my preferred thickeners (agar and/or kudzu root powder) but it would take some experimentation.
Thanks Mary! If you could figure out a vegan/vegetarian version you'd be everyone's hero! 😀
YUM! Do you think these would work without the honey?
You can replace the honey with maple syrup, but I don't think they would work without a sweetener.
Beautiful pics!!....I simply LOVE marshmallows...and the american versions sold here in France are SO expensive...and filled with not-so-good stuff....Cannot wait to try your version with your Hot Vanilla cuppa cozy....and I also love a good no-bake Rice Krispie Treat when the "goo" factor is present!...Thank you for this pale-friendly treat!
Thank you Donna! Your comments are always so sweet! 🙂
Danielle @ New England Daughter
This is wonderful! Did you have any luck experimenting without stevia?
My goal was actually to use stevia, as it helps lower the sugar. If you'd like the stevia-free recipe just click on the link below the recipe. 🙂
Danielle @ New England Daughter
I try to reduce sugar in all of my recipes as well, but I also avoid turning to alternative sweeteners, though I think Stevia is the least offensive of these. I suppose when you're trying to execute something like marshmallows though there's only so much you can do. 🙂
these look great.. Is there a way to actually make them entirely with Stevia? I would like to omit the honey, but wasn't sure how that would impact the consistency?
Thank you in advance!!!
I'm not sure on that, since I've not tried...I think a blog called Purely Twins has an all stevia recipe though!
Marianne @ Ragdoll Kitchen
Great looking marshmallows! You never cease to amaze me:)