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?