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Healthy Marshmallow Recipe

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healthy homemade marshmallows
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Candy and sugary desserts are not a food eaten very often by my family. My husband doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, and we attempt to avoid sugar as much as possible. But occasionally when the kids are craving sweets, or if we’re out somewhere where candy and other junk food are around, I try to find a healthier alternative for them. This healthy, homemade marshmallow recipe came about because of that need.

We actually got the idea when watching a cooking show with the kids, and since I was not going to use the corn syrup and processed sugar that the TV recipe suggested, the healthy marshmallow experimenting began!

It’s a sticky process for sure but really fun for the kids to watch the gelatin turn into fluffy white goo … and with a little practice not much trouble at all. Homemade marshmallows aren’t sickeningly sweet like store-bought marshmallows and have a better texture and flavor too (in my opinion!).

Healthy Marshmallows? Is It Possible?

Maybe you’re wondering … isn’t she always saying how sugar is bad? In a word, yes, and I have a stricter policy for myself on even natural sugars than I used to. For the kids, though, I don’t worry about an occasional treat as long as it meets several qualifications:

  1. All of the ingredients have to come from healthy sources and not be made chemically in any way.
  2. The ingredients should have some health-boosting properties (like gelatin or probiotics, etc.).
  3. It needs to taste good! After all, that’s the point!

With these goals in mind, the kids and I got to work on our experiment. I had a few failed marshmallow batches that luckily still tasted good and could be used as a marshmallow cream. Finally, I found a marshmallow recipe that I was happy with (and so were the kids!).

This recipe contains all GAPS-friendly ingredients, which is great for those trying to reverse food allergies. (We were working on a dairy allergy at the time with my son.) The gelatin and optional probiotics are gut-soothing and supportive of skin, hair, and nail growth. And if you use some of the variations below, you can work in even more health-boosting ingredients.

Marshmallow Variations

  • More on the marshmallow root option – Since I came up with the first marshmallow recipe, I came up with a way to add marshmallow root for additional health benefits. This anti-inflammatory herb is known for its soothing, cooling effects and is great on a sore throat. Using it is entirely optional (I indicate this in the recipe), but if you’re going to have sugar, might as well have anti-inflammatories with it! I also think it makes it a little more authentic.
  • Matcha Marshmallow – Try my matcha marshmallow recipe for a different healthy marshmallow option. I originally came up with this one day when contemplating how to color the marshmallows to make them more festive. Of course, I didn’t want to use artificial food dye, and my eye fell on our powdered matcha tea. Bingo! Delicious, colorful marshmallows with the additional health benefits of matcha tea.
  • Elderberry Marshmallow – No kid will turn down this remedy! Immune-boosting elderberry syrup makes these marshmallows the perfect soothing treat when cold season hits.
  • Marshmallow “fluff” – Reduce the gelatin for a thinner consistency. I got the “fluff” texture when I used around 2 tablespoons of gelatin.
healthy homemade marshmallows

Healthy Marshmallow Recipe

This is a healthy marshmallow recipe made with honey instead of sugar. You can even add probiotics for added health benefits!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Calories 94kcal
Author Katie Wells

Servings

24

Ingredients

Instructions

  • If using marshmallow root powder, combine 1 cup of warm water with the 1 marshmallow root and set aside for 5 minutes (or as long as overnight in the fridge).
  • Stir well and strain. Make sure that the liquid makes a whole cup. 
  • Pour ½ cup of the prepared marshmallow root mix into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the gelatin. Whisk slightly to incorporate and set aside. If not using marshmallow root simply pour ½ cup warm water into mixing bowl, add gelatin, and whisk slightly and set aside.
  • Pour the other ½ cup of water and 1 cup of honey, and cocoa powder if using, into a small saucepan and whisk to combine.
  • Slowly bring the water and honey mixture to a boil while stirring. If you have a kitchen thermometer (and I recommend it), you want it to reach at least 240°F. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, just keep boiling, stirring constantly for 8 minutes.
  • Turn on mixer with water/gelatin mixture to medium speed and whisk while slowly pouring the honey/water mixture into the mixing bowl. 
  • When add honey mix is added, turn the mixer to high and whisk for another 10-15 minutes or until it forms a stiff cream like the consistency of marshmallow cream. It should form soft peaks.
  • Add the probiotics and any flavor ingredients for the last 2 minutes of mixing.
  • Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with coconut oil or line with parchment paper, leaving some on the sides to be able to pull up.
  • When marshmallows are whipped, pour into the lined/greased dish and smooth evenly.
  • Let rest at least 4 hours (overnight is better).
  • Flip onto a cutting board and cut with a well-oiled pizza cutter or knife.
  • Store in an airtight container on the counter.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Marshmallow Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 94
% Daily Value*
Carbohydrates 23.3g8%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 23.2g26%
Protein 2.3g5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notes

Do NOT store in the refrigerator as they will melt. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The probiotics will decrease the shelf life to 3-4 days. Without the probiotics, these will last 2-3 weeks on the counter.

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Have you ever made a dessert like this? Will you try these? What flavors would you add? Share below!

Sources
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

321 responses to “Healthy Marshmallow Recipe”

  1. leah Avatar

    What kind of probiotics did you use? Do you use great lakes gelatin or something else? What if I wanted to use my own gelatin from a broth or something? (because it’s hard to find organic gelatin, much less grass-fed).

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I use Great Lakes… I’ve never tried with homemade Geltain, so not sure about that…

  2. Kristy Tillman Avatar
    Kristy Tillman

    Could you do this with the same amount of pure maple syrup instead of honey? It is the only sweetener we can use due to allergies. We have tons of raw local honey and can’t use it. 🙂

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I haven’t tried it but have heard from others that it can work… let me know how it goes if you try it!

    2. Alicia Avatar

      I have made this recipe with a combination of raw honey and pure maple syrup. It worked well, but I think I had to mix it a bit longer than the recipe called for. But the marshmallows turned out yummy and my girls are more than happy to have 1-2 healthy marshmallows each day. How many marshmallows should one consume daily to see the benefits of the gelatin?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I do in almost all recipes, but it won’t work in this one, since the natural sugars in the honey are needed to create the fluffy texture…

  3. Sue Mosier Avatar
    Sue Mosier

    I made a recipe similar to your recipe. The honey flavor was very intense. Do your marshmallows taste similar to the store brand?

    1. Brittni Avatar
      Brittni

      Try another type of honey.

      Honey has a large variety of flavors, depending on what flower the bees have frequented.
      Typically the color will give an idea of the intensity of flavor..
      Some honeys are nearly clear, only a slight color.. They tend to be very sweet with very little flavor…
      And some honeys are as dark as molasses, with very strong flavors.

      1. Feingold Avatar
        Feingold

        Can you use Raw Honey? The honey we buy is almost solid in 32 oz glass jars from the farmer, and if you want it liquid you need to melt it.

        Do you know if the quality of marshmallows is affected by the raw honey?

          1. Anya Avatar

            Hi Katie,

            It’s a grate recipe, my concern, though, is honey boiling aspect. As far as I know honey becomes poisoness when being boiled. It only hold 40 degrees Celsius.
            I wish there was some articles that prove other, for I know a lot of tasty recipes with boiled honey 🙁 May be you would know some?!

            Thank you for your precious time working on this grate blog!
            Anya

        1. Sam Avatar

          You can use raw honey but boiling it kills all the nutrients in the honey. I am wondering if I can make this recipe without boiling the honey and just boiling the water.

          1. Jennifer Avatar

            I have tried this. I have also tried reducing the amount of honey for marshmallows that weren’t so sweet. Neither of those things worked: I ended up with a syrup that never got fluffy.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Yes, but I’d stir in the other ingredients at the end of the mixing process for the marshmallows before the set instead of re-melting them like the traditional recipe…

      1. Amy Avatar

        5 stars
        Hi, I love these Marshmallows! I tried to make the rice treats and they turned out very soggy. Do you have a recipe for this? Many Thanks~!

        1. Jennifer Avatar

          5 stars
          I’ve made rice crispy treats several times with this recipe. The treats will get soggy if you skip the remelting step. I don’t know why this is, but remelting seems to be necessary for decent treats. At least for me.
          I just use a standard rice crispy treat recipe, nothing fancy.

          1. Julia Avatar

            So you need to let them set and remelt them to get it to work? So strange!

  4. Natalie Avatar

    I loooove that you added probiotics to marshmallows. Genius! I know I can make tea with some of the herbs, and I could use honey to sweeten, but I don’t know how to get the powdered stuff to work in a drink. I guess just put it in and shake it up a lot? I have a very picky teenager. We do have a SodaStream so I can use that to carbonate it.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I’ll play with it and see but I’m sure there is a way to do it without the agave or the need for a can..

  5. Catie Meyer Schamel Avatar
    Catie Meyer Schamel

    My daughter & I made these today, and the taste is great! When I tried spreading it in the glass dish, it was a big fluff ball that wouldn’t spread. It’s just a gelatinous mass. Do you think I mixed it too long? That’s what I’m thinking. Oh well, we’re still going to enjoy our ugly marshmallow ball!!!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Probably mixed a little too long… If you just leave it there until it sets, you should still be able to cut it in to squares…

      1. Fannie Avatar
        Fannie

        Do you think using this for rice crispy treats would work? Has any one tried this yet?

        1. Angela Avatar

          JUST made Rice Krispy treats. Didn’t work. I used the marshmellow cream mix right after finishing in the mixer. The rice krispies soaked up the moisture and became soggy. Any suggestions? Maybe letting the marshmellow mixture set up for just a bit (not 4 hours) before mixing with the krispies?

    2. Jennifer Frost Avatar
      Jennifer Frost

      Same thing happened to me and I only mixed for 6 minutes, so next time I think I might do what looks like soft peaks to me.

  6. Leila Molaei Avatar
    Leila Molaei

    I have successfully made marshmallows for a while now, using similar recipes, however recently they’ve started separating…I was surprised to read your comment about putting them in the fridge makes them melt – surely it should make them too hard? Could putting in the fridge cause the separation I’m experiencing?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      It could… it has something to do with the moisture, not the temp I think.

      1. Lisa Avatar

        Wellness Mama-just saw this post. I know it’s an older one. But I wanted to comment-made your marshmallows almost a year ago and froze what we didn’t eat. (No kids here! Empty nesters!)
        A year later there are still some in there and they’re fine! I pulled one out and tried it the other day. They’re cut and on wax paper in a freezer zip bag with most of the air pushed out. I didn’t use probiotics and if you did they probably wouldn’t be active anymore but the marshmallow is great!

  7. Marlice Avatar

    Can you share one of your “failures”? I am looking for an alternative to marshmallow fluff. My son loves sunflower butter and fluff sandwiches.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Just reduce the amount of gelatin to make it thinner and more fluff like. I think around 2 tbsp of gelatin was when I got the fluff consistency.

      1. Joan Avatar

        OOOhhhh! This fluff would be like traditional 7 minute icing or what is also called boiled icing! I think that would be great to put on a cake but is AIP Paleo friendly. Super exciting!!

  8. Kaarin Puhala Avatar
    Kaarin Puhala

    Made a batch of these today and also a double-batch of your homemade jello. So my question is – what else do you use the gelatin for? I purchased two containers of it on amazon, and not sure what else I can use it for. Would love your suggestions.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I actually dissolve a teaspoon a day in hot tea… great for skin, hair, nails. It also is great for thickening sauces, or making pudding…

          1. Amah Avatar

            5 stars
            I use it as part of my cure tooth decay diet. I put some in 1yo’s blended soup for nutrients. Leftovers went in fridge. The next day I pulled it out for lunch and it was soup jello! (Duh.) It was so much easier to feed than liquid soup! I put it in all kinds of homemade baby food now.

        1. Angela Vullo Avatar
          Angela Vullo

          Yes, from animal bones. That’s why it has so many health benefits. Making broth from bones is so nutritional and would help feed families when they didn’t have many options. Humans have been living off of animals for thousands of years!

          1. Michelle Wallick Avatar
            Michelle Wallick

            Just because bone broth has so much nutrients, doesnt mean the collagen from the bones (gelatin) is going to carry all those nutrients also.

          2. Angela Vullo Avatar
            Angela Vullo

            Humans have been using bones to get nutrients for thousands of years. They would put the bones in a pot over a fire and use the broth for days when they didn’t have meat. It would provide them with the nutrients they needed. That is why this method is still used today. Just curious, but why do you believe this not to be true?

          3. Michelle Wallick Avatar
            Michelle Wallick

            Im not disputing the health benefits of bone broth, only pointing out that gelatin by itself isnt going to contain all the same good stuff thats in bone broth, like iron and such.

            “Although gelatin is 98-99% protein by dry weight, it has less nutritional value than many other complete protein sources. Gelatin is unusually high in the non-essential amino acids glycine and proline (i.e., those produced by the human body), while lacking certain essential amino acids (i.e., those not produced by the human body).” <-wikipedia

          4. Angela Vullo Avatar
            Angela Vullo

            I see what you mean. I don’t plan to use this as a complete protein source or even for its nutrients, especially for making marshmallows and fruit snacks. I will give my kids bone broth if I want to achieve that. The fact that it’s healthy and not something like corn syrup is why I think so highly of it and enjoy using it in recipes like this.

          5. Sarah Avatar

            5 stars
            Not to mention that gelatin is great for joints, bones, healing, etc. Much better than zero nutritional value corn syrup, that’s for sure.

          6. Marie Avatar

            Glycine is anti-inflammatory and life-extending (reduces risk of death from heart problems particularly, but in rat studies it extended life of considerably compared to controls – fewer deaths from all causes). The “non essential” label it has can be misleading, all that means is that technically the body can make enough of it for survival. Does not mean body can make enough for what we really need. Glycine is absolutely essential for health, being a major component of healthy skin and bones, as well as regulating insulin/metabolism, promoting healthy sleep and mood, and it also gets used up in the process the body uses to down-regulate inflammation. If you don’t get enough dietary glycine – and most people don’t – you will experience various aches and pains that you think are normal (like from exercise or various ailments or age), but are actually a shortage of glycine. Glycine is in fact what gives bone broth its anti-inflammatory qualities. The body *can* make glycine, but does not typically make enough to really keep down inflammation. It needs to be consumed in food form for that (like from bone broth or gelatin). Glycine is actually sold as a supplement for these purposes (reducing inflammation and pain; improving sleep and mood; etc) as a pure powder and also as the branded supplement “SweetAmines.” SweetAmines is expensive, so I just buy the pure powder at the supplement store near me. It’s half the price. Or I take gelatin dissolved in my tea (four packets of gelatin is the serving size I use, contains roughly the same amount of glycine as two teaspoons of the pure powdered glycine). Whenever I am feeling achy or sore the gelatin or glycine is wonderful to get rid of the stiffness. Pure glycine has a sweet taste like sugar, by the way, so if I put that in my tea instead of gelatin I don’t need honey to have sweet tea 🙂 I also sometimes will make “glycine lemonade” – carb free!

          1. Susan C. Avatar
            Susan C.

            If you’re talking about your marshmallows separating, or being wet on the bottom then the wet mixture needs to be whipped for longer. The bowl should be cool to the touch and the mixture should form peaks when you pull the whisk up.

          2. Torie Avatar

            I was really suprised to see honey being heated up in this recipe… I was under the impression that was a huge no-no because it denatures it and makes it toxic. I’d love to try this, but I’ll stick with maple syrup. Thanks for sharing!

      1. Deedra Avatar

        It is also excellent for older people to rebuild cartilage and strengthen joints.

      2. Natalie Miller Avatar
        Natalie Miller

        Do you think this recipe would work good for s’more, or would it melt too much?

    2. Catie Meyer Schamel Avatar
      Catie Meyer Schamel

      I add it to soups, and mugs of bone broth at breakfast. My husband adds it to his smoothies/post workout protein drinks.

    3. Linda Avatar

      I also buy gelatin in bulk. I’ve used it to make homemade fruit gummy candies, which were great. I also add a bit of gelatin when I’m making beef stew. It gives the broth a silky richness.

  9. John Avatar

    Sort of disappointed … was hoping it actually had real marshmellow root or something in it. But still a better alternative to the regular ones 🙂

      1. Jess Avatar

        However, John wrote their comment almost a year before you did, and that addition is listed as an update.

  10. Kristy Kelley Avatar
    Kristy Kelley

    I’m curious how you’re trying to reverse your son’s milk allergy? With the full GAPS diet? I am waiting for my GAPS diet book to arrive and hopefully will be able to do this with my son as I think he has dairy and wheat sensitivities. I definitely know he has severe egg allergy.

    1. Kristy Kelley Avatar
      Kristy Kelley

      How old is your son, by the way? Mine is just now 12 months and I’m thinking it will be easier to do this diet with him now while he’s younger as opposed to waiting…

    2. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      With the GAPS intro and full GAPS. It has been an amazing transformation, even in his mental/emotional development as he was a preemie and was struggling to hit a couple of milestones until GAPS>

  11. Lauren Avatar

    I love that this has healing ingredients like gelatin and probiotics! How creative! Plus it’s GAPS and egg free? I think I will be trying these this afternoon!

    1. Heidi Avatar

      These turned out great! I made these for my son who is avoiding corn right now but my whole family loved them so we all used the homemade ones 🙂 We made s’mores with the broiler and they turned out really good .. a bit more gooey than store bought but I didn’t mind! My oldest son said to tell you you’re the smartest person in existence other than Isaac Newton. And one of my other sons pointed out that the Marshmallows were very white despite the lack of food coloring!

  12. Natalie Childress Avatar
    Natalie Childress

    I need to try this as a way to get probiotic into my son’s system. He’s a VERY picky eater, and I have a hard time getting him to try new things. Maybe he’ll try these though. Thanks so much.

    1. Ashley Skidmore Avatar
      Ashley Skidmore

      5 stars
      My kids can be very picky too. It’s like every highly processed and sugary thing out there is all they want. Another good way to give your child probotics is in their drinks. I can’t get my sons to eat chewables so I buy the powder that you keep in the fridge (which they carry at my local health food stores) and mix it in their favorite drink. Some stores have ones especially for kids but if not the adult probotics usually have age dosing and you’d cut the dose in half from 1 teaspoon to a 1/2 a teaspoon most likely.

      1. Deedra Avatar

        I use Flora-Balance from O’Donnell Formulas— it has absolutely NO taste. I love it.

  13. Ana Hoff Kinner Avatar
    Ana Hoff Kinner

    adding mint and dipping in dark chocolate…. peppermint patty anyone??

    1. Lisa Beaulieu Avatar
      Lisa Beaulieu

      Oh My goodness – did you make your peppermint patty recipe???
      Please please tell us how it turned out? That was totally genius.
      I read your comment and said OH MY GOD so loud that my husband is still making fun of me.
      I’m salivating!

      1. Annie Avatar

        If you’re using these for rice krispie treats do you need to let them firm up, or can you go ahead and use them without firming them? Because you would just melt them again anyway, right?

  14. Chelsey Huttinga Avatar
    Chelsey Huttinga

    my recipe is almost identical to this but I never thought of putting probiotics in them, what a great idea! Thanks!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      If they are hardened enough, but if they are still soft, they can fall off a roasting stick…

        1. Erris Avatar

          5 stars
          I have been looking for this type of recipe for so long and i finally found it!thanks wellness mama!

        2. Sandi P Avatar
          Sandi P

          Whole root – In a mason jar in the cupboard – keep it dry and ideally out of the sun. (This should work fine for powder, too. I just haven’t bought it that way.)

      1. kayla Avatar

        Can I add more marshmallow root? How does that effect the overall texture, I was thinking of making a sort of antacid marshmallow for my sister in law Bc she’s not super keen on tea.

  15. Kristian Roddy Avatar
    Kristian Roddy

    Wonderful! My kids were begging me for marshmallows at the store the other day. We will definitely make these soon. I made some years ago, but they were the typical unhealthy version. Very impressed with this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing! I love it!

    1. Dana Avatar

      I cannot get my marsmellows to fluff or peak. And the do not seem to be white?…

4.25 from 285 votes (225 ratings without comment)

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