I have a confession to make. I am, and forever will be, a sucker for marshmallows. As with all things in life, I believe that for optimal health, there needs to be balance. And while most of my day is filled with lots of greens, fresh fruit, lean proteins, and various superfoods, there is ALWAYS dessert. (This is basically my definition of life balance in a nutshell.) Normally dessert is some tasty treat that is gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. And I usually feel completely satisfied with these healthified desserts because they taste as good (usually even better) than their conventional counterparts (like these Thin Mints). But for me, with marshmallows, a super clean healthy version just will not do. I know there are tons of sugar free, carb free, 2 ingredient concoctions out there, but can we even call them marshmallows at that point?
These Healthier Homemade Marshmallows are chewy and sticky but light, airy, and fluffy. Basically, everything you would want and expect from a marshmallow. They are surprisingly easy to make and the taste of a homemade marshmallow is infinitely better than anything store bought. Plus they contain no preservatives and made with only 7 ingredients. Once you make these, I suspect you will be just as hooked on the homemade version as I am. And these will majorly up your s’mores game.
While I have made these marshmallows “healthier” by using less cane sugar than traditional white sugar and replacing corn syrup with agave, I would not call these “healthy”. Which I know is a completely relative term to each individual body. But sometimes arbitrary labels are necessary to get points across. These Healthier Homemade Marshmallows have less overall sugar than traditional recipes and contain no corn products. I swap the typical cornstarch and powdered sugar dusting for tapioca flour. This also keeps the sugar content lower and they are still just perfectly sweet. If you do not have (or prefer not to use) tapioca flour, I provide a sub in the recipe notes below.
To make these you will need a candy thermometer. If this is your first time using one, don’t let this deter you from make these. Homemade marshmallows are surprisingly easy to make. And once you master the plain marshmallow a world of flavor additions is open to you! For July 4th I sprinkled crushed freeze dried blueberries and raspberries into the mallow. The tartness of the berries was a delicious complement to the sweet marshmallow goodness. I use and love this brand of gelatin (great quality and reasonably priced) but any will do. Just be sure you are using gelatin and not collagen, there is a difference.
corn syrup free, gluten free, grain free, nut free
If you make this recipe, please feel free to leave a review or rating down below. And I’d LOVE to see your creation! Please tag me on Instagram @freshlydafna and use #freshlydafna.
Healthier Homemade Marshmallows
Homemade marshmallows are surprisingly easy to make and SO much better than store bought. These are made without corn syrup and processed white sugar and instead sweetened with agave syrup and cane sugar. The result is a fluffy, light, and airy marshmallow that is pure heaven.
gluten free, dairy free, nut free
- tapioca flour for dusting (about 1/2 cup) see notes for subs
- coconut oil (about 2 tbsp) or cooking spray
- 1 cup water divided
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp gelatin
- 1 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 2/3 cup agave or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp salt
Prepare a 9x13 inch baking dish by greasing with coconut oil or cooking spray ensuring the bottom and sides of the dish are well oiled. Add 2 tbsp of tapioca flour to the dish and shake it all around the pan so the entire dish is well dusted. Add an additional tbsp of tapioca if needed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, with whisk attachment, gently stir 1/2 cup of water with the gelatin and let stand.
- Arrange a candy thermometer on a small pot and add the remaining 1/2 cup of water, cane sugar, and agave and cook over medium high heat.
Cook the mixture until it reaches 240 degrees (this will take a few minutes, but be sure to watch the pot). Once it reaches this temperature, promptly remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer to low and while running, slowly (and carefully) pour the hot sugar mixture down the side of the mixing bowl into the gelatin. Once sugar mixture has all been poured into the bowl turn the mixer to medium high speed.
Whisk until the mixture is white, thick, and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes.
Add in the vanilla and salt and whisk again on high for another 2-3 minutes. The mixture should be glossy, thick, and still slightly warm.
Using a lightly greased rubber spatula pour the marshmallow into the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.
Dust the top with 1 tbsp of tapioca flour and let set for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
When ready to slice place 2 tbsp of tapioca flour in a small bowl. Use a well greased pizza cutter or knife to slice the marshmallow into desired shapes and roll edges of each marshmallow in the tapioca flour to coat. Shake off any excess powder left on marshmallows. Use additional tapioca flour if necessary to coat all the mallows.
Traditionally, marshmallows are dusted in a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar. This is used to reduce the exterior stickiness of the marshmallows so they can be handled. To reduce the sugar content in these Healthier Marshmallows I use tapioca flour to achieve the same results. If you don't have/don't want to use tapioca flour make a mixture of 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting.
These marshmallows use agave instead of corn syrup and have less sugar than traditional recipes so there is more moisture and less crystallization making these a bit more sticky. I keep them in the freezer for optimal flavor and texture. But worry not, you'll be able to eat these straight out of the freezer! And I actually think they taste even better (as if that was possible) than room temp marshmallows.
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