Find out whether marshmallows are dairy free, what they are made of, and which brands of marshmallows to look for when you are shopping the next time.
Table of Contents
What Is Marshmallow?
Thessaly bush, a common marshmallow plant, was used to create marshmallow flavor fantasy thanks to its sweet sap.
A chewy treat with many variations is marshmallow. The shape that is most frequently sold is a square, possibly 2 inches by 2 inches.
The marshmallow packaging also includes a “stick,” which is a circular ring. Typically, they are white with a faint pink tinge around the edges.
Letters, numbers, and signs are just a few of the additional shapes that the product can take.
Marshmallows have been enjoyed for thousands of years – dating all the way back to the ancient Egyptians in 2000 BC. They weren’t exactly the same back then, of course. At first, Egyptians would extract the sap from the untamed mallow plant that grew in marshes. This is the origin of the word “marshmallow”; get it? Then, they’d mix the sap with honey and nuts. Unbelievable as it may seem, only royalty and the gods were given access to this special delicacy.
Candy makers in France began introducing another version of the marshmallow in the 1800s. They created a fluffy candy mold out of the same mallow sap. The marshmallow arrived in America in the first decade of the 1900s. The marshmallow became popular in the 1950s. They discovered a much more effective way to make marshmallows at this time, which contributed to the explosion in popularity of the treat. The rest is (delicious) history.
Marshmallow Fun Facts
- Every summer, more than half of all marshmallows sold are consumed after being roasted over a fire.
- The marshmallow industry’s epicenter is in Ligonier, Noble County, Indiana. Since 1992, a marshmallow festival has been held annually in the area, which has a significant marshmallow production industry.
- Despite coming from Egypt and France, Americans are the world’s biggest consumers of marshmallows today.
- In America, marshmallow sales total more than 90 million pounds yearly.
- Oct. and Dec. are the busiest months for marshmallow sales.
- Even alligators love marshmallows. Although it’s unknown who first gave an alligator a marshmallow, they are now frequently used to frighten or lure alligators. In states like Florida, it’s common knowledge, but elsewhere it sounds like a myth. It gained notoriety thanks to a True Blood character on HBO.
What Is Dairy?
Any food made from animal milk is referred to as dairy, including cream, cheese, yogurt, and butter.
Although ANY animal milk product can be referred to as dairy, most people only speak of products made from cow’s milk when discussing the category. Though it is a dairy product, we don’t frequently consider sheep’s milk or sheep’s milk cheese when talking about dairy in the United States.
What Materials Do Marshmallows Contain?
Most marshmallows are made from just a few ingredients: corn syrup, cornstarch, gelatin, vanilla extract, and water.
These are the basic ingredients that homemade marshmallows will contain, whereas store-bought marshmallows may also contain preservatives or other flavorings.
Are Marshmallows Free Of Dairy?
We know for sure that the majority of marshmallows are dairy-free and safe for people who follow a dairy-free diet because they are made with corn syrup, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and water.
Of course, with everything when you have food intolerances or food allergies, you’ll want to read the ingredient lists for any hidden names of the foods you’re avoiding
Foods that are covered in dairy-containing ingredients should be avoided if you’re looking for dairy in marshmallows. For example, marshmallows dipped in chocolate. The chocolate could contain dairy, so this would be a food to avoid.
Observe any additional ingredients that are added to a dish along with the marshmallows. You should make sure that every ingredient in a dish is dairy-free even if the marshmallows themselves are.
Are Marshmallows Vegan?
I’m sorry to all the vegans out there. No, marshmallows are not vegan because they use gelatin. According to Brittanica.com: “Gelatin is created using decomposing animal hides, boiled, crushed bones, and connective tissues from pigs and cattle. Slaughterhouses are where bones, skins, and tissues of animals are obtained.” When you consider it that way, it kind of makes you dislike them less. Dandies is the only vegan marshmallow brand I’ve found, and they use soy protein instead, which is challenging because some vegans also have a soy allergy. Right now, it appears that this is the only compromise with store-bought marshmallows.
The water from canned chickpeas and garbanzo beans, known as aquafaba, can whip up much like egg whites and is often used in vegan marshmallow recipes online in place of gelatin and egg whites.
Brands Of Dairy-free Marshmallows
It’s easy to locate marshmallows at your neighborhood grocery store because the majority of brands are suitable for a diet free of dairy. You may want to look for the following brands of dairy-free marshmallows.
Those that are gluten-free have also been marked with an asterisk (*) to make it easier for you if you are also trying to avoid gluten.
- Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows*
- Max Mallow
- Trader Joe’s*
The Best Dairy Free Marshmallow Recipes
Let’s move on to the fun part, which is actually eating marshmallows, now that we are aware that they are naturally dairy-free and have a ton of other interesting marshmallow facts. We’ll list our top recipes and break down the various marshmallow recipe categories.
Rice Krispie Treats: Crispy yet gooey sweetness. What more is there to ask for? These bars usually consist of marshmallows, butter, and puffed rice cereal. Simply replace the butter with dairy-free butter to make them dairy-free, and you’re good to go! Try these deluxe chocolate marshmallow bars from Taste of Home if you want to go wild. All you need to do is make sure your butter and chocolate chips are dairy-free. Yum!
S’mores: The marshmallow is gooey inside and crispy outside, which is one of the beauties of the s’more. The Hershey’s chocolate melts as a result. Then, two graham cracker pieces are used to hold everything together. Despite being messy, they are among the most widely consumed desserts during the summer and fall. We can all agree that smores are a delicacy, regardless of whether you’re team golden brown marshmallow or team burn the heck out of your marshmallow. Try substituting a peanut butter cup for the chocolate in a traditional smore for some extra flavor; for a dairy-free option, we suggest Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Alternatively, try swapping out traditional graham crackers with chocolate or cinnamon graham crackers.
Brownies and Bars: If you haven’t heard of Mississippi Mud brownies, run, do not walk, to your grocery store and make this right now. They are basically brownies, with a layer of marshmallows, then a layer of frosting on top. Here is a wonderful dairy-free recipe for them. Of course, marshmallows are a common ingredient in bar-style desserts. You can make a whole pan of s’mores that will last you for a week instead of just one sitting if you use these s’mores bars, just replace the chocolate and butter with dairy-free alternatives.
Marshmallow Salads: These dishes are typically served at family gatherings as “salads.” Depending on where you live, these salads are also known as Ambrosia salads. Typically, marshmallows, coconut, pineapple chunks, mandarin orange segments, and sour cream are used to make it. Replace the sour cream with a dairy-free substitute to make it vegan. You can really do whatever you want with this recipe; some people even add different fruit, like maraschino cherries! There are no rules when it comes to marshmallows.
Candied Yams: Another traditional dish you most often see around the holidays at family gatherings. As implied by the dish’s name, the main ingredients are yams, brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. Depending on your family, this dish is either a necessary staple or completely strange and disgusting. If you’re on the hunt for a recipe, this one from All Recipes has over 800 reviews and keeps things simple. Simply replace the butter with a dairy-free butter to make it vegan. We enjoy the plant butter from Country Crock or the butter from Miyoko’s Creamery. Visit our blog post on butter if you’re not sure if you can just make it with real butter and live with the consequences. We dig into just how much lactose is actually in butter, so you can make an educated decision.
Jello: A final dish to serve at your family gatherings Jello marshmallow salads are a vintage dish that was all the rage back in the day, and you still see it sometimes today. Generally speaking, they are quick to prepare, flavorful, and fruity. They resemble ambrosia salads, but the binder is jello rather than sour cream. For instance, this recipe from Daily Dish Recipes calls for marshmallows, whipped cream, crushed pineapple, and cherry jello. You can consume as much of this jello marshmallow salad as you like if you simply substitute a dairy-free substitute for the whip cream.
Cereal: The inclusion of Lucky Charms would make this list entirely satisfactory. Marshmallows in cereal? This idea was genius, whoever thought it up. What better strategy to encourage kids to eat breakfast could there be? Even as an adult, it’s undeniably the most thrilling breakfast, despite not being the healthiest. These days, you can even purchase a 21-ounce bag of marshmallows alone; you don’t have to eat the boring cereal first and save the marshmallows for the end.
Indeed, marshmallows don’t contain any dairy. Water, sugar, gum, and gelatin make up the majority of a marshmallow’s composition. A marshmallow is a calorie-free treat made with gelatin, sugar, and water.
That food is healthy does not imply that it has a low carbohydrate content. Not many health advantages come from raw sugar.
It just means that it will not make you fat if you eat it in moderation. Moderation is essential in this case.