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Healthy Homemade Marshmallow Recipe (No Corn Syrup)

Marshmallows take any hot beverage to the next level. Period. Unfortunately, like many products from grocery stores, the marshmallows you buy are often loaded with processed ingredients, including high-fructose corn syrup. In this post, I’ll show you a healthier alternative that is SO easy to make. These healthy homemade marshmallows use just 4 simple whole food ingredients and are pillowy soft and delicious. They are the perfect compliment to your warm drink, and I promise you won’t miss the store-bought kind!

cup of hot cocoa topped with homemade hot chocolate and fresh cocoa powder

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Ingredients in Store-Bought Marshmallows

Take a look at the ingredients in this popular brand:

CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, DEXTROSE, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF GELATIN, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE (WHIPPING AID), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BLUE 1.

I’m not sure why blue food coloring is needed, but it’s there, along with HFCS, and preservatives. As you can see, there isn’t much in marshmallows that is good for you. Okay, nothing. But worry not, because you can still enjoy marshmallows with this healthy homemade marshmallow recipe! The best part is that they only require 4 ingredients. 

Is Corn Syrup Bad For You?

High fructose corn syrup is a man-made sweetener that is usually made from genetically modified corn. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a common ingredient in commercial marshmallows, and its negative health implications are well-documented. HFCS has been linked to various health issues, including (source):

  1. Weight Gain
  2. Cancer
  3. Fatty Liver / Liver Stress
  4. Increased Cholesterol Levels
  5. Diabetes
  6. High Blood Pressure
  7. Heart Disease
  8. Leaky Gut
  9. Increased Mercury Intake

That is a lot of health issues. The worst part is, that HFCS is used in so many different food products you find at the store. It’s the primary sweetener in most soft drinks. 

Ingredients for Healthy Marshmallows:

This recipe is super simple, and you will only need 4 ingredients. 

hand holding a homemade fluffy marshmallow with a christmas tree in the background

Other Supplies You Will Need:

This recipe is easiest with a stand mixer, but you can also use a hand mixer. You could probably whisk it by hand… if you want an arm workout!

Benefits of Grass-Fed Gelatin

The star of these homemade marshmallows is grass-fed gelatin. This special ingredient makes these marshmallows especially nutritious and has loads of benefits! Grass-fed gelatin, derived from the collagen in animal tissues, usually beef or pork. Choosing grass-fed gelatin will ensure that the gelatin is coming from animals that have not been treated with artificial hormones or antibiotics. Pasture-raised or grass-fed cows are generally healthier animals overall. Here are some of the key advantages associated with using grass-fed gelatin:

  1. Rich in Protein
  2. Supports Joint Health
  3. Promotes Gut Health
  4. Aids in Digestion
  5. Supports Skin, Hair, and Nail Health
  6. Balances Amino Acid Profile
  7. Contains Nutrients for Bone Health
  8. May Improve Sleep Quality
  9. Natural Source without Additives

You can find beef gelatin at most health food stores, or online. I have purchased grass-fed gelatin from thrive market, as well as from perfect supplements. Both are good options for high-quality gelatin.

How to Make Healthy Homemade Marshmallows

Step 1: Allow the Gelatin to Bloom

In the bowl of the stand mixer, pour 3/4 cup water. Sprinkle gelatin over the top. Allow it to “bloom” for a few minutes. 

gelatin blooming in the bowl of a stand mixer

Step 2: Add sweetener & Vanilla

Pour 8 TB pure maple syrup over the top of the bloomed gelatin. Add a dash of vanilla extract. 

Step 3: Add Boiling Water

Boil 1/2 cup of water. I like to put it in a glass measuring cup and microwave it while I add the maple syrup to my marshmallows. Make sure you have a whisk attachment on. Turn your stand mixer on at a low speed, and pour the boiling water over the mixture as it stirs. 

Step 4: Whisk, whisk whisk!

Cover your stand mixer with a towel to prevent too much splatter. Turn the mixer up to high speed. Let it go for 8-10 minutes.

homemade marshmallow mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer

Step 5: Transfer to a baking dish

After about 8-10 minutes, the marshmallow batter will be thick and creamy, filling the bowl of the mixer. Soft peaks should be forming, and the mixture should hold it’s shape for at least a few seconds when you lift it out of the bowl. Transfer the fluffy marshmallows to a glass baking dish, using a rubber spatula. You can line the baking pan with parchment paper if you want, but I usually don’t.

homemade marshmallows in a glass baking dish

Step 6: Refrigerate

Place the baking pan in the refrigerator to allow the marshmallow mixture to cool and firm up. A few hours or overnight is best, but if you are in a hurry you can place them in the freezer to speed up the process. 

Step 7: Cut, serve, and store!

Using a very sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the marshmallows into squares, however big you like. Coat the marshmallows in arrowroot powder or powdered sugar (homemade marshmallows are sticky!) and place them in an airtight container. These can be stored at room temperature for about a week, or keep them in the freezer for much longer! 

homemade marshmallows on a festive red and white holiday plate

Healthy Marshmallow Recipe Variations

There are so many different ways to flavor your homemade marshmallows! Try adding:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Elderberry syrup
  • Peppermint, almond, or lemon extract

Tips for Making Homemade Healthy Marshmallows

  • Make sure the marshmallows are nice and dry before storing. You don’t want any moisture in the container.
  • Don’t Overwhip – If you whip the marshmallows in the stand mixer too long, they will start to cool and turn to a taffy consistency. They will be really hard to get out of the bowl. 
blue and white glass cup with hot cocoa and homemade marshmallows

How to Use Homemade Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are delicious by themselves, but you can also use them on top of any of your favorite beverages. Here are a few ideas:

  • Homemade hot chocolate (Try this homemade bone broth hot chocolate recipe)
  • Coffee. Maybe not your first thought, but it’s really delicious! 
  • Roast them over a campfire: Homemade marshmallows need to be really dry for this, or they will melt into goop. Leave them out on the counter to dry 
  • In Rice Crispy treats
  • In any recipe that calls for marshmallows
homemade healthy marshmallows on top of hot chocolate

Healthy Homemade Marshmallows

Healthy homemade marshmallows are a breeze to make, and they are soft, pillowy and delicious! They are the perfect compliment to a warm cup of hot cocoa, and made from natural ingredients.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Setting Time:3 hours
Total Time:3 hours 15 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 Stand Mixer with whisk attachment Or an electric hand mixer
  • 1 Food scale
  • 1 Liquid measuring cup
  • 1 Glass Baking Pan
  • 1 Rubber spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 Cups Water, divided 3/4 Cup + 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 30 Grams Grass-fed gelatin
  • 8 TB Real maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Pour 3/4 Cup filtered water into the bowl of your stand mixer
  • Sprinkle 30 grams gelatin over the water, and allow it to bloom for 3-5 minutes
  • Prepare 1/2 Cup of boiling water
  • Add maple syrup and vanilla to the gelatin mixture
  • Make sure you have a whisk attachment. Turn your mixer onto medium-low, and pour the boiling water in as it mixes
  • Cover the stand mixer with a towel to prevent splatter, and turn the mixer up to high speed.
  • Allow the marshmallows to whip up for 8-10 minutes, or until the marshmallows are thick and creamy, with soft peaks forming. The marshmallows should hold their shape for a few seconds when you lift the whisk out of the bowl.
  • Transfer the marshmallows to a glass baking dish, using a rubber spatula. Smooth them out so they are nice and even in the pan.
  • Refrigerate the marshmallows for at least a few hours. Overnight is best!
  • After the marshmallows are set, cut them into squares using a very sharp knife or pizza cutter. Coat them in arrowroot powder or powdered sugar to help with the stickiness.
  • Store in an airtight container for about a week, or in the freezer for a few months!

Notes

If you are in a hurry to eat your marshmallows, you can put the marshmallows in the freezer to speed up the setting process. 
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: drinks, healthy snacks, marshmallows
Servings: 30 large marshmallows

Conclusion

These simple, healthy homemade marshmallows are delicious and nutritious! You can feel good about adding this sweet treat to your next cup of hot cocoa. I know that after trying this recipe, you will never go back to regular old store bought marshmallows again! 

Did you try these marshmallows? I’d love to hear what you think! 

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3 Comments

  1. Wow! This sounds so good, I didn’t even know one could make marshmallow from scratch, yay for eliminating corn syrup! Do you know if there’s a vegan replacement ingredient for the Gelatin in this recipe?

    1. Yes and they are simply delicious! I have seen some recipes where agar agar (from red algae) is used as a substitute, but I imagine the proportions are quite different. Thanks for reading & commenting!

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