Tyler’s preschool had another fire today. Don’t panic – not an accidental fire! A planned fire, in a proper fire pit. They did one earlier in the year, and Tyler loved it. He happily toasted some pieces of fruit on the end of a stick while his peers roasted their marshmallows. He’s pretty good at knowing what things will make him feel terrible if he eats them and making good decisions accordingly, but he did express a sense of being left out sometime afterwards. I don’t think he actually cared about the marshmallows, more so that everyone else was roasting them except him. So this time around, I decided we would try our luck at making marshmallows so he could join in the fun completely.
Homemade marshmallows are a huge improvement on the store bought ones just for the fact that you know what is in them! But why make something at home with white, processed sugar when you could do it with something more natural? Which begs the question why consume processed and nutritionally-void white sugar at all when you can consume something more natural, but that is not our topic today! We are here to discuss marshmallows!
Now. I hate marshmallows. The store bought ones make me ill (suprise!) and I’ve never had a real marshmallow before. Therefore, my marshmallow judgement is based squarely on a very skewed experience of the humble marshmallow. These little guys are nothing like your store bought marshmallow. These are floaty, pillowy squares of amazingness. They are not oddly crunchy on the outside. And because they contain rapadura, they have a beautiful, natural caramel flavour. Yum.
Let me just also confess: I was SO far out of my comfort zone doing this. The only kind of ‘candy’ I had ever made were those hard toffees that we used to make and sell at cake stalls etc in primary school. My last toffee-making experience (it would have to have been around 12 or 13 yrs of age – Bec, feel free to correct me on this!) was a disaster. My friend and I overflowed the boiling toffee mixture onto her mother’s stove. And not an easy to clean stove, either! One of those electric stoves with the wire coils, and the boiling syrup went all the way down under the coils… Needless to say, we were banned from making toffees until we were ‘over’ the whole toffee-making thing anyway. So if I can do these marshmallows, you surely can! They are ridiculously easy.
The verdict on them from the adults was: texture great, taste awesome! The preschool kids loved them, even though they tended to melt more quickly than the store-bought variety. The kids really enjoyed them ‘gooey’! They all disappeared quickly, so I’m taking that as a sign of success!
Now, I’m not advocating that you make marshmallows all the time. They don’t even really fit in at all with our current eating ethos – too much sugar and just not enough nutrient value. That being said, kids do need to be kids. It’s fair game for us as parents to offer our kids better alternatives rather than having them miss out. In a balanced, nutritionally power-packed, bioavailable (i.e. easily digested) diet, the occasional ‘healthy’ marshmallow is fine!
And one more thing, before I launch into the recipe… As usual, this recipe is made using my Thermomix. However, a few of my followers over on my HHH facebook page don’t own a Thermomix and requested a stovetop version too. I’ve put together a stovetop method based on an old recipe I was working from plus my tweaks (rapadura instead of white sugar, honey instead of HFCS, and gelatine leaves instead of powdered gelatine). Both the Thermomix method and the stovetop method are included below. Give it a whirl and report back! 🙂
300g boiling water – I got it straight from the kettle
2) Meanwhile, put gelatine leaves in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for 5 mins to soak, then squeeze excess moisture out of the gelatine leaves and set aside in a dry bowl.
1) Prepare the dusting mixture: weigh extra 50g rapadura sugar into TM bowl. Mill on speed 9 for 1 minute. Add coconut flour. Mix on speed 7 for 25 seconds. Set aside in a bowl. Without a Thermomix: whisk ground rapadura or icing sugar with the coconut flour in a bowl.
Have fun, and eat responsibly! 😉