Warm up this season with a mug of hot cocoa and naturally sweetened homemade marshmallows – no white sugar or corn syrup needed!
While I anticipated plenty of baking during the holidays I never thought I’d be making homemade marshmallows. For one, it honestly never occurred to me to make my own and two I haven’t had the best of luck making candies in the past. But when I was brainstorming recipe ideas for the holiday season, Bry insisted I make healthy homemade marshmallows – well, healthier marshmallows, after all you can’t make marshmallows without plenty of sugar.
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I often get asked about natural sweeteners, such as honey and maple syrup, vs white sugar in terms of healthfulness. While both are sources of sugar, honey and maple syrup do contain extra nutrients not found in white sugar making them a more nutritious choice. Today we’ll focus on honey as that’s the sweeter of choice for these marshmallows. If you’re not looking for a nutrition lecture, go ahead and skip the next paragraph 😉
White sugar is made up of 50% glucose and 50% fructose – simple sugars that our bodies are very good at digesting quickly, resulting in a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. This isn’t necessarily bad all the time, but chronically elevated blood sugars can eventually lead to many chronic diseases, specifically cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Honey, on the other hand, contains less of these simple sugars (about 30% glucose and 40% fructose), the other 20% are more complex types of sugars including a starchy fiber called dextrin. As a result, it takes longer for your body to break down honey, so you don’t get the same blood sugar spike as you would with white sugar. Plus, natural honey contains antioxidants and has anti-bacterial properties. Okay, enough nutrition, on to the marshmallows!
As I mentioned above, I’ve never had good luck making candies before. For a couple years in a row, my mom and I attempted to make old-style fudge for Christmas, but it always ended up grainy or too hard. We started to get a bit better once my grandma passed on the responsibility of making a burnt sugar cake for Christmas (a family tradition), but there were still many years where it took multiple attempts to get the burnt sugar syrup just right.
These marshmallows though? I had to get it right in one shot as I used up all the honey in our house and all the gelatin powder. So to help my chances I bought a simple candy thermometer, which I highly recommend using for these.
Some tips before you go about making your own:
After making these, all that’s left is to warm up a mug of hot cocoa 🙂
So here’s a toast to enjoying homemade treats around the holidays!
Unless you plan on doing some serious candy-making, no need to buy a fancy thermometer. This is the one I use and it works great:
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Say what?! I’ve been looking for a homemade marshmallow recipe. Pinning for later 🙂
Perfect timing 🙂 let me know what you think when you give them a shot!
I’ve never attempted to make my own marshmallows but this looks so good! Definintely will be trying them, great post.
They were really yummy! Plus you have full control over the flavor by the type of honey you use and any additional flavor extracts. Definitely give them a try!