If You're Not Making Easy, Gut-Healing Marshmallows, You're Losing At This Whole S'mores Thing
Nothing says summer quite like a s'more. Simply the name conjures up the crackling sound of a fire, sticky fingers, the chirping of crickets, and laughter of friends on a July evening. But did you know that hidden between the crunchy graham cracker and melty chocolate is a secret gut-healer that we should all be taking advantage of? I'm talking, of course, about the marshmallow.
Sometime in the last few years, you've likely encountered collagen, a family of fibrous proteins that help make up the structure of our skin, bone, cartilage, and muscle. Collagen peptides are renowned for their gut and skin health benefits, a reason that many people mix the flavorless powder into smoothies and baked goods. But collagen is actually a slightly more processed version of gelatin—and gelatin is what makes marshmallows possible.
Collagen, essentially, starts as gelatin before undergoing a hydrolysis process that eliminates its ability to gelatinize (this is why your smoothie doesn't become Jell-O). All of the aforementioned benefits of collagen? Gelatin has them too—and it has the ability to fundamentally change the structure of your food. With gelatin, you can make gummies, flan, and, yes, marshmallows.
Marshmallows are shockingly simple to make at home—you essentially just bloom some gelatin and whip it with honey. As the whipping aerates it, those air bubbles are locked into place as the gelatin sets, making the white fluffy marshmallow texture you know and love. You can also add in a ton of fun flavorings—I love dried lavender, vanilla bean paste, orange zest, cacao powder (chocolate 'mallows!), and rose water. Watch and see how impressed your friends are when you're suddenly able to make Honey Lavender S'mores at your next campfire!
- 3 tablespoons gelatin
- 1 cup honey
- ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- Any flavor-boosting mix-ins you'd like, optional
- Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper so it overhangs on all edges. In a large bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ½ cup of water and whisk with a fork to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Combine the honey, another ½ cup of water, and the salt in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for exactly 7 minutes, or until the mixture reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the gelatin on medium while you drizzle in the honey mixture.
- Add any flavorings, then beat on high until the mixture is white and fluffy with soft peaks. Scrape it into your prepared pan and let it set for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature before cutting into squares with a knife.