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Apr 20, 2012 05:23 AM

Vegetarian/Vegan Marshmallows, i.e. marshmallows without gelatin

I'm thrilled that Chowhound has added this board. While I've been involved in previous discussions about this topic on the homecooking board, I thought I'd post something here too, since it might appeal more to this audience. Does anyone have a tried and true recipe for vegetarian or vegan marshmallows? I am a ovo-lacto vegetarian, so I am not opposed to a recipe with egg whites which would be vegetarian. However, I understand that perhaps I might have more luck trying to find a vegan recipe without any eggs. The bottom line, though, is that I'm looking for something that utilizes a gelling agent other than gelatin. Over the years I've tried pectin, agar-agar, xanthan gum, etc. and have had very minimal success. My best attempts lost their shape after a day or two, while my worst attempts never solidified at all and were a disgusting grey color. I'm less obsessed than I used to be with finding a recipe, thanks to Sweet and Sara and Dandies, but I still would love to conquer this challenge. Thanks!

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  1. I have always read that the veggie ones aren't ever going to get as stiff. They will also never be great for campfires for example. I have looked into making them for some camping trips but never due, partly because I was never a fan prior to becoming a vegetarian.

    I do understand though that after making then they store well in the freezer so if you want to give that a try that will help with the losing shape issue.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Astur

      Thanks for the information Astur! Unfortunately, I think that both recipes I made that lost shape over time (one with pectin and one with xanthan gum) were honestly never very good to begin with, so I doubt I'll wind up taking the time to make them again in order to freeze them in an attempt to get them to retain their shape. It's good advice, though, and one I can hopefully utilize if I can track down a better recipe. Thanks!

    2. OK...this is a dumb question but does anyone know how these roast? I'm having a party next weekend and am planning a s'mores bar for our guests(to have fun with the firepit)....i have some vegan friends coming and am planning to pick up some Sweet and Sara marshmallows from Whole Foods to have available for them....haven't had a chance to pick them up yet and taste but am hoping they will do decently over the fire?

      2 Replies
      1. re: ziggylu

        Sweet and Sara Marshmallows actually roast up fairly well. I don't think I've roasted them on the grill, but I have roasted them in our fireplace (which should be similar to your firepit) and on a gas stove (when desperate) and they do well. The puff up a bit like regular marshmallows, and change color. I will say, though, that they don't get a soft as I remember regular marshmallows getting. They start out more dense and wind up that way too. I hope the s'mores bar is delicious!

        1. re: Laura D.

          Great! Thanks for the feedback! I'll definitely plan to pick some up then!

      2. Just have to agree that I love Sweet & Sara's. I hadn't had Rice Crispie Treats in over a decade until I found them at my co-op one day. Yum.


          Anyone ever try Ricemellow Fluff?
          We made open face s'mores with this fluff by spreading it on a graham and toasting it under the broiler for a few seconds before topping with chocolate and a graham

          5 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            Do you know how it compares in taste to traditional fluff? I still eat that because it has no gelatin (though does have egg whites). I've avoided buying the Ricemellow in the past because I don't have a "problem" with regular fluff, and because it is more expensive. But, if it's comparable in taste then maybe it is worth trying it. Thanks!

            1. re: Laura D.

              We actually liked the taste of Ricemellow Fluff more because it was lighter and less sweet. Especially with s'mores because each layer of a s'more is rich and sweet.

              We also have found homemade vegan marshmallows to be difficult to make with good 'standing body' once cut into shapes so using the fluff and a broiler achieved the type of toasted mallow we wanted while standing in for a less than enjoyable vegan marshmallow.

              1. re: HillJ

                It sounds like I definitely need to try this!

                1. re: Laura D.

                  Would you prefer fish gelatin? That can be found in a lot of kosher markets.

                  1. re: Miri1

                    Thanks for the suggestion. I personally do not eat fish, therefore I wouldn't be interested, but I'm sure others would!

          2. Have you tried kosher marshmallows? They are made with kosher gelatin, or have you tried kosher gelatin? Kosher foods do no use the same gelatin as it is made from hooves of animals. I have used these marsmallows and they are fine.

            1 Reply
            1. re: paprkutr

              Hi! Kosher marshmallows contain fish gelatin. I personally don't eat fish, so they're not something I've tried, but I'm sure some "pescatarians" might be interested. Thanks!