Whether you slowly melted them in front of a campfire on a chilly summer night or tried to eat 20 at once, we all love the flavors and fluffiness of marshmallows. But have you ever wondered whether these treats are harmful to our animals?
In this guide, we will analyze all the ingredients in marshmallows to determine whether they are vegan, we will discuss alternatives, and even learn how to cook our own! Making informed choices about our diet is fundamental not only for our health and well-being but also for the benefit of the world surrounding us. So, are marshmallows vegan?
Table of Contents
The Vegan Aspect
Before discussing whether or not marshmallows are vegan, we need to figure out what veganism is. This word refers to the choice of avoiding all products, including food, cosmetics, clothes, and more, that have been manufactured with animal-derived ingredients. To give an example, vegans don’t eat meat, fish, eggs, and milk, but they also avoid wool and cosmetics that were tested on animals.
Understanding whether marshmallows are vegan or not and whether plant-based alternatives exist can help vegans deal with the restrictions associated with their lifestyle and keep enjoying all the food they love without harming animals. Time to answer the million-dollar question, are marshmallows vegan?
Marshmallow Ingredients: Traditional vs. Vegan Alternatives
Marshmallows are often made from three main ingredients, sugar, corn syrup, and gelatine. Among these, two are problematic, gelatin and sugar. The former is fundamental in the creation of marshmallows as it gives them their fluffy and stretchy texture. Unfortunately, gelatine is made by boiling the connective tissues, skins, and bones of cows and pigs and is therefore not suitable for a plant-based diet.
Sugar, on the other hand, does not contain animal products, but its manufacturing processes do. White sugar is bleached with bone char, an ingredient made from crushed animal bones.
Luckily there are alternatives to both ingredients. Gelatin can be replaced by agar-agar, an ingredient derived from seaweed or aquafaba, while white sugar can be easily replaced with beet sugar, raw sugar, or unrefined sugar.
So, is it vegan?
Whenever you buy marshmallows, take some time to read the label, and don’t be afraid to Google ingredients when you are not fully sure whether they are vegan or not. On average, the shorter the list, the better.
Of course, you want to avoid ingredients such as white sugar and gelatine. Whenever the label only reports the word ‘sugar’ without specifying, there is a pretty high chance it’s white sugar, meaning that it has been produced with bone char.
A good way to verify, without a doubt, if something is vegan is by checking whether the package includes any vegan or plant-based labels. In this way, you can be sure your product is 100% vegan friendly!
Vegan Marshmallow Alternatives and Brands
Thankfully, even though traditional marshmallows are not vegan, nowadays, it is possible to find plenty of plant-based alternatives both in stores and online. On average, you will find these products in health food stores such as The Fresh Market, Sprouts, and Whole Foods. However, these tend to only be available in big cities.
If you live in a small town or the countryside, you can order these products online. Here are some of our favorite vegan marshmallow brands.
FunkyMello: with plenty of flavors and products to choose from, this is an amazing alternative to traditional marshmallows.
Yummallo: this brand can be found in Walmart and is also gluten-free.
MallowPuffs: vanilla, raspberry, and salted caramel marshmallow dunked in Belgian dark chocolate!
Trader’s Joe: made with tapioca syrup, cane sugar, water, tapioca starch, carrageenan, soy protein, and natural vanilla flavor, these marshmallows are fully vegan and gluten-free.
Dandies: from peppermint to pumpkin, and maple flavors, this brand has plenty of options to choose from.
Make your Vegan Marshmallows
Do you want to have some fun in the kitchen? Then you can make your vegan marshmallows! The process is not too difficult, and the results are delicious.
- Let’s start by mixing two tablespoons of agar agar in ¼ a cup of water. Let the mix sit for about 15 minutes, and, in the meanwhile, add two cups of raw sugar and a cup of water in a pot.
- Mix everything and bring it to a boil. This is the fun part! You can now add all sorts of essences such as vanilla, pumpkin, strawberry… The choice is up to you!
- It is now time to pour the agar agar and water mix in your pot and let it boil for about 15 minutes.
- Almost done. Take your marshmallow prep off the fire and use a stand mixer or a hand blender to mix everything together until it turns into a smooth white paste.
- Add equal parts of cornflour and icing sugar in a little bowl and dast a big tin with this mix. You can also leave some on the side to add on top of your marshmallow once they’re ready.
- You can now pour your marshmallow mix into the tin and leave it in a place at room temperature overnight. In the morning, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious homemade marshmallows for your breakfast!
Best ways to stuff yourself with Vegan Marshmallows
Ok, but what if you’re not going camping? How should you eat your marshmallows? A great way to eat these treats is by adding them to your hot chocolate on a cold winter evening.
Another great idea is to create marshmallow sticks for a party. Alternate marshmallows with strawberries and dip everything in melted chocolate.
Last but not least, you can try the latest marshmallow trend. Take a vegan cracker and add some vegan chocolate chips on top of it as well as one big marshmallow. Cover everything with premade vegan cookie dough and cook it in the oven following the instruction.
Trust us, this is bound to become your new favorite treat!
So, now you know! Marshmallows are not vegan as they contain gelatin and sugar, but nowadays, there are plenty of plant-based alternatives on the market. Alternatively, you can make your own and experiment with different recipes and flavors.
Choosing to opt for vegan marshmallows is one of the many daily acts that can make a big difference towards a better world, where animal suffering is only a distant memory and climate change is finally receding.
So, try a few vegan marshmallows and enjoy these vegan fluffy treats in all their greatness!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are vegan marshmallows made of?
Vegan marshmallows are made with vegan sugar and agar-agar instead of white sugar and gelatine.
Is there gelatin in marshmallows?
Yes! Traditional marshmallows contain gelatin, this means that they are not vegan by default.
Are Trader Joe’s marshmallows vegan?
Yes! They are fully vegan!
Are marshmallows made with pork?
Traditional marshmallows are made with gelatine, a mix of animals’ boiled bones, connecting tissues, and skins. Most of the time, pigs and cows are used to make this ingredient.
Are Haribo Marshmallows vegan?
No. They contain gelatine.
Are Chatokde Marshmallows vegan?
Yes! According to the label, they are 100% vegan.
Are Hungry Harvest Marshmallows vegan?
Yes. These are also vegan.