If you're new to a gluten free diet, you may wonder, are marshmallows gluten free? They're sticky, and gluten is a sticky protein, but most marshmallows are safe on a gluten free diet. If you'd like to learn more, like which brands are safe on a gluten free diet, read on…
Light, airy, fluffy marshmallows are essential to some of my favorite treats. The minis are perfect nestled into a cup of hot chocolate, they can be a base for amazing ice cream, and you really can't make s'mores without them.
Are marshmallows gluten free?
Yes, marshmallows are gluten free, so they're safe for anyone who needs to avoid gluten in their diet. They're typically made with only sugar, corn syrup, water, modified corn starch, and gelatin, which are all naturally gluten-free ingredients.
However, some marshmallows, especially those with added flavors and mix-in pieces, may contain gluten, so always read nutrition labels rather than assume that your favorite marshmallow is safe to eat.
What types of marshmallows are there?
In a typical grocery store, you'll find two sizes of plain, white marshmallows: large and miniature. It takes about 1 cup of miniature marshmallows to equal 8 large marshmallows in weight. You can also buy jumbo marshmallows, which are much larger in size, but they're not always as easy to find in the grocery store.
Peeps are made of soft marshmallows that are rolled in different types of sugar for different flavors. They're not shaped the same as regular marshmallows, but most Peeps are gluten free (although the company recommends always reading the nutrition label for a declared allergen like gluten, and even for a “may contain” statement).
What are the signs of non-gluten free marshmallows?
Some marshmallows are marked with a gluten free label on the package, but it's always important to read nutrition labels each time you buy anything packaged.
Marshmallows sometimes contain modified food starch, which may be made from wheat. The nutrition label should indicate that the food starch is made from corn or wheat, but some companies, like Peeps, are better at declaring somewhat hidden allergens than others.
Marshmallows may also contain wheat-derived glucose syrup, wheat starch, gluten-containing added flavors, or be contaminated with gluten in the manufacturing process. Like anything else when you're on a gluten free diet, if you eat any packaged foods at all, the ultimate decision of acceptable risk is yours.
What ingredients are in Jet-Puffed marshmallows?
Jet-Puffed marshmallows, made by Kraft Heinz, are made from corn syrup, sugar, modified cornstarch, dextrose, water, and less than 2% of gelatin, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (whipping aid), natural and artificial flavor, Blue 1.
Jet-Puffed marshmallows are so-named because the large marshmallow mixture is pushed into tubes and then shot out using a jet to puff air into them. The process of extrusion was introduced to the marshmallow-making process in the 1950's to make everything faster and easier.
Can marshmallows be vegan?
Most marshmallows are not usually vegan, since gelatin is made from animal byproducts. However, Dandies brand marshmallows are vegan. They're made from tapioca starch, carageenan, and soy protein, but no gelatin.
What kind of recipes can I make using gluten free marshmallows?
Marshmallows are delicious on their own, as they are or toasted over a fire, and of course the most classic thing to make with them is rice crispy treats. You can make those with store-bought marshmallows, or make your own marshmallow mixture for a really special treat.
You can even use a simple, homemade marshmallow base to make marshmallow ice cream in place of the sweetened condensed milk used in vanilla no churn ice cream. Or use it to set up your no bake marshmallow cheesecake!
Enjoy miniature marshmallows in a steaming cup of hot chocolate. And of course, they're essential to s'mores, which you can buy gluten free or make our “just like Nabisco” gluten free graham crackers.
Marshmallow fluff is even more versatile. It can turn itself into a super easy gluten free fudge without any corn syrup or condensed milk needed. It also makes a perfect filling for a show-stopping gluten free Swiss roll cake.
How is marshmallow fluff made?
Marshmallow creme, also known as marshmallow fluff, tastes a lot like marshmallows themselves, Instead of gelatin, it has egg whites to hold its shape and create some structure.
To make homemade marshmallow creme, whip egg whites to add air to them until they reach soft peaks. Then, cook sugar with water until it reaches 240°F/115°C, and cool it briefly before whipping it into the egg whites. The result is creamy and sweet, and has that same airy whipped sugar quality that marshmallows do.
Marshmallow Fluff brand marshmallow creme is labeled gluten free. It's made of: corn syrup, sugar, egg white and artificial flavor.
Jet Puffed marshmallow creme is gluten free. The ingredients in it are: corn syrup, sugar, water, contains less than 2% of dried egg whites, cream of tartar, xanthan gum, artificial and natural flavor.
Dandies brand vegan marshmallows are gluten free and dairy free. They do contain soy.
Most brands of marshmallows, including many store brands, sold in the United States are gluten free. A few popular brands are: Jet-Puffed, Campfire, Good & Gather (Target), 365 (Whole Foods), and Dandies.
No, marshmallows are not made with eggs or egg whites, like marshmallow creme.
A store-bought bag of marshmallows should stay fresh in the pantry for at least a couple months, but be careful not to squish them together in storage. For longer storage, up to a year or more, store marshmallows in a tightly sealed freezer-safe container in your freezer.
No, marshmallows are made using gelatin to help create structure. Marshmallow creme gets its support from egg whites.
You can find packaged, naturally gluten free marshmallows nearly anywhere. And there are nearly endless ways to use them, and marshmallow creme, in your kitchen!