Marshmallows are a fun food, but they’re not exactly low-carb and plant-based. But this marshmallows recipe allows you to make low-carb guilt-free versions of the popular treat.
What’s in Marshmallows Anyway?
It’s pretty simple – marshmallows today are made with sugar, gelatin, and a specialized process to fluff them up. Many versions contain corn syrup as well.
The sugary marshmallow we know today has a long history, however. It wasn’t always such a frivolous food.
History of Marshmallows
Marshmallows got their name from a plant in the mallow species in Africa, Asia, and Europe that grows in swampy areas.
Ancient Egyptian royalty used the root of the plant to ease cold symptoms and heal wounds as far back as 2000 B.C.
The root pulp would be boiled with honey until it thickened, and consumed once it cooled.
In the 1800s, marshmallow production was introduced in France by candy stores. The confectioners would whip the sap of the plant into a mold to create a spongy dessert.
It was a bit of a process, however, and took a day or two to produce.
Eventually, gelatin replaced mallow root and advancements in technology allowed for the fast mass production of marshmallows.
They made their debut in the U.S. during the early 1900s.
Making Low-Carb and Plant-Based Marshmallows
Now that you know the history of marshmallows, let’s look at the future. Many people are wising up to the dangers of high-sugar, high-carbohydrate diets.
Marshmallows as we know them aren’t kind to the body, particularly if you’re following a keto or low-carb diet. It is possible to make a better marshmallow that fits within your dietary goals.
Agar agar is fine for low-carb and a plant-based alternative for gelatin, so I used that as the base for this fluffy dessert. The main change here is how we’ll sweeten them.
For this recipe, I suggest a mixture of erythritol and stevia. Since stevia is quite sweet, start with a tiny amount. You can always add more to your next batch if they’re not sweet enough for you.
The Benefits of Low-Carb and Plant-Based Marshmallows
If you're looking for a guilt-free and plant-based treat that satisfies your sweet tooth while aligning with your low-carb lifestyle, our Low-Carb and Plant-Based Marshmallows are just what you need. These marshmallows are not only deliciously fluffy but also offer several health benefits that make them a perfect option for your dietary preferences.
- Low in Carbs and Sugar: Traditional marshmallows are loaded with sugar and carbohydrates, but these low-carb marshmallows are sweetened with erythritol and stevia, both of which have minimal impact on blood sugar levels. This makes them a suitable choice for individuals looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake and avoid spikes in blood sugar.
- Plant-Based and Gelatin-Free: These marshmallows are made with agar agar powder, a plant-based alternative to gelatin. Agar agar is derived from seaweed and provides a similar gelling texture to traditional gelatin, making these marshmallows suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
- Erythritol's Benefits: Erythritol, a sugar alcohol, is used to sweeten these marshmallows without adding extra calories or carbohydrates. It doesn't raise blood sugar levels and is gentle on the digestive system, making it a preferred sweetener for those following low-carb diets.
- Minimal Impact on Blood Sugar: Stevia, a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, is used in combination with erythritol. Stevia has zero calories and doesn't impact blood sugar levels, making it a great addition to low-carb and diabetic-friendly recipes.
- Customizable Flavors: While the recipe includes vanilla extract, you can get creative and customize the flavor of your marshmallows by adding other natural extracts or flavorings of your choice.
- No Artificial Additives: By making your marshmallows at home, you have control over the ingredients, ensuring you're enjoying a treat free from artificial additives, colors, and preservatives.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Category: Dessert, Snacks
Description: This low-carb and plant-based marshmallow recipe allows you to make guilt-free versions of the popular treat.
First part -
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water
- 1 Tablespoon (5 g) of agar agar powder
Second part -
- 1/4 cup (48 g) of erythritol + stevia, to taste
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) of warm water
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
- Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper goes up all the sides.
- Grease the parchment paper with coconut oil as well to prevent sticking.
- In a bowl, add the 1/2 cup of cold water. Sprinkle the agar agar powder in. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, add in the 1/2 cup warm water with 1/4 cup of erythritol and a dash of stevia, to taste. Add in the vanilla extract and salt as well. When it just starts to boil, take it off the stove.
- Start mixing the agar agar mixture with an electric whisk slowly while adding in the hot liquid.
- Keep whisking and increase the whisk speed. The agar agar mixture will turn white and foamy after around 10 minutes.
- Keep whisking for 10 minutes more until the mixture doubles in volume. Pour quickly into the prepared container and smooth the top with a greased spatula.
- Refrigerate the container overnight to set properly.
- Cut the low-carb marshmallow into cubes with a good knife (grease the knife with some melted coconut oil first to prevent the marshmallow from sticking to the knife).
Nutrition: (Estimated and based on per-serving amounts.)
- Calories: 7
- Fat: 0 g
- Total Carbs: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Sugar: 0 g
- Net Carbs: 0 g
- Protein: 2 g