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When it comes to treats, marshmallows are at the top of my list. Did you know that traditionally marshmallows were prepared using nourishing marshmallow root? This is in stark contrast to the marshmallows found on grocery store shelves today that are made of corn syrup and artificial colors! In this article, I’ll introduce you to a homemade marshmallow recipe that combines the sweet pleasure of marshmallows with the healthful benefits of ingredients like grass-fed gelatin and marshmallow root powder, both of which support gut health! These homemade, gut-healing marshmallows are made with just the good stuff and are an absolute delight when dropped into a cup of hot cocoa or coffee. 

Grass-Fed Gelatin (Glue For Your Gut) 

One of the star ingredients of this homemade marshmallow recipe is grass-fed gelatin.

Gelatin is known for its ability to support and improve gut health and digestion, and it is a rich source of essential amino acids, including glycine, glutamic acid, and proline – the building blocks of protein (1). In our modern diet where animal protein from muscle meats often takes center stage, bringing balance through the adequate consumption of amino acids like glycine and methionine can be very beneficial for our overall health and wellness! 

Gelatin has earned the moniker ‘gut glue’ because of its impressive potential to support the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract. Glycine, found abundantly in gelatin, plays a crucial role in maintaining and repairing the mucous lining of the digestive tract. This lining serves as a protective barrier, preventing undigested food particles and harmful substances from entering the bloodstream, a condition commonly known as “leaky gut syndrome.” Maintaining a healthy gut lining is essential for efficient nutrient absorption and overall health. 

Furthermore, gelatin provides essential amino acids like proline and glutamine, which are vital for regenerating and repairing damaged gut tissue. That’s because these amino acids are instrumental in the formation of collagen, a structural protein that makes up a substantial portion of the intestinal lining.

Marshmallow Root (Soothes & Protects)

There is evidence as early as 2000 B.C. that the Egyptians were mixing marshmallow root with honey to create a medicine for the skin and throat and as a sort of ‘candy’ that was reserved for the very wealthy. Around the same time, peoples of ancient Arabic cultures discovered that using the leaves of the marshmallow plant in their poultices soothed skin irritation (2).

In the more recent past – before the advent of the mass produced processed treats we know today – marshmallow root, which has a sticky consistency when boiled, was heated and mixed with honey before being whipped into fluffy treats (3). These treats were often given to kids to temporarily soothe sore throats due to marshmallow root’s ability to coat and soothe mucilaginous tissues. Though marshmallow root is no longer used in modern store-bought marshmallows, it is still highly regarded by herbalists for its capacity to soothe and hydrate the gut lining, rendering it a natural solution for promoting digestive well-being while temporarily alleviating throat discomfort and irritation (2).

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

When I make this recipe, I like to add in 1-2 droppers worth of Tummease ™. This herbal remedy contains marshmallow root as well as slippery elm bark, ginger root, and more. 

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Line a square pan with parchment paper and lightly dust it with arrowroot powder to prevent sticking.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, bloom the gelatin to prevent clumps by combining it with 1/2 cup of water and letting it sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, mix honey, maple syrup, and remaining 1/2 cup of water. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously until it reaches the soft ball stage, around 220 – 240°F (115°C).*
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the syrup into the gelatin mixture. Gradually increase the speed of your mixer to high and continue to mix until the mixture starts to thicken (usually about 5-10 mins, depending on the mixer).
  5. With the mixer still on high, carefully add the vanilla paste, marshmallow root powder, and Tummease™ as soon as the mixture begins to thicken. 
  6. Keep mixing on high until the mixture looks like marshmallow fluff (thick and fluffy).
  7. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with another light dusting of arrowroot powder, and cover with another sheet of parchment paper.
  8. Allow the marshmallows to set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight at room temperature. 
  9. Once set, cut the marshmallows into your desired shapes and sizes. If needed, dust the marshmallows with more arrowroot powder to prevent sticking.

Enjoy in your hot drinks or as a treat! These will last for about a week at room temperature. Roasting works best with marshmallows that are a few days old.

*As this recipe calls for hot syrup, I do not recommend young kids helping with this one.

Summary

My homemade marshmallows – made with real marshmallow root and grass fed gelatin – combine the nostalgic pleasure and delicious taste of marshmallows with the health benefits of gut-friendly ingredients. Grass-fed gelatin contributes to gut health and healthy digestion by supporting the mucous lining of the digestive tract and aiding in tissue repair. Marshmallow root, with its historical significance as both candy and medicine, soothes and moistens the gut lining, providing support for digestive wellness and throat comfort. With the addition of Tummease™, these delicious marshmallows are even better for the body!

References:

  1. Mikhailov O. V. (2023). Gelatin as It Is: History and Modernity. International journal of molecular sciences, 24(4), 3583. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043583
  2. Marshmallow Information | Mount Sinai – New York. (n.d.). Mount Sinai Health System. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/marshmallow
  3. Marshmallows. (n.d.). NCA. https://candyusa.com/marshmallows/
Dr. Green Mom

Dr. Mayer is a naturopathic medical doctor and an expert in nutrition and wellness as it relates to pediatrics and families. Her passion for prevention of disease as cure fueled her desire to immerse herself into specializing in adult onset chronic conditions, as well as childhood chronic illness.

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