Marshmallow Health Benefits: Nutrition and Recipe

By , Category : Food and Nutrition

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Marshmallows are just sugar and empty calories, so how could they be healthy for you? They could be somewhat healthier if you put marshmallow fluff on a sandwich with some fruit on it, but that’s the fruit. But, what about homemade marshmallows? There’s a good chance you’ve never even thought about making marshmallows yourself.

In this article, we will explore the marshmallow. From its nutritional value to any possible marshmallow health benefits, you will discover everything you ever might have wondered about this campfire staple.

Marshmallow Health Benefits

Let’s start with the big question, shall we? Are marshmallows healthy? Summed up by one word, no. Marshmallows are not healthy for you. There are very few ingredients in marshmallows, and the largest ingredient is sugar. One cup of marshmallows, or 50 grams contains 14% of your daily value of carbohydrates. To break that number down a little further, they have 41 grams of total carbohydrates—29 grams of which are sugar. That’s a lot of sugar.

Beyond the sugar, a quite unhealthy ingredient, there isn’t really anything else there. Not much in the way of vitamins/minerals, other than some very small amounts of iron, sodium, and copper. The good news, however, is that beyond the sugar, there isn’t anything else bad in a marshmallow either. There is nothing in them that is really carcinogenic, and no serious amounts of chemicals that do horrible things to your body’s digestive system.

However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, I have some more bad news: marshmallows contain animal protein. Gelatin, a primary ingredient in marshmallows, is derived from animal collagen.

With all of this being said, you can crunch some of the numbers yourself to see how they can fit into your current diet.

Nutrition Facts of Marshmallows

The following chart is representative of one cup of mini-marshmallows, approximately 50 grams in weight.

Nutrient, Vitamin, Etc. % of Daily Value
Total Carbohydrates 41 g 14%
Sugars 29 g
Calories 8%
Protein 0.9 g 2%
Iron 0.1 mg 1%
Sodium 40.0 mg 25
Copper 2%
Selenium 1%

Source: SELF Nutrition Data

You may have noticed from the above chart, that there are no listings for vitamins, like vitamins C or B. That’s because they are not present. As previously mentioned, there is virtually no nutritional value in a marshmallow. But like many things in life, they do taste pretty good and are a great snack while camping. The key is to set limits; don’t eat a couple of cups of marshmallows a day or even a month. Although, if you take a look at the recipe below, that might be a little hard.

Easy Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

Marshmallows are great to bring with you to the cottage or camping, but did you know that you can make marshmallows right in your very own home?  Not only that, it isn’t incredibly complicated either. The recipe below gives you a chance to make your own yummy marshmallows, should you desire them as an infrequent treat.

Marshmallow Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of marshmallow root (this is optional, but it will give you marshmallows are more “authentic” taste)
  • 4 tablespoons of gelatin powder
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions

* As an optional step, combine one cup of warm water with the one tablespoon of marshmallow root, and let sit for at least five minutes. Stir the concoction well, and then strain it. Make sure that the liquid makes a whole cup.

Pour a half cup of water or the optional marshmallow root mix into a metal bowl or mixer bowl, and add the gelatin. Whisk it slightly and let the mixture sit.

Pour the other half cup of water and the one cup of honey into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Stir this constantly for eight minutes.

Slowly start pouring the honey and water mixture into the bowl with the gelatin mix (which should have hardened). Turn on the blender or hand mixer, and keep it on medium as the honey mixture is added. When the honey mix is added, turn the mixer to high and continue to blend for 10 to 15 minutes or until it forms a stiff, creamy consistency of marshmallow cream.

Grease a baking dish with coconut oil, or line the dish with parchment paper. When marshmallows are whipped, pour it into the lined or greased dish, and smooth evenly.

Let it sit at least four hours (for best results, leave it overnight). Flip onto a cutting board and cut. Store in an airtight container.

As you are making these, you can add some things to help make them more good for you. Probiotics, for example, can be added to make the marshmallows help your digestive system a little bit. If you want to change things up a little bit, you can substitute the vanilla extract for other flavors, like cocoa or mint.

The Last Word on Marshmallows

So, other than the homemade marshmallow recipe, this article may have gone pretty close to what you expected. Marshmallows are not good for you. There is little in the way of marshmallow nutrition and overall, they are filled with sugar and not much else.  But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have them at all. Things like marshmallows should be eaten as an occasional treat; so toast one by the campfire, or put a few small marshmallows in your hot chocolate on a snowy day. Just don’t do it every day.


Sources:
“How Much Sugar Is in Marshmallows?” SF Gate; http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/much-sugar-marshmallows-4813.html
“Candies, Marshmallows Nutrition Facts & Calories,” SELF NutritionData; http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5425/2
“Healthy Marshmallow Recipe,” Wellness Mama, March 31, 2017; https://wellnessmama.com/6423/marshmallow-recipe/




WANT MORE HEALTH NEWS & UPDATES?
Sign up for the latest health news, tips and special product offers with our daily Free e-Letters, the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and the Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors.

Opt-in by entering your e-mail address below and clicking submit. Your e-mail will never be shared, sold or rented to anyone for promotional or advertising purposes, and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Yes, I’m opting in for the FREE Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and
Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors:

Brent Chittenden

About the Author, Browse Brent's Articles

Up until the end of 2016, Brent Chittenden had been a freelance researcher and writer, writing about everything from entertainment—including pro wrestling and stand-up comedy—to health and nutrition, to culture and lifestyle. In 2017, he joined the Doctors Health Press full time and couldn’t be happier about it. With a graduate certificate in Radio and Broadcasting, Brent brings extensive experience as a communicator and researcher, adding to the many talented health authorities and professionals on whose expertise Doctors Health Press... Read Full Bio »