MellowMallows: Homemade Marshmallows

Our family is going on what we hope to become an Annual camping event with friends and family. It’s been fun to plan and anticipate the trip. One of the top items on my “to buy” list for the trip was corn syrup free marshmallows. Because the Doodles has such severe reactions to High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup it’s become a no-fudge or exception item. We stopped by Whole Foods in hopes of finding the pillowy treats there. After searching the store top to bottom I finally found some tiny little bags of powdered treats. I did mention tiny right? The price tag *wasn’t* so tiny. At more than $6 per bag and figuring that it would take at least 3 bags just for our small family to have 2 nights of roasting around the fire it made them way too expensive for my budget.

A friend came to the rescue and posted this recipe for homemade marshmallows. I love Alton Brown. He loves food and manages to mix science and food together in ways that my brain can actually understand.

Since his recipe called for a couple of items on my DoNotBuyEverAgain list I decided to modify it with some ingredient substitutions and changed up the amounts as well based on what I had on hand.

    • 3 packages unflavored gelatin (I used Knox)
    • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
    • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup Powder Sugar
    • 1/4 cup potato starch
    • Olive Oil Spray
    • Optional! All Natural food dye added until desired color is reached. We chose to use Pink because these are primarily for the Doodles and she kinda has a thing for pink right now.

    Directions

    Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

    Knox Gelatin

    Knox Gelatin

    Knox gelatin mixed with cold water

    Knox gelatin mixed with cold water

    In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, honey and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 12 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

    Bubbling honey and sugar mixture

    Bubbling honey and sugar mixture

    Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and food dye drops (if you decide to use any) during the last minute of whipping.

    When syrup was first added to gelatin

    When syrup was first added to gelatin

    Starting to get nice and thick!

    Starting to get nice and thick!

    While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

    Combine the powdered sugar and Potato Starch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and potato starch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

    A side note about reading labels: The last time I bought powdered sugar it used Arrowroot powder which I prefer. This time it had Tapioca Starch. Label reading fail.

    Label on back of powdered sugar bag

    Label on back of powdered sugar bag

    When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

    Mallow Mixture in prepared pans

    Mallow Mixture in prepared pans

    Tops dusted

    Tops dusted

    Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. I cut most of them in the squares as suggested but experimented with cutting one in a heart shape. It came out pretty cute!

    Pink HeartaMellow

    Pink HeartaMellow

    Pink Mallow Squares

    Pink Mallow Squares

    These were pretty delicious. My Man informs me they remind him of Peeps because they have a softer, more delicate texture than regular marshmallows do. I trial roasted one over a hot eye and they melt faster than the average mallow that is for sure. They will be *amazing* in hot drinks.

     

 

Berry Creamy Dreamy Oatmeal (AKA Baby Food)

My brother BigDon (as the Doodlebug calls him) just had a wisdom tooth removed. Being the stereotypical bachelor with only chewable foods in his cooking repertoire he came over to our house to hang out for a couple of days until chewing was approved again. It has been a long time since I’ve had to come up with no-chew to low-chew foods and I was at a bit of a loss. The standby’s of my previous life after something like this would have been Sprite, jello, ice cream and protein smoothies. After doing a bit of research into dry socket prevention (the dreaded complication of tooth removal) I realized that a low refined sugar diet would help to prevent that complication.

For his first post surgery breakfast I got a little creative and took some liberties with Nourishing Traditions classic soaked oatmeal recipe.

Here is the recipe. Please keep in mind that I am not very exact with my measurements which is bad for those of you that are most comfortable with super precise amounts but good because it allows some creative, user friendly and individual leeway to be had while still producing decent results.

Berry Creamy Dreamy Oatmeal

2 cups rolled organic or all natural oats (instant is not recommended)

1 cup whole, organic yogurt (can use plain, flavored or homemade. For those with allergies whey water or fresh lemon water can be used instead. Be aware that it will change the flavor quite a bit though.)

2 cups filtered water

3 tablespoons grass fed (preferably raw!) butter

1/4 cup (more or less can be added to taste) Grade B Maple Syrup (can use raw honey or debittered stevia in it’s place)

1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries

2 teaspoons Vanilla

The night before on my way to bed I measured out the oats.

Organic Rolled Oats

Organic Rolled Oats

The yogurt was then pulled from the fridge…Aaaaaaand discovered to be frozen solid. Note to self: This is why you made that rule a while back not to wait until bedtime to start overnight soaked projects. When something goes wrong it makes you feel cranky and you start projecting sleep deprivation upon yourself. Back to the project…I determinedly chiseled the yogurt out, not wanting to fool with a hot water thawing process. Don’t even suggest the microwave. Remember? I consider those cheating. Although I’ll admit to eyeing it with temptation on more than one occasion.

frozen yogurt

frozen yogurt

The frozen yogurt was then forcefully mooshed into the oats. Ideally at this point you would be gently mixing the creamy and un-frozen yogurt in.

Oats and frozen yogurt being mooshed

Oats and frozen yogurt being mooshed

After the mooshing was complete I threw a lid on the pot and staggered up to bed. Ideally without the mushing step in there it should only take 2 to 3 minutes max to start a whole grain breakfast soaking the night before. And here is an advantage: It cooks WAY faster the next morning. It’s the ultimate way to get a nutrient maximized, next to instant breakfast!

Pouring Water into Soaked Oatmeal

Pouring Water into Soaked Oatmeal

The next morning dump the filtered water on top of the soaked oatmeal. You can see how much softer and creamy the texture of the oatmeal is after soaking through the night.

Water with soaked oats

Water with soaked oats

If you will be using un-salted butter now is a good time to sprinkle some in.

Sea Salt in the oatmeal

Sea Salt in the oatmeal

Then cook the oatmeal on medium high heat (while stirring semi constantly) or on medium low heat (takes longer but requires less stirring and less of a chance of scorching the bottom) Once it’s adequately cooked it’s time to throw in the yummy stuff! It is usually completely cooked for me in 5 to 7 minutes.

Maple Syrup, High Vitamin Butter Oil and Grassfed Butter

Maple Syrup, High Vitamin Butter Oil and Grassfed Butter

I try to add/sneak in the high vitamin butter oil whenever I can. My family doesn’t like the taste of it by itself spread on things so sneaking it into stuff like this is the best way for me to get it in them. We purchase our high vitamin butter oil here: http://www.homesteadtradingpost.com/high-vitmain-butter-oil-1.html It can also be purchased directly from the Green Pastures Website.

All the goodness piled in together

All the goodness piled in together

I usually throw in some Bee Pollen and Powdered Colostrum for an extra “boost” of nutrition. Next comes the Creamy Dreamy part. After the butter has sufficiently melted I grab my marvelous hand blender. Seriously, this is one kitchen item I would never want to be without. I paid in the ball park of $35.00 for it brand new and have already gotten about double that in use from it. Can’t beat how easy it is to clean compared to a food processor!

Blending and mixing

Blending and mixing

The finished product

Delicious Creamy Dreamy Oatmeal

Delicious Creamy Dreamy Oatmeal

As you can see by the finished texture it would be a perfect food for babies. This could be made up ahead of time and frozen in serving sized containers for easy and hassle free baby food.

Enjoy! =D