Monday, August 27, 2012

Marshmallow Root Marshmallows + Giveaway (paleo-friendly, dairy free, gluten free)

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Did you know original marshmallows actually came from a plant?

Marshmallow (or marsh mallow or Althaea officinalis) is actually a herb! Rosemary Gladstar in her book Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health states "Our pioneer parents cooked the root with honey or sugar, formed into soft balls, and gave it to their children to suck on to soothe a sore throat." Yes, marshmallows were actually a remedy! Not a super sticky, sugar overdose.

Today we combine the herb with it's modern counterpart!

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This recipe kickstarts a weeklong of delicious Marshmallow Root fun and a giveaway sponsored by the one and only Mountain Rose Herbs - One lucky reader will receiver their very own 8 oz package of organic Marshmallow Root Powder all thanks to that wonderful herb company! Thank you Mountain Rose Herbs!

 A little information about Mountain Rose Herbs:

Since 1987, Mountain Rose Herbs has been known for its uncompromising commitment to organic agriculture, sustainable business practices, and a steadfast focus on the pure aesthetics and freshness of botanical products. Their wide range of certified organic product offerings includes bulk herbs and spices, aromatherapy and essential oils, tea and tea supplies, and natural health and body care. Every aspect of product creation is carried out in accordance with strict quality control and organic handling procedures by employees who care. From fragrant and beyond-fresh organic herbs and spices, to soothing essential oils and delicious herbal teas, the quality and integrity of Mountain Rose Herbs is unparalleled - with smiles guaranteed. To learn more about Mountain Rose Herbs please visit /.

To enter to win the Marshmallow Root Powder, please like Sweet Roots on facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you did. Bonus Points (meaning name entered twice) for subscribing to the Sweet Roots Feed. This will close Monday Sept 3rd at Midnight (PST). I will announce the winner on Wednesday September 5th.

And be sure to check back every day until then! There will be a new recipe every morning. I'm really looking forward to sharing these with you.

And now for the recipe...

I've been wanting to make Marshmallow Root Marsmallows for forever! I've used the amazing mucilage powers of Marshmallow Root for Licorice and Marshmallow Root Cough Syrup and Herbal Marshmallow Root Detangler Spray. And I've tried several marshmallow root marshmallow recipes without success. My vegan attempts melted and my egg-white meringue types were flat and tasted like wool. However these babies are delish!

I started with this recipe developed by Urban Poser found via Mommypotumus and changed it to include the marshmallow root decoction.

Instead of coating them in sugar, I've coated them in a mix of toasted coconut and marshmallow root powder for extra marshmallow flavor.

Also I used my handmixer. Say what? Yeah, that's right. No need for a stand mixer so don't shrink away from trying homemade marshmallows if you don't own a stand mixer.

For the vegans, there will be other marshmallow root recipes the remainder of this week that are vegan but creating vegan marshmallows can be quite the process. If you would like to try your hand at it, here is a recipe.

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Marshmallow Root Marshmallows (paleo-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain free, nut free)
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup honey
2 Tb +1 teaspoon unflavored beef gelatin
1 T marshmallow root powder
1/2 t vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Hand mixer (will take longer with stand mixer)
Oiled and Lined 8x8" pan
Coating (Recipe below)
Candy Thermometer
Sauce Pan

(Picture of the Marshmallow Root Decoction boiling)

1. Boil then simmer marshmallow root powder for five minutes. Remove from heat and Refridgerate until cool.
2. Drain marshmallow root decoction to eliminate clumps. Measure 1/2 cup of the marshmallow root decoction and add gelatin. Set aside.
3. Measure 1/2 cup marshmallow root decoction in a sauce pan on stove with honey, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt. Turn burner on to medium high heat. The mixture will boil. Insert candy thermometer into pot without letting it touch the bottom of the pot. Boil another 5-8 minutes until it reaches 240 degrees. Remove from heat.
4. Turn hand mixer on low and pour the hot marshmallow/honey mixture over the gelatin.
5. Turn the hand mixer on high and whip for another 5-8 minutes (mine was pretty much whipped at five minutes - if using stand mixer it may take longer).
6. Sprinkle coating over oiled (I just use a 1-2 tsp coconut oil and rub it with my fingers or lightly spray with spray-able coconut oil) and parchment-lined 8x8" pan (or bigger if you choose thinner marshmallows). Pour marshmallow creme on top and finish with more coating sprinkled. Let sit for several hours to set.
7. With a knife dipped in hot water, slice the marshmallows (the sides will be sticky for a little bit).

1/3 cup Finely shredded Coconut
1/2 t marshmallow root powder

1. Toast over medium heat until coconut is slightly brown and fragrant.

And last but not least, I'm not a doctor. I'm not licensed to diagnose or prescribe. This is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use information at your discretion, taking into account medical history. Always research!

Precautions posted from Mountain Rose Herbs website about using Marshmallow Root: "Marshmallow root is completely non-toxic, but its mucilage can interfere with the absorption of other medicines if taken at the same time. The asparagine in the root can cause a mild odor in the urine, but has no other physiological effect."

We took a couple to the fair this week and that was our treat at the fair. Here is Amaressa enjoying her Marshmallow Root Marshmallow!

A passion for organics


  1. I can never have enough stuff from Rose Mountain. I've liked and subscribed. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I know! Mountain Rose Herbs is wonderful. I'm already building my order list for fall. I just keep adding things.

  2. I "liked" your page on facebook as well as subscribing to your feed : ) I'm so excited to have found you through Mountain Rose Herbs! I have been looking for a good marshmallow(root) recipe and can't wait to try this,Thank you!

  3. Looks great! Liked and would love to try. So glad to find a place I trust that sells mallow root! I've got dairy, gluten and vegan considerations so this blog is great!

    1. I'm glad my blog interests you. It's wonderful connecting with people who also eat the same way.
      Although these mallows are super delicious, they're not vegan - still working on a vegan recipe. I'll have some vegan marshmallow root recipes here and there throughout the week so be sure to check back for those!

    2. I certainly will! I know I can use agar to make 'em vegan, I've just never been able to get my hands on any, not that I'd know how much to use anyways... so I'm excited for your recipes! =)

    3. Hi Jade, When using agar to make vegan marshmallows, you have to incorporate a protein source (no oils so can't use nuts) like soy protein isolate because unlike beef gelatin, agar agar lacks protein which is what supposedly sustains the fluff.

  4. I like you on FB!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. (i'm not sure if this giveaway is international but i'm entering anyway) i used to looove marshmallows, but since i went vegan i haven't had any (it's impossible to find vegan ones over here). i don't think i've ever heard of the plant marsh mallow before, but it sounds so intriguing! you've got a beautiful blog here, i'm absolutely loving the diy attitude. i've already subscribed to your feed and liked you on FB.

  6. a heaping cup of water

  7. Ahhh this looks amazing! I'm subscribed already bad I liked you on facebook already :)

  8. oh YUM!
    I hope I'm not too late to enter this ;)
    I would love to try this!!! oh and I bet my daughter would too ;) She is a crazy marshmallow fan (which 5 year old isn't LOL) but I would love to give her a better version ;)

  9. I just happened upon your blog while doing a marshmallow great! I liked you on FB and subscribed to the blog. Can't wait to see what recipes pop up in my inbox!

  10. Hey! I liked you on Facebook.

    These photos are causing saliva to spill out of my mouth. mmmmm.


  11. I liked sweet roots on fb. :)

  12. I liked your page on FB! Looking forward to your recipes!

  13. I liked you on FB!

  14. I also follow your feed using Google Reader.

  15. THESE are the marshmallows I had as a child. Delicious, good and good FOR you. Ever thought of selling your own? I'd order a batch of homemade from you...NOW.

    I love cooking, but I appreciate a good original recipe from its owner too!

  16. I now subscribe to your feed as well.

  17. Liked you on Facebook!! Im like you, I keep adding to my MRH order everyday!!

  18. I cannot WAIT to give these a try! Yum!! {and I *adore* you on FB}

  19. Okay, I modified several things but I still cannot figure out why these tasted and smelled so bad! First, I used a few drops of beet juice for color in the water. I did not have a candy thermometer so went for a "firm ball" consistency. They did not whip up very much and were only about 1/2" thick in my 9"x9" pan. I also used mint oil instead of vanilla for candy-cane flavor but they tasted like medicine. And the smell... I can't describe it but it was not a good funky and the taste was similar (even before the mint). I assume it is the marshmallow root (from Mountain Rose Herbs), but maybe the gelatin? Oh, which was pork gelatin by the way (Knox). I had a very difficult time getting the gelatin to dissolve too and had to blend it with the hand-blender. Anyway, they went in the trash but I will get a new thermometer and try again without the modifications next time!

    1. I would recommend getting a thermometer and perhaps changing only one thing at a time. If your mint oil is essential oil or extract, you won't need 1/2 teaspoon. If it's essential oil, only use a couple of drops (and make sure its food grade). If its extract, I'd try 1/8 teaspoon. Otherwise it might taste like toothpaste.
      Marsmallow root does have a definite marshmallow herbal smell. Sweet but also kinda herby. Some people may not like it.

  20. Hi Mary
    I am wondering why you do not use Tragacanth or arabic gum instead of beef gelatine.

    1. Hi Janet.
      I've simply used beef gelatin because this was a recipe I was familar with. I've tried to use agar agar but it doesn't work without an oil-less protein (like soy protein isolate which I avoid since it's overly processed). I don't have experience with tragacanth or arabic gum and don't know why it would be better to use those over beef gelatin. There are some vegan marshmallow recipes on the blogosphere if that is what you are looking for.
      Hope that helps,

  21. I think people ... some any ways are trying to remove beef or beef by products from the diet do to heavy antibiotics, steroids, growth hormone and so on. I really love the recipe & pics and am working on some variations myself...

    1. Yes, there are definitely some health benefits from using alternatives to beef gelatin! Unfortunately, I could not figure out a recipe that worked with one yet. Let me know what you discover!

  22. HI Mary,

    How do you get your marshmallows so white? Mine always turn out darker - definitely not white (perhaps its the type of honey?)



    1. I'm not quite sure. White does reflect light so they are a little darker than picture shown but not by much. The most likely cause is the honey! I used a light local honey.

  23. The marsh mallow root powder that I purchased at our local health food store is medium tan in color. The boiled water/marshmallow root resulatant liquid when strained in fine mesh is still tan in color. I am puzzled how to make lighter colored marshmallows. Yours are very light colored and attractive. Love your recipe photos and recipe. This does seem to be the best of the bunch.

  24. Hi there!! I just tried this and the marshmallows are setting now so we'll see how they turn out. I do have a couple requests for the information in this recipe though...

    First off, you said "1 heaping cup of water" but its a lot harder to make a cup of water heaping than say, flour... could you be more specific in what the amount should be? I did a cup of water plus a little bit more but when I simmered the decoction, so much had evaporated that I was left with only 2/3 decoction and ended up diluting it with water... I'm really hoping that it doesn't mess with the final product...

    The second thing is that it would be nice if you were a little more clear on what we're looking for when we whip it up right before we pour it into the pan. Should it be liquidy? Whipped like a whipped cream? Semi-solid? What are we looking for before we know we've whipped enough.

    Other than that, this recipe is great and I can't wait to see the final product!!!


  25. Made these for the first time this past month and we LOVE them! Thanks so much for the great recipe, I have fallen in love with your blog and love your recipes. Thanks again!


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